AUTHOR: Thomas Allbaugh
When a reality TV scout “discovers” Walter in a diner near the hospice where his father has been placed, his life has reached a low point. His father is dying, his college teaching career is under threat, and his life is adrift. The scout wants him for a reality show about religion. In a more self-assured period of his life, Walter would have rejected her questionable offer outright, but now he wavers and allows himself to be drawn in. Maybe this is the jolt of energy his life needs. Maybe, if the show succeeds, his university will be so impressed that they’ll finally treat him with respect. Maybe the show will even be what the producers promise it will be, a serious inquiry into faith. Maybe he’ll become famous.
The show brings Walter attention, but for all the wrong reasons. He is misquoted, misinterpreted, misunderstood, and then shot after he has been dragged across the country in an increasingly frustrating and absurd series of challenges. Will his career and reputation survive the public protests? Will his marriage survive the hints of affairs on the road? Will any kind of “reality” emerge to restore his self-respect?