4.23.2005

Goliath

My goliath has always been inertia. Getting up in the morning has never been easy. Even when my mom would threaten to throw cold water on me, and even occasionally have to follow through on the threat, I still moved like molasses. In general, it's difficult for me to get motivated to try something new and break from my routine. Once I overcome my state of inactivity however, I can really get moving. Either I don't talk much or, once I break my silence, I talk too much and annoy people. At the end of the day when I'm tired and can barely move, a few minutes on the treadmill gets me a second wind and I break in to a full run for a solid half hour, fully awake by the time I head home.

Activity, both mental and physical, paradoxically energizes me. Conversely, inactivity only makes me more tired. I've been trying really hard to go outside on the weekend, now that the weather is nicer, and I've visited several beaches and parks. Today I had two things against me. The first was the weather, as rain alternated between pouring and drizzling throughout the day. The second was my cold. A few days ago I woke up with what I thought was a postnasal drip, that didn't go away and went from a tickle to one of the worst sore throats I've had in a long time. It was so bad that I barely slept Thursday night and was a barely functioning mess on Friday. I managed to get my work done and drive there and back without passing out, and by last night the cold receded into my head. Today it's been mostly congestion and a headache, so I should be okay to work tomorrow morning at a feast in Brooklyn. I started this month with a cold and it looks like I'm ending it with one, which sucks. I blame the weather. When it's hot at night and freezing the next morning, not dressing warm enough for bed can lead to this. My biggest regret is having a wasted Saturday, only leaving my house once to go to the post office and once to go to church, spending the rest of the day in bed. Four hours of walking on a (hopefully) sunny Sunday should get back the energy I feel I'm lacking right now.

Ask anyone younger than me what they think of when they hear the name David Hasselhoff and the answers may be frighteningly varied. Dodgeball. Baywatch. Spongebob. EuroTrip. Pop singer, especially popular in Germany. Depending on how young the person you ask is, you might even get “who?” as a reply. But some might have the same answer that those 30 and older would surely give, and that answer is Knight Rider. This show was a staple of my childhood and Michael Knight is one of my favorite heroes. I picked up the season two DVD set this week, and before spending the day sleeping managed to watch Goliath, the two-part season premiere.

Goliath was LEGENDARY when I was in elementary school. In the first season, K.I.T.T. had met his evil twin K.A.R.R., voiced by Peter Cullen. In Goliath, it's Michael's turn to meet his match in the form of the son of the late Wilton Knight, the wealthy philanthropist who saved his life and gave it a new mission. Michael had been given plastic surgery after being shot in the face, but had no idea that Wilton had him remade in the image of his son, who was incarcerated in Africa. In a tradition perhaps established by Evil Spock, Hasselhoff plays a dual role, becoming the evil Garthe Knight with the simple addition of a goatee. It was cheesy and brings a smile to my face now, even with the extra bass he adds to his voice as Garthe, but I though him a frightful enemy when I was 10.

The real draw to this episode for young MCF wasn't so much the villain as his ride, the enormous semi-tractor trailer armed with missiles and an impenetrable coating that the episode was named for. Goliath was the toughest vehicle K.I.T.T. ever faced, and when Garthe and his mother stole the formula for K.I.T.T.'s molecularly bonded shell and applied it to this behemoth, our heroes were in trouble. Every commercial break showed a clip of the truck and the Trans Am barreling across the desert toward each other, a teaser for their inevitable confrontation. When Goliath finally DID mow down K.I.T.T., and send he and Michael toppling over and over in the dust, it was a breathtaking cliffhanger that was all anyone talked about at school the next day. Of course this was television, good old bad ‘80s television, so of course Michael crawled from his overturned vehicle with just a few scratches and, after consulting the manual, jury-rigged a crude ramjet to get K.I.T.T. back on his wheels and out of the desert.

Subsequently, upon having K.I.T.T. repaired and himself patched up, Michael confronts Garthe in a casino, using K.I.T.T.'s abilities to somehow cheat at a dice game. Garthe is infuriated at losing and chases after them in a rage, falling into their trap and being forced into the back of their own mobile truck headquarters. Putting on a fake goatee, Michael impersonates Garthe and tries to get close enough to plant a bomb on Goliath. But Garthe escapes and stops him, resuming his master plan to break into a government missile facility hidden inside a mountain. With help from K.I.T.T., Michael escapes Garthe's African rebel allies and charges off to stop his evil twin. Round two ends differently once they use K.I.T.T.'s modified laser on a weak point on Goliath. Garthe jumps out of the smoking wreck and Hasselhoff has a classic ‘80s action show fist-fight with himself. It's filmed really well and in the days before VCRs, DVDs, and other technology with pause settings, seems seamless. Today I was able to freeze a few frames and realize he was fighting Gabe Kaplan.

Cheesy as it is by today's standards, I still love this episode. From Hasselhoff hamming it up as the villain to the formidable and very awesome truck, it's endured in my memory for two decades, and it's great that I now own it. Makes me wonder what the threat will be in the film version...

2 Comments:

Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

Hmmm... This post got me thinking...

What would my "Goliath" be?

I'm going to have to ponder this and make a blog entry of my own at some point.

It also got me thinking -- seeing as I'm a "few" years older than MCF -- what is my Knight Rider?

Well, of course, it has to be The Six-Million Dollar Man!!!!!

4/25/2005 8:39 AM  
Blogger averagejoe said...

Yeah, mine would be Six Million Dollar Man as well!

4/25/2005 1:24 PM  

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