The Reader's Eye on Television

Adult society, at every level, is depraved. Walk up to any jerk on the street and ask to go through the pictures on his cell phone. He sure as hell won't let you. He's got pictures of naked people in there. Pictures of him naked, someone's sister is on there too, maybe a friend of hers; and that woman's got a husband who'd die inside if he saw those pictures. Depraved. It's all right there on a 1-inch by 2-inch screen. The grainy digital colors blurred from the jostling of elbows while his finger pushed at the chrome button and captured the light from a candle and a shattered mirror. He's not going to show you those pictures on his phone.

Evidence exists not just as photographs. Ask to dig through a woman's purse. She'll blush and say, "Women have to keep some secrets, dear." We all know that her eyeliner is scrawling out an indecipherable message on the white leather interior of her clutch. We can all see what shade lipstick she wears and what day she takes her sugar pills and what days she takes the little green ones and how much she weighs is printed on her license. But, that's not what she's hiding.

In a cough-drop box, with a little pair of tweezers and a lighter, is a clear plastic baggy half-zipped and spilling tan powder from its corner. In the coffee-shop restroom she holds a straw in her mouth and inhales the deep fumes from a piece of tin foil, bubbling with heated gunk. When she straightens up and replaces everything in the white and chrome box she puts her large-frame sunglasses back on and fidgets with her hair in the mirror and she knows she's depraved.

Twenty minutes ago I was coughing blood onto the watery floor of my shower. I toweled off and gelled my hair, put on a pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. My eyes are blood shot from the internal pressure caused by my heaving lungs so I covered them with Ralph Lauren sunglasses. I'm in line at the bank and pretending to care about whatever 3D cartoon they've got playing on the TV in the kiddy section, Ice Age 3, or something. Animated animals scurry around the screen and the teller raises her finger and bleats, "Next!" and I look at her and she smiles and I smile. I smile because the pills I took are flooding my bloodstream with granular pharmaceuticals, and she's smiling because she knows what she did on her cigarette break with the manager in a storage closet.

WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK

Thursday June 29

Conjoined Twins: Separate Steps

DHC 9:00 p.m. While pregnant with me, my mother was kicked by a horse and thrown into a barbed-wire fence. Horsehair lingered in her scratched arm too long and I was infused with the essence of Lipizzaner Stallion. Now, in adulthood, I've grown a mane that I keep up in tight bows atop my head and neck and I've taken to prancing through the grocery store, grazing on the carrots in the produce box, and singing "Gray skies are gonna clear up! Put on a happy face! Brush off the clouds and cheer up! Put on a happy face!" The song doesn't have anything to do with my equine nature, but it goes well with my high-stepping routine.

Vegas Pastry Battle

FOOD 9:00 p.m. What kind of stupid, manufactured, and contrived type of conflict is a "Pastry Battle"? When I go to Vegas I want to get a snootful of pepper spray from the city mounted police captain, a slap from a feathery showgirl, and yanked out of a cab by a Russian who's stronger than he looks. If you were to smash a croissant through a window, light it and catch a palm tree on fire, then I'd be in. But, as it stands on the Food Network, "pastry battle" sounds a bit tame for my Vegas vacation plans.

Friday June 30

PRIDE Fighting Championships

FSW 4:00 p.m. I'd like to give the steroid-amped and morphine-strung psychopaths of PRIDE a hot branding iron each and let them loose in a corral filled with all of Dr. Phil's former guests. Hyeah! Git along little doggies. Woof! Smells like poop in here.

Saturday July 01

Lance Armstrong: Ride of a Lifetime

OLN 10:30 a.m. Lance announced today that while he's tired of serving the French a slice of Texas pie, he will be packing his extra-slim jockstrap and competing against the Brazilian team in the World Cup Finals. During the press conference, Lance called out several other countries and their national pastimes, including Great Britain and the sport of cricket. His final words were, "And Ghana better stiffen up their national Stick-and-Hoop team or they're just going to be embarrassed next fall."

Dirty Dancing (1987)

WB 8:00 p.m. (Tee-hee. Shhhhhh. It's about dry-humping!)

Sunday July 02

Jaws the Revenge (1987)

AMC 10:45 p.m. Not a lot of people know this, but I was involved with a production company that made a similar sea-creature horror flick. Don't let anyone ever tell you that the title is unimportant because Crabs: This Time It's Personal didn't do as well in the box office as you'd expect.

Monday July 03

How to Get the Guy

ABC 10:00 p.m. What little I've seen of this show I didn't quite understand. In the moments before the final commercial break, a man woke up on a grassy Serengeti plain, dazed and wiggling a yellow eartag. When he pulled the tranquilizer dart from his left flank, a Jeep full of women sped off through the brush, giggling into their palms and waving Polaroids of the sleeping man dressed in a tuxedo. Very curious.

Tuesday July 04

Gruen Watches

HSN 8:00 p.m. Here's what I'm doing come the 4th. I'm going to buy watches for an hour while I sip gin and talk to my cats. Yes, Admiral Kingsley Van Huggleschmitt, papa needs a new watch. Don't scratch. Don't. Scratch.

Wednesday July 05

Little House on the Prairie

TVLAND 8:00 p.m. I still have the old dress and apron, but I never wear them anymore. I have held my old clothes up to me and stood in the mirror to see if I still look like the little boy my mother dressed up as Laura Ingalls Wilder, but my hair is too short for the pigtail braids now and I feel stupid and sentimental so I keep the outfit in a trunk. But, I still have it. I still have it.

Thursday July 06

Big Brother 7: All-Stars

CBS 8:00 p.m. Can the term "star" really be applied in good conscience here?

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