Happy Hour with Jack Bauer (I know, it rhymes. I wasn’t trying that . . it just happened)

Jack Bauer ain’t a complicated man. I dig that.

Complicated men might make for good television, but they make lousy drinking buddies. I mean, Don Draper would be great Martini talk, but I’d have to get him smashed before the smarmy SOB would be worth the company. And he’d probably throw up on my shoes anyway. I like Rick Grimes, but I don’t want to find out he’s a nasty drunk. It would probably be a painful (fatal) lesson. Francis Underwood’s politics is too mean. Walter White’s politics is too local. And Red Reddington gives off that urban legend vibe about the kidney in the hot tub.

I would toss back with Jack Bauer. In a public setting, with plenty of people around. While wearing Kevlar. Nothing against Jack, but people who spend five minutes around him usually end up deader than Bruce Jenner’s sex life. They say you know you’re doing something right when people dislike you. Judging by his empty address book, Jack Bauer is doing a whole lot of right.

This doesn’t make Jack complicated. Just uber busy, saving the President, the country and yes . . the world. But good stories equal good times, yanno?

I imagine Jack’s drink is bourbon, chased with more bourbon. He wouldn’t touch beer; too fizzy. Unlike his other half-Kiefer Sutherland- Jack doesn’t do Tequila. It’s what he gargles with in the morning. And word to the wise? If you even suggest a dessert drink, his glare will burn your retinas into fondue.

When 24 debuted in 2001, I had exactly zero TV shows going on. Committing myself to a show meant keeping an appointment with a TV listing. But the concept of 24 appealed to me. 24 episodes- more specifically hours in the life of the fictional Jack Bauer who worked for the fictional Counter Terrorism Unit in a fictional Los Angeles.

Aside from the idea of a fictional LA- which is completely redundant- the show looked interesting enough to survive one season. Its post mortem would engender a cult favorite status- which is what happens to shows whose viewership is lower than a Ted Cruz quote. I figured on being one of those cool people who devoted himself to a show that no one else even knew existed. Admittedly, I’ve always been strangely envious of Twin Peaks fans, all eight of them.

(Writers Note: My insatiable desire to be a devotee of a cult favorite television show led to my purchase of an atrocious woolen baseball cap, otherwise known as “The Fleischman”, by the American Eagle salesgirl who sold it to me. And while I never ended up watching a single episode of Northern Exposure, I did end up having a great time with the salesgirl. So thank you Fleischman, whoever you were.)

As it happened, 24 went eight more seasons than I had signed up for. It even became a part of the American vernacular, whatever that means. Hell, Jack Bauer did something that no Hollywood director had ever come close to doing. He made Kiefer Sutherland interesting! Kiefer was a surly, temperamental Hollywood brat until his body became host to Jack Bauer. After which Sutherland achieved a cosmic do-over on par with John Travolta, Robert Downey Jr. and Elin Nordegren.

I stayed the course through all nine seasons worth of every kind of unbelievable shit. And then I came back this summer to watch Jack live another day while just about everybody else . . . died. So it was, while watching him bum rush the Embassy, bring a terrorist out of a coma just so’s he could torture her back into one and then throw her terrorist mama out a window- thus avoiding a complicated extradition scenario with Great Britain- that I thought to myself, How fun would this guy be at a bar? 

Being that I don’t possess a Russian accent, me and Jack would get along just fine, seeing as how we have so much in common: David Palmer was our favorite President . . we’re drawn to powerful women . . our daughters are big on loyalty and attitude . . . we never get our Chinese food delivered . . . we have our share of crazy ex girlfriends . . .  and we both killed someone with a Bic pen.

Okay, I should probably save that last one for another post.


17 thoughts on “Happy Hour with Jack Bauer (I know, it rhymes. I wasn’t trying that . . it just happened)

  1. Make that NINE fans if Twin Peaks. I remember having a crush on Alison Palmer..

    As for 24, that is one of my favorite shows! Although some seasons were just Ehhh, I have still been addicted. And for all your readers out there, if they don’t watch 24 then they don’t know Jack!!!

    • BOOM!

      And thank you for the Alison Palmer mention. I googled her and hochimama!

      I love 24 and was sad to see it go, for now anyway. I’m not believing Jack is done, though. If his other half- Kiefer- needs some quick cash down the road….we might see him again.

  2. Loved this. Can’t wait for the Bic story. Mine is all about a plastic straw from McDonalds. Or the other one that includes six clicks of a revolver, but as you say another post. Anyway great post Pilgrim.

    • Sheriff- A plastic straw from McDonald’s worked for you? See, I can’t even get the damn things to work as a soda delivery system. I ALWAYS pick the one with a slit, which is why I learned to take two straws with me whenever I partake.
      This is why we’re all deputies, in your service.

  3. Sitting in a bar wearing Kevlar … now if that doesn’t paint a picture, nothing will …. My wife watched Twin Peaks … but I think she eventually gave up on it.

    • So you remember Nina too? Yes, she broke my heart. In the most wickedly sexy of ways. And oh by the way . . David Palmer? I actually wrote an article endorsing him for President back in 2008. My readers loved my humorous bent on the primary race, and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I wasn’t kidding.

  4. I can’t watch an Allstate commercial without thinking, “hey! It’s President Palmer!”

    So who would you pick to save the world: Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne, or Chuck Norris? Or someone else?

    • I really would have voted for David Palmer. I realize he’s a fictitious character, which makes him no different than the guys we’re voting for now.

      Hmm, who would I choose to save the world? That’s a tough one. Jack Bauer would seem the ideal fit on the face of it, seeing as he’s saved humanity a few times over. But think about it . . every time he’s done so, it’s only upped the ante the next time around. It’s almost like Bauer is a parable, the well worn cautionary tale about learning from history before it bites you in the ass again. Bauer’s rescue missions are too temporary, and his methods tend to make more enemies on the other side. As for Jason Bourne, I would hire him as my security detail if I was a celebrity but I wouldn’t count on him to save the world. Nothing against the guy’s skill set, it’s just that he’s been screwed around so much by the powers that be. To save the world, you have to buy into what the world is selling. And Bourne knows better than to do that. Chuck Norris would be another dude I would hang with at a bar. Just so’s I could pick fights. With Philadelphia Eagles fans. But as far as saving the world, I don’t think Chuck cares very much for Europe, and I wouldn’t want to sit across the table from him to negotiate. I value my hands too much.

      So, this has been a long winded reply to your question . . . but if I was going to count on someone to save the world. It would be the one guy who nobody saw coming. This guy.

  5. This was AWESOME. Just the thing I needed to pick me up from the sad news. Dude I saw the title when you first published it, but hadn’t seen the finale of Live Another Day and didn’t want to keep reading it if it had any spoilers. I was worried, so I waited until I watched it, but just got around to reading it today … and let me tell you … pinche great!

    I totally loved that show and was so glad they brought it back, although Chloe’s new look was burning me out. But glad Audrey and Jack finally saw each other again and sad the Russians got to him perhaps we’ll find out what happens if he lives yet another day again.

    Dude that would be great.

    The funny thing is that a friend of mine recently saw Jack Bauer at my local Regal Beagle (like two weeks ago) and totally high-fived him and gave him a hug, although no time for drinks. Bauer was busy leaving the premises. I was upset when my friend didn’t immediately call me to come down seeing how this pub is only five minutes away. Duuuuuuuuuude would have been awesome to high-five Bauer although I don’t think I’ve ever seen him high-five anybody on the show. In any case he was out having a drink with friends and a lady friend and I so could have been in that mix. Dude … maybe next time … I’ll give him a shoutout for you if I do see him.

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