Life After the Bell: Max

Continuing my examination of what happened to the characters of Saved by the Bell once the lights turned off.


Max, apparent owner of The Max, was the Class of '93's window into adulthood. When they needed advice they couldn't get from square ol' Mr. Belding or their negligent, non-existent parents, Max was there to offer a shoulder to cry on and sage advice to guide the gang through life.

Unfortunately, with the ultra-popular Zack Morris crew long gone for greener pastures, The Max languishes as kids search for the hip new hangout. The daytime teen hangout goes through several incarnations, notably "Max 'Q," a barbecue smokehouse that doesn't fare well in image-conscious, upper class Bayside.

After just six months, Max Q burns to the ground after a horrific kitchen fire. Despite several suspicious factors in the accident, detectives are unable to find any conclusive evidence and Max is freed of suspicion with $1.4 million in an insurance payout.

He promptly moves to Santa Cruz, where he lives to this day with his partner Darold and their seven cats, for whom he still sometimes performs magic tricks.


Life After the Bell: Mr. Belding

Saved by the Bell is one show that, for some reason, has maintained an iconic status and cult following. This is despite the fact that if you watch the show now as a non-teen it's pretty insulting dreck. Horrible laugh tracks, stale jokes, and an endless parade of ridiculous premises make it tough to suspend my disbelief the way I used to every weekday after school.

Some of the characters, though, were likable. And I always wondered how they fared once the freewheeling days at Bayside ended. I'll be profiling some of the more noteworthy characters.

Richard "Dick" Belding

Mr. Belding never seemed to be much of an administrator. His students regularly railroaded him, he would administer inappropriate hugs to faculty and kids alike, and he fell for impostors Zack hired to impersonate his parents on more than one occasion. He was, by all accounts, a functional retard, and the fact that the school segregated him in a tiny broomcloset-sized office away from the rest of the staff shows as much.

But deep down, ol' Dicky B was a good man. He loved his kids, he loved his school, and because of that he was able to put up with a lot more shit than most people. Also, he grew up named Dick with a brother named Rod. That will set the stage for an outlandish tolerance of abuse.

After the fabled class of 1993 left after roughly seven years in high school, Belding continued to dutifully administer to his responsibilities as principal, even taking on Screech Powers as some sort of assistant helping with the new class. 

Eventually, though, a brooding Zack Morris, upset at his own lot in life and pathologically unable to let go of high school, decided to get back at Mr. Belding with one last "scorched earth" prank. The results left Belding a registered Sex Offender and unable to continue his passion; managing teachers and giving out detentions.

Due to his undying affection for his students, he eventually forgave Zack. He now lives alone in the valley as his wife divorced him and his son (born in an elevator at the two-story high school during an earthquake) refuses to speak with him because of the allegations of child molestation. A brief attempt at writing his memoirs was undercut by his discovery of the blogosphere and a hollow sense of uselessness.

He works part-time at an Office Depot with a homemade badge that reads, "Educational Materials Expert." He hurriedly removes it every time his supervisor approaches. As his emails trying to catch up with former students garner fewer and fewer responses, he sinks into a deep depression. Finally, on a bright June day, he charters a small fishing boat for himself and heads off towards Catalina Island with an unusually heavy tackle box tied to his waist. 

The boat is recovered three days later, fully operational but with no one aboard.


Decorum Question.

What's the appropriate way to inform your neighbor across the hall that it's April 8th and she still has a Christmas wreath up? I took this picture this morning on my way to work:

I guess there probably isn't an appropriate way because no one's ever left their Christmas decorations up almost five months after Christmas. At this point it's overdue to come down even if it was an Easter wreath.

I'm thinking something involving firearms. No jury would convict.

Okay, to Make Up for Human Centipede...

Check this out. You'll love it. Promise!



Okay, forget that OTHER movie.

Let's watch this one instead:

Forget all the horror movie bullshit for a second: how bad does it suck to be the last person in a human centipede? It's that whole "the view never changes" cliche, plus poop being forced down your throat.


Thing I've Learned

Sometimes, no matter how much you love that pen, you've just gotta let that pen go.