All anybody really wants is to be naked. Well, there are other things that one might want, but “nude” sits — on a towel, one hopes — proudly at the top of the list. Watch people in your office, at your construction site, or in your gymnasium at 4:50 on a Friday afternoon. Their eyes will barely stay in their heads, staring down the clock for that final ten minutes before “official naked time.”

This is why we have girlfriends and boyfriends. As humans we need interaction with other people; we want someone around so we can tell bad jokes. More importantly, we want someone who will watch us strut confidently from the kitchen to the bedroom with our thumbs up while flashing a broad, toothpaste-commercial grin. In a perfect world, this would all be done to Prince music.

This is how people get married. If someone’s particularly good at being naked, she doesn’t irritate you before she gets naked, and her friends don’t mind that the two of you get naked together, then you propose. After that, it’s official. You can’t be naked in front of anyone else, ever. You have exclusive nudity — it’s on the license or in the vows or something, “Thou shalt not sit and watch CSI whilst wearing nothing in the presence of any other.” Or something like that.

That brings to mind the other rules of being nude: (1) When choosing a new friend to be nude with, you cannot skip over the awkward “what’s your favorite color” stage and get right into your pantsless “Purple Rain” stroll. It’ll take at least an hour, at most a month. (2) Unless you’re of that very weird population at the beach or behind the high gates in those mountain retreats, this is only to be done indoors — at least in polite neighborhoods. You cannot pop off your front porch, wearing nothing but your best hairdo and a quick swipe of deodorant, and hold a glad hand out to a passing Fed Ex driver. Trust me. (3) You are never to point out your nude friend’s minor imperfections, as you cannot swivel your head around to see your own. (4) This isn’t so much a rule as it is a warning: you can watch as much TV as you’d like, but cooking is generally frowned upon, especially frying.

Bacon is right out.


Thursday, January 24
Anderson Cooper 360
CNN 7:00 p.m.

I, for one, am happy it’s an election year. I don’t really pay attention to political things. No one’s ever really assigned me as a Democrat or a Republican — still waiting on that one. And I’m not sure where I would vote, but I am giddy to once again hear news anchors liberally use the term “caucus goers.” I’m thinking of having T-shirts made up.

NFL Live
ESPN 9:00 p.m.

Oh, no. It seems that the corporate millionaires from this city have lost in the child’s game to the corporate millionaires of New England. Perhaps if we, as a community, had purchased more garish articles of clothing and minutiae emblazoned with their corporate logo, the millionaires from this city would have won their child’s game. Maybe next year. Until then, and since they are headquartered here, I will buy statuettes from Jack in the Box to encourage that multimillion-dollar business to enter a hopscotch championship. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Friday, January 25
Garth Brooks: Live in LA!
CBS 9:00 p.m.

Surrounded by a dozen onlookers, most of whom are most likely homeless, one of whom keeps flicking bottle caps at Garth and shouting, “Shut up, fat boy! Shut your mouth, fat boy!” Live! In L.A.! It’s an extravaganza!

Saturday, January 26
Wild West Tech
History 9:00 a.m.

My Indian name is “Frappes Reluctantly.” My friend Ron’s Indian name is “Bicycles with Swollen Coin Purse.” It’s pretty easy, you just have to include an action and a descriptive property or location. You can also change your Indian name later if you think of a better one. Mine used to be “Jerks Beef at 7-Eleven.”

Super Bowl’s Greatest
CBS 8:00 p.m.

If the writers’ strike lasts forever, is this all that’s going to be aired? Rehashing, dream-sequence episodes, and reruns of things that weren’t that good in the first place? That’s like being stranded on that proverbial desert island without the perk of choosing your favorite CD, actress, and movie; you’re only allowed that “best of” compilation of Conway Twitty and a scratched copy of Police Academy 6.

Sunday, January 27
My Shocking Story: World’s Smallest Kids
TLC 8:00 p.m.

TLC makes a convincing case for all those end-time prophesies from weird cults. This year, I think I’m going to only watch this channel, so my worldview will consist solely of homunculi, giants, and fish-people lurking under every kitchen table, behind every park tree, or peeking up from every puddle. It should make even mundane trips to the supermarket a real riot.

Monday, January 28
Antiques Roadshow
PBS 8:00 p.m.

I’m officially old. The most exciting thing about the turning of the New Year was my credit score went up and I was happy to hear that booze had been banned on the beach. It’s too bad that young people these days can’t enjoy alcohol without being obnoxious jerks. When I was in my 20s and inebriated, I was witty and a delightful treasure for all those around me.

Tuesday, January 29
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
VH1 7:00 p.m.

Like I need to see the swollen face of yet another Baldwin. What’s with their heads, anyway? Once a Baldwin hits a certain age, his melon blows up like a runaway Thanksgiving-parade balloon. I wonder if they’ll ever stop growing. What if medical science affords them an extra-long lifespan and their heads require municipal support such as police and fire patrols and blinking safety lights for aircraft? Are we as taxpayers going to be saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the Baldwins’ gigantic melons?

Wednesday, January 30
Family 6:00 p.m.

As much nudity as we’ve talked about in this issue, with all joking aside, I want a non-nude part in a porno movie. I could easily play “shocked neighbor clipping hedges” or “sales floor manager who leaves young couple alone in stereo comparison room” or — and this would be my first choice — “Fire Chief!” Boy, that’d be cool. I could wear a helmet and everything. (Ugh. You know what I mean.)

Thursday, January 31
ABC 8:00 p.m.

Even better titles: Stupid. Die. Next! Seriously. Quit. Boring. Hot Babe in a Grimy Ripped Sundress. But That’s It. Really. Onward. C’mon! So. Done. Honestly.

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I am very envious of your and Ron's Indian names. I want one too!

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