"Well, you're right on time," I said to the back of a hooded red rainjacket.
"Oh, my God," the coat squealed, then spun around. "I thought I'd lost you," Cassandra shouted into my shoulder as she hugged me. "You didn't tell me where you were going when you left Prague."
"I know. It slipped my mind."
"Well, we're here," she reminded me. "That's good luck, isn't it?"
"The Rugby World Cup is on," she told me as we strolled through the main square of downtown Krakow.
"What?" I couldn't believe it. "You like rugby?"
"No, but Australia's playing, and it'll be another four years before the next one," she said, unsure of her facts. "I think."
"I've never seen a rugby game," I admitted.
"Well, I've seen them. They're not terribly exciting, but we're really just using it as an excuse to get drunk first thing in the morning. You want to get drunk, yeah?"
"Is a frog's ass watertight?"
"I'm not sure. What does that have to do with --"
The bar was divided into two rooms, one for Australia's fans and one for English fans. We sat on the Australia side, and we yelled, "Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy! Oy! Oy! Oy!" I had no idea what was happening on the field and only cheered when everyone else in my room erupted in excitement.
Cassandra and I joked that the game was really just an elaborate plot for men to hug each other and pat each other on the butt. I don't know what the final score was, but I assume the Australians lost. The bar was too crowded to see the TV, and a pyramid of Guinness pints on our table reached eye level. A Scottish girl would bellow "Ballbags! Ballbags!" when the English scored, and that's how we kept track of the game.
I stumbled from the pub at 10:00 a.m., knee-walking drunk and on a vision quest for a kebab. I found a food stand and forced six of the meat pockets into my face. After the bulk of food hit my stomach and combined with the creamy goodness of black Irish beer, I was in a race with the devil to make it somewhere safe before I slipped into a coma. I started searching the maze of alleys for my hostel.
With tzatziki smeared from my mouth to my hairline I collapsed into bed, ass up and broken. When I woke up I had a terrible feeling that wasn't just alcohol and grease balling up my intestines. In my drunken state, I forgot to ask Cassandra where she was staying or how to get ahold of her. I lost her again.
After a shower to clear my head, I strolled back out into town. I was bumming around the statue of a poet when, from behind me, I heard an Australian accent say, "Well, you're right on time."
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, February 10
FOX 6, 1:00 p.m.
This is where being a man comes in handy. Not only can I jump up and slap things across the room whenever I feel like it, I can also grocery shop without being bushwhacked by a gang of angry stylists. I'll never have to worry about fighting off screaming banshees who "just want to update my look." Dirty T-shirts and flip-flops are de rigueur for this season's Ocean Beach male.
E 49, 8:00 p.m.
Until E! Entertainment puts something remotely interesting on, I say they should change their name to B! Boring or M! Mediocre-at-Best. After forcing them to change their name I would slowly increase entertainment value -- starting with a biopic on a stick of gum and interviews with ice-cube trays.
NBC 7, 9:00 p.m.
Essay by Brian, age 10
"I like to watch TV. My favorite show is The Apprentice. When I grow up, I want to be a corporate yes-man. I would like to wear a blue suit and sell Pepsi, Nestle candy bars, and Burger King sandwiches. My dad doesn't have a job. He likes beer. He says, that The Apprentice is a corporate orgy aimed at the undereducated and unemployed. I like Donald Trump's hair. Carolyn is nice, too."
Thank you, Brian.
Friday, February 11
Notivisa de las 6:00 p.m.
XEWT 12, 6:00 p.m.
I should learn a second language. I tried Spanish once but failed miserably. The guy on my Learn Spanish in 7 Minutes tape spoke 400 words per second, and all I could understand was the word for pencil. With my headphones on, I couldn't tell how loud I was talking, so I'm sure my neighbors wondered why the guy next door kept yelling, "£Un lápiz! Blah blah blah, I don't know what he's saying. THERE, HE SAID IT AGAIN! £Un lápiz!"
Saturday, February 12
The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)
VH1 46, 3:00 p.m.
Remember when he was a talented kid? He wasn't the frightening portrayal of psychological abnormalities. He wasn't a 40-year-old man interested in Ferris wheels, cotton candy, and little-league uniforms. He was the all-American elementary schooler who just wanted to sing songs about grown women. And not the other way around.
Sunday, February 13
fox 6, 8:30 p.m.
People recommend shows to me every chance they get. "You should see this" and "You should see that." Quite a few have told me about Arrested Development, and I always blew them off. I always relied on my own sense of smug self-satisfaction to choose what I watch. I am, after all, the TV critic who hates TV. I am so smart. I only give my time to the Independent Film Channel and documentaries about Colombian prisons. I hate Fox. I'm very "indie." Now that I've seen David Cross plugging Arrested Development on IFC, I'll allow myself to see it. Of my own free will, thankyouverymuch.
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards
CBS 8, 8:00 p.m.
Welcome to the first annual Floyds, where we acknowledge famous people who have never done anything fame-worthy. Tonight it's expected to be a hot race between Ed McMahon, Arsenio Hall, and Jack Osbourne. Of course, our own celebrity-watching celebrities, Joan and Melissa Rivers, will be working the red carpet with their particular brand of sassy banality and ingratiating irritation. Stay with us, folks: this promises to be better than that red-assed baboon Jack Hannah drags around with him.