The Reader's Eye on Television

An Open Letter to Mel Gibson

Mel, You've had a little trouble this past weekend. It's all right, Mel. We all slip on occasion.

I have a proposal for you, Mel. I read about your arrest and want to extend an offer.

Don't get upset about your DUI. It happens. It happened to me. Hell, I've been yanked from a car. Those handcuffs bind. I read you smashed the receiver against the jailhouse phone. That seems like the right thing to do at the time, doesn't it?

Hell, Mel, at least you blew into the little tube. I didn't even do that. They had to haul me to a hospital and hold me down; a cop's knee in my back, my elbow and shoulder haven't been the same since. A nurse stuck me, and I watched the yellowish vial fill up with my bubbling blood.

Where our stories deviate, Mel, is I don't remember the conversation ever coming around to religion. The story in the paper reads that you tore off on a tangent about Jews. Mel, the Jews?

This is where I think I can help you, Mel. Why would I want to help you? Well, hell, Mel, I figure you're a good guy. I love Beyond Thunderdome , and if I'm hung over, I'll check TBS to see if they're playing Braveheart .

You're just a little mixed up is all, Mel. That business with blaming the Jews...what was that?

I see you've already apologized for your reckless behavior and outlandish tirade. You say you've taken steps toward sobriety. You see, Mel, that's where you really started to screw up and where I think I can help. Come down to San Diego, Mel. Forget about Malibu for a while. I'll teach you to never apologize for your misbehavior.

When your publicist hauled you out of that urine-smelling concrete cell and told you what you'd done the night before, you should've said, "Whatever," walked past him, and located the nearest bottle of anything to wash out the hangover gunk in your head and the puke in your hair.

Mel, I know this girl in North Park. We can smoke terrible chemicals from a glass pipe in her filthy front room, Mel. Pedro delivers blow to anywhere in San Diego in less than 30 minutes, like he's a damn pizza joint. Bourbon and pills, Mel. Lots of each.

And when we come out of a long blackout and find ourselves in a plywood apartment in a Tijuana alley and for some reason we're wearing Prince Valiant wigs and we're covered in the glittery pixy dust and watermelon body spray of strippers, we'll pull dignity out of the waistband in our underwear, take another hit, and practice our line, Mel.

Say it with me.


What I will and won't watch this week

Thursday, August 3 Shark Roulette

DSC 7:00 p.m. SHAAAAARRRRRK WEEEEEEEEEK! Here's the thing with shark week. You don't have to watch every single show, but there's always something cool on. You can come home in the middle of the night smelling like burrito and prostitute and WANG! There're sharks right up in your face! You can come home from the PTA meeting, crack den, or mortuary. HA HA! More sharks! It's a week. Park your unicycle, take off that wildcat mascot suit and those tinfoil sunglasses. Sit a spell, and watch some sharks.

101 More Things Removed From the Human Body

TLC 9:00 p.m. A friend of mine is a nurse, and on her camera phone I saw a picture of an X-ray of a jar of mushrooms. I'm sure my editors aren't going to let me tell you where that jar was or what orientation it held, so you'll have to make the connection here. But think of it. Mushrooms. So many questions I have for the patient, so many. Were you in the middle of making dinner and the urge to...? Never mind.

Friday, August 4 Bringing Down the House (2003)

FOX 8:00 p.m. If I ever meet Steve Martin, he's getting a hair pull and a vicious eyebrow bite for this terrible movie. I watched it because you're in it, Steve, and it stinks like a microwave full of turtle poop. Oh, you're getting such a wedgie and an atomic titty twister for this one, STEVE! OH!

Saturday, August 5 The Hulk (2003)

USA 10:00 a.m. Everybody wants something. Everybody has a dream they've held since childhood. I've got a torn pair of purple pants and everything, but the local fire department won't let me ride around on the back of their fire truck and growl "Rawr! Rawr!" while they blow the siren. Jerks. Whatever.

The Flavor of Love

VH1 8:00 p.m. ...tastes like rattlesnake and frog legs.

Sunday, August 6 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967)

KUSI 7:30 p.m. Me, my ex wife, and former mother-in-law. A trip to Kansas to see the world's largest pop-up toaster in multimedia presentation: slideshow, itemized bill for the vacation, and interpretive dance number of the divorce proceedings, subsequent spiral into alcoholism and spray-paint huffing. There's a part where I've got gold Krylon all over my nose and I'm crying. Crying.

Monday, August 7 Yanni Live! The Concert Event

PBS 8:00 p.m. It's like PBS sees a decision for programming and intentionally makes the wrong choice. A morning program about quilting? I can't think of anything more boring. Yanni live in concert? Outside of BET there's nothing I'd want to watch less. It's like PBS is that fat old woman with ratty hair in torn sweatpants, smoking cigarettes on the bus stop bench. There isn't anything she's going to do to make herself more appealing, and she doesn't care. She's taken herself out of the game. As long as that government check comes in and there's a pint of vodka on the bathroom sink, everything's going to be okay. How about a show devoted to cats? Let's get that decision out of the way.

Tuesday, August 8 Hellboy (2004)

FX 7:30 p.m. I've got an idea for a comic book. It's George Washington (or Abe Lincoln, if Washington's been done to death), and he's a crime fighter. His teeth are wood, but behind the fake wood veneers is a sort of cosmic metal stuff like the Silver Surfer. Obviously the British are his enemies; I think a famous Brit general can be his archenemy. His Brit archenemy is one of those guys with the really big foreheads who can talk to sea creatures. That's why he's stationed on a pirate ship just off the coast of Maine. Don't steal my idea, bastards.

Wednesday, August 9 Last Comic Standing

NBC 8:00 p.m. ...deserves a kick in the pants just like everyone else involved in this craperrific crapping machine.

Thursday, August 10 Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

BRAVO 8:00 p.m. I'm starting Straight Eye for the Queer Guy because, c'mon, you're still men. Half-act like one, would ya? Button your shirt, swap out that g-string for a pair of boxers, get rid of that damn fruity drink with the twisty straw and all the BS sticking out of the top of it. On the table before you sit a feather boa, a tube of lipstick, and an article on how to steal a car. Choose wisely, my friend. Choose wisely.

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