The Reader's Eye on Television

At some point, we're going to have to dig up Mister Rogers's body. I know it's not a pretty business, but there it is: little kids are turning up at the morgue in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Oh, some people say never mind that the kids have been sucked dry of their blood through two small puncture wounds in their necks; people say, never mind that the pattern of croaked kiddies radiates outward from the Rogers' family crypt in concentric circles like ripples on a pond. Those people are fools to ignore the warning signs. Mister Rogers is a vampire. There, I've said it, and I'm not going to take it back. There are no such things as vampires, you say? Vampires are mythical creatures from storybooks? Well, let's just look at the facts, and you can decide.

Fact 1: As I've already noted, the cracker-crunchers are kicking over in record numbers around Mister Rogers's entombed body. What's interesting here is not that there are dead people being found by the sack-full, but dead kids . If it were only dead adults, I'd point my finger elsewhere.

Fact 2: Fibers from decayed canvas shoes, dungarees, and cardigan sweaters have been found on bushes and rocks in the vicinity of each body, presumably unraveled during a struggle. Some of the threads from the cardigans bear an interesting truth on the subject, since the particular color of dye on those threads has not been used in production since 1972.

Fact 3: This one isn't pretty. No, it isn't pretty at all, so I'll tread delicately on this subject and say only that some of the kids have been...turned into puppets, if you can imagine such a thing. Give it a second, it'll come to you. One such macabre scene was found 100 yards from the Rogers' crypt. A circle of formerly lively children, all puppets now, sitting with their faces contorted into smiling, laughing death masks. Their hands strung up to surrounding trees, in apparent joyous revelation, using puppetry wire! And between them, running through the band of puppet children, were trolley tracks constructed from errant twigs stripped of their foliage. Although, no makeshift trolley has been found.


I don't know what dark forces have possessed the venerable children's television host. I don't want to guess. I don't know why he led a life of service to the wretched carpet-rats only to ransack their little bodies and souls in his death.

I don't want to guess.

What I do know is Mister Rogers is a goddamn vampire. And he must be stopped.

Thursday, February 22 The Insider CBS 7:30 p.m.In the latest turn of Britney's long spiral downward, she's sheared the greasy rodent that sits atop her neck and, on a spree of bad decision-making, got two more tattoos on her hips: a pink heart and a pair of lips. When Natalie Portman shaved her head for a role, it was cute and fashionable. When Enus the Toothy Millionaire Bumpkin-ess does it, it's a sign of chemical psychosis. It's only a matter of time before she's arrested in a mobile-home raid outside of Santee, and I, for one, am breathless with anticipation.

Larry King Live CNN 9:00 p.m. Anna Nicole's lifeless Jell-O mold has been in the news lately. I watch the news, or rather read it on screen, at the gym. I do that thing where I try to trick myself as to how long I've been running by avoiding the little digital timer on the treadmill. Now that Smith's hideous visage has been plastered all over television for weeks, I have nowhere to look except my shoes. I don't want to be in a state of physical strain and be bombarded by that pale, red ring-lipped, clown face. You can't unsee things, and those things make it into your nightmares, don't they?

Friday, February 23 Entertainment Tonight CBS 7:00 p.m. There. I've gotten my compulsory celebrity gossip out of the way. I've hit quota. I should be good until some other vaguely talented "superstar" plucks her eye out with a spoon or encourages a mustache in order to join a mariachi band. I need a shower.

Saturday, February 24 Robot Boy Toon 10:30 a.m. I've begun my transformation. My pinkie had become kinked and broken in a bicycle accident. Without medical insurance, I had to take on the responsibility of my own care, and besides, modern medicine is nowhere near where it should be in regards to robotic limb repair. Now, operated by cable, I have a mechanical little finger on my left hand that I made out of an old telescoping reading lamp and air conditioner power pump. If I had thought about it, I would've soldered my house key on to the end because as it stands now, the cyborg finger doesn't fit in my pocket, and when I have a handful of groceries I can't open my door without setting everything down. But it's a start. Oh, yes. It's a start.

Rush Hour Comedy 8:00 p.m. What happened to Chris Tucker? He hasn't done a damn thing since he was jumping around in an Armani suit with Jackie Chan. Was Tucker caught with "one of those kinds" of ladies? And when I say "ladies" I mean " ladies ," as in, she had awfully thick wrists and a patch of hair sprouting just below her Adam's apple. You know...happened to that other fellah. Wink wink. A little bit of this and that. Click click. His Rolodex card gets burnt in the stainless steel trashcan of every movie producer's office in Hollywood.

Sunday, February 25 Thelma & Louise Encore 11:15 a.m. My mom made me watch this as a kid. She also made me drink milk so I wouldn't have osteoporosis later in life, and she thought I had lupus when I was 13. Around that time, she also kept asking me if that "special time when a girl becomes a woman" had begun. Even though I'm a boy, it was no surprise when "it" finally did happen. I mean, there I was in tap class, wearing a unitard no less. How embarrassing.

Monday, February 26 Gang of Roses (2003) BET 8:00 p.m. Somehow, Macy Gray and Bobby Brown are involved with the dealings of a female gang. Although there's no predicting the future, I'm pretty certain I won't look back from my deathbed to February 26, 2007 as the day I missed this movie, aired with commercials, on the Black Entertainment Network. You never know for sure. But I'm confident.

Tuesday, February 27 Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern Travel 7:00 p.m. I'm going to pitch a helpful, how-to show to the Travel Channel. It's called "Scoring Drugs with Anthony Olivieri." Even though I've been poisoned twice in the Orient, I've also had some pretty good E and coke in my mitts when I was in Europe. Drop me in any city in the world, and I'll be high within the hour. Bring the cameras along. It'll be fun. You know, for college kids who are "trying to find themselves" and a little sip of GHB in Spain. That sort of thing.

Wednesday, February 28 Real World XVIII Catch-Up Special MTV 9:00 p.m. Finally. I've been waiting so long. I really want to know how DJ, Justin, Josh, Amber, Nicole, and Tiffany are doing. I mean, they were the Real World XVIII cast. How could I not be riveted...stunned by their every move? It's not often that one encounters this caliber of performance, and I've been dying to hear how they're doing. Or. Hmmm. I think I'll do my dishes that night instead.

Thursday, march 1 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Fox 9:00 p.m. I don't need to be. I can kick his ass.

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