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"I WANT TO GO ON OPRAH AND HAVE HER ANNOUNCE ME AS 'The Man Who Made Wearing Skirts Okay,'" David gushed.

The others at the party hardly noticed the frilly petticoat purposefully pouring from his hemline because they were absorbed in attracting their own gazes. A girl just barely out of her teens pranced to make her viridian hair swish and bob. "People see me and they're freaked out. I'm changing their perceptions. Shopkeepers follow me around because they're afraid I'll steal something. It's prejudice."

"Well, men have never been allowed to wear makeup," proclaimed a fellow, reapplying his foundation. "I'm going to change the world. Some days I wake up and just want to feel pretty. I like girls. I just like the way they look and want that for myself. Why can't I? Do you want some lipstick, dear?"

"No, no, thank you," an ancient woman clonk-clonking through the kitchen declined. "Sell it and buy a piece of gum for that breath," she mumbled with her back turned to the primping man. Spinning quickly back around, she shouted, "Look at how beautiful and strange we all are. Especially me," she touched her exposed breasts which resembled oranges, kidnapped and stuffed into flesh-colored gym socks against their will. "Just look: how many women in their 50s can honestly wear combat boots?" the hostess asked before doling out heaps of mashed potatoes and thick purple sheets of barbecued ribs onto each plate.

"I'm a vegetarian," protested the girl with the fried tomato locks.

"That's nice, dear," continued the naked maven. "Think of it. Me, a grandmother, actually wearing boots! I could be on a talk show. Oh, they'd love me."

The skirted gentleman leaned across the table and hissed to the wildly tressed imp, "You can trade your rib in for a --" and he pointed to the last word on his shirt that read, "I (heart) my penis."

"Why, you offensive thing!" cried the girl.

"What?" asked the man. "It's biblical. Adam and Eve. I'm very spiritual."

"I'm lactose intolerant," the businessman in eye shadow said to the back of his hand as he regarded his midnight-blue-lacquered nails. "I can't eat the mashed potatoes if there's milk mixed in."

"There are so many old jokes about grandmothers and combat boots. I wonder if Donahue still has a show."

"I wonder what skirt I'll wear on Oprah."

"If men repress women in the workplace, then women shun a man's makeup sensibility."

"My green hair will release people from their daily drudgery. Dr. Phil could do a whole series on how I'm actually freeing those poor drones. It's a psychological thing."

The four munched off the plates put before them. The vegetarian decided to challenge her conception of animals and try the ribs. The dolled-up man with the dairy affliction figured he could just take a pill later to remedy his bloated gut and gobbled up spoonfuls of the whirled potato mixture. The remaining two were contemplating their inevitable rise to stardom and hardly touched their dinners.

Thursday, February 24 Look Who's Talking (1989)

COMEDY 48, 3:00 p.m.

Why can't I make it through one week without something like this darkening my doorway? I'd rather put on a bunny suit, have hair spray shot into my eyes, and "scrubbing microcleansers" propelled up my keister than suffer through John Travolta's madcapped antics while babysitting Mikey. The Look Who's Talking trilogy, now with 25 percent more cruelty!

160-POUND Tumor

DHC 73, 6:00 p.m.

You'd think they could catch something like this before it hit 100 pounds. How do you rationalize something like that? "When this lump hits 160 pounds, I'm definitely going to have it checked out. But it seems to be pretty stable at 145, so I'll give it some time." Next thing you know, Discovery Health is barging into your apartment and rolling footage of your lump in a wheelbarrow.

Friday, February 25 Hardball with Chris Matthews

MSNBC 39, 4:00 p.m.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

MSNBC 39, 5:00 p.m.

Hardball! Countdown! They're very threatening, aren't they? I have tougher stains in my carpet than these two. If I were in a position that required some "hardball" or involved a "countdown," I certainly wouldn't rely on a pantywaist political commentator with pancake makeup and hairspray on his collar. What would he do, stamp his feet and give a stern glaring? They should name these shows "Ivy-League Milquetoasts Talk to Each Other."

Saturday, February 26 You Swallowed What?

DHC 73, 5:00 p.m.

Coupled with 160 Pound Tumor, Discovery Health seems to be traveling down some strange paths. I thought the channel would discuss broader health questions in the range of diet, exercise, and relaxation. It's just a matter of time before FCC regulations relax enough to deliverYou Put What Up Where?

At Large with Geraldo Rivera

FNC 37, 7:00 p.m.

Remember when Geraldo got busted in the mush with a chair? That was awesome. I love the theatrical face-cast he wore after that. "Bwoo ah-ha-ha! I am the phantom of daytime talk shows! Bwoohaha! Give me your tired, your weak, your transvestites and neo-Nazi groups." No, wait. That's the Statue of Liberty. What does the Phantom of the Opera say?

Monday, February 28 The Surreal Life

VH1 46 11:00 p.m.

"Aaaaaaaaah!" my roommates and I screamed in unison as Chyna's hobgoblin face flashed on the screen. The battered catcher's mitt she's using for a countenance could stop rain. She looks like a shaved bigfoot reflected in a spoon. We each scrambled for the remote but only managed to knock it farther out of reach. "They should have a warning!" Renee screamed just before we got the station changed.

Strange Love

VH1 46, 11:30 p.m.

After the Surreal Life, be sure to stick around for Strange Love. If you don't have enough moments in your life where you just stare at something, mouth agape, and in a deep trance, give Strange Love a shot. Brigitte Nielsen desperately clutches at a youth gone by, and Flavor Flav slips from colorfully eccentric to frighteningly bizarre. Only in America, folks.

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