The Reader's Eye on Television

She sits like a stack of deli meats, all mounded up and sliding off of herself. Purple straps and black straps from tank tops and bras try to restrain her soft bubbles of flesh. Engorged orbs sit atop pregnant belly and roll around when she moves. And straps catch and tug and hold like a suspension bridge, crossing her neck and fastening behind. Her auburn pony-tailed head turns toward me and I see that she's drinking water not coffee, eating spinach and eggs, not pancakes and syrup. She's telling her friend, "I've been eating so well. For the baby. I'm not even THINKING of bad foods. I don't even crave chocolate." And, she beams in her friends' approval. Her skin is hot and lemon in the crashing sunlight from the front window of the café.

She is a teenager, a daisy of spring. Her boyfriend has braces and holds her hand across the table and his head turns to one side and his eyes are blind with a milky film that prevents him from seeing what is really happening. And, he grins a chrome grin. In my mind I grab his ear and pull it back and yell, "What are you, stupid? You didn't have a condom? She couldn't get the pill? You have GODDAMN BRACES!" But that wouldn't help.

I open my notebook to start a letter to someone, a senator, a school board supervisor. It starts:

Dear Sir,

Roll back the sexual revolution. Roll it back to the 1940s. Roll it back past the '60s. Put Will back in the closet and make Grace a pudgy housefrau. Confiscate all copies of Laugh In and burn anything remotely involved with James Bond. Start television shows about how teens ruined their lives with pregnancy.

Teach kids that sex will make them prematurely gray and make their skin break out. Teach them that they'll go blind. The ones who do get pregnant? Mail them off to nunneries.

Is this the wisest course of action? No. Does it show the benevolence of a thinking society? No.

But, kids are too stupid to understand anything else. By the time they're in their 20s they'll figure out, "Hey, all that was a bunch of bull. Let's do it. All the time. A lot." And by then they'll be smart enough to handle it. But, until then, keep them dumb and scared. Because, look. Look at the pretty girl with the round belly in the front window of the café and think of the tears she'll cry in 15 years when she's still young and her ass is fat and she's a grandmother.


Thursday, January 5

Malcolm in the Middle

WB 6:30 p.m. I'm not trying to creep you out, but "Agent Cody" here is 20 years old. I'm not saying he's Michael Jackson yet, but let's see how this goes. You know, let's not leave him alone on a Ferris wheel with a chimp and a soda can of wine.

Friday, January 6

Annie (1982)

FAM 8:00 p.m. Not a lot of people know this, but I played one of the orphans. Carol Burnett didn't get much money for her role so she supplemented her income by selling us kids bags of baby laxative. We bought them, but it was more for her benefit than ours. We knew it wasn't good junk. We knew it was bunk stuff, but she needed the money more than we needed the smack.

Saturday, January 7

Full House

FAM 12:00 p.m. I don't want the Olsen twins to fall down a well, but the ensuing swell in national pride when they are retrieved would be a nice pick-me-up.

The Nanny

WB 1:00 p.m. I got you a present. It's a hundred-dollar gift certificate to the Sit Down and Shut the Hell Up Store.

Sunday, January 8

Lean on Me (1989)

AETV 12:00 p.m. I confuse Lean on Me with Stand by Me . One stars Corey Haim and the other is a movie about Lou Gossett Jr. as a school principal. Or is that Morgan Freeman? Which one is in the new Star Wars movies?

Monday, January 9

News 8 at 6:30pm

CBS 6:30 p.m. Is Ted Leitner still alive? Man, I'd love to slap the pie out of him. I'd raise my hand up and bring it down over and over. SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! And there. Look. PIE! It'd be the first worthy thing Ted has ever produced.

Tuesday, January 10

WWE Monday Night Raw

USA 9:00 p.m. Little known facts about China. China's real name is Joanie Laurer. China can pee farther than you. She can start a dead diesel engine by giving it a stern glare. And, she doesn't need matches to light a campfire. All she has to do is strike her leg hair with a flinty rock and stand back.


KTLA 9:00 p.m. Supercrapular

Wednesday, January 11

Golf Central

GOLF 8:30 p.m. In the coming revolution, your golf bag will double as a rifle holster. Your ability to carry a heavy duffel for several hours in a woody environment will come in handy, but your brash, colorful, striped shirt will be your enemy's boon and your undoing.

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