If this was on television, the scene would show me sitting across from a girl. When she talks you can see her mouth move, but only hear The Dukes of Hazzard theme playing from the jukebox in my mind. She's going on and on about taking tap dance lessons when she was a kid, and a close-up of my face would reveal that I'm motionless, registering no expression, but the soundtrack would be filled with thrumming guitars and Waylon Jennings's voice.
Just the good ol' boys
Never meanin' no harm
I'm staring at her mouth and rocking my head to the beat. Which to her, looks like I'm enthralled by every word. She thinks each time her lips part my prehensile mind is pulling in her thoughts and ideas hand-over-hand, syllable-by-syllable.
Beats all you've ever saw,
been in trouble with the law since the day they was born.
A fresh martini lands in front of me. The girl takes the skewer from out of the glass and eats one of the green olives. She slides the other olive off and leans forward to feed it to me. She's being nurturing. Her instinct tells her to care for me and feed me. She swallows her olive and smiles and says, "Then, Rochelle and Michelle from my dance company went to Star Search ." And, the music in my head roars back on.
Straight'nin' the curve,
Flat'nin' the hills.
She smiles, stares into my eyes and continues with the conversation I'm not listening to. She reaches across the sticky-wet barroom table, grabs my hand and throws her head of blonde hair back in laughter. That's my cue to laugh. Squeeze her hand. Lean in toward her.
Someday the mountain might get 'em,
but the law never will.
Screeaatch! The needle jumps from the record because she's looking at me expectedly. Am I supposed to say something? Did she ask me a question? After a few awkward moments she smiles and shakes her head and says, "No, no, no. I'm only joking. Don't worry. So, then when I was in 'Taptastic' we had these purple sequin leotards..."
Makin' their waaaAAAAaayy!
The only way they know how
That's just a little bit more than the law will allow
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
THURSDAY, JULY 14
THE AL FRANKEN SHOW
SUNDANCE, 7:00 A.M.
I am of the most annoying one percent of the population who are considered "morning people." Even though my job requires that I wake up to watch prime time TV, I still blow out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and do cartwheels to the coffee shop. Also, of bleeding heart liberals I am the bleedingest heartiest of all left-wingers. The Al Franken Show at 7:00 a.m. is mother's milk to me.
CBS, 8:00 P.M.
Exciting stuff here. People live together. Compete for food and prizes and stuff. Fresh and innovative. You like this. It was popular in Europe for a while, and we're telling you it's cool.
FRIDAY, JULY 15
VISITOR Q (2001)
If coprophilia, necrophilia, heroin addiction, prostitution, and sexual lactation aren't your thing, skip this movie. If you're looking for a checklist of the most depraved acts one family can perform on each other, then this is sure to be an instant favorite of your DVD library. Until I can screen an actual Philippine snuff film, this is going to live at number one on the sickest films list.
SECRETS OF THE DEAD
PBS, 10:30 P.M.
It's been a banner year for zombies. Although, I don't suppose this is a zombie movie. PBS isn't much in the business of living-dead cinema. It'd be cool if they were though.
SATURDAY, JULY 16
FOX, 11:00 P.M.
People call this guy, like a private investigator, when they think their boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating. Which, I don't really have a problem with. If someone's cheating they have to accept responsibility for getting caught. BUT! This guy has a camera crew with him, and he makes these pompous moral pronouncements when he catches someone. One of my new favorite TV moments is when this guy got stabbed in the gut.
SUNDAY, JULY 17
ON THE STORY
CNN, 7:00 A.M.
My friend, Kat, is a notorious story killer. But, she works with a net. If she sees her audience start to drift off, or if she can feel the narrative start to trainwreck, then she wraps her tale up as quick as she can and finishes with, "Then I found five dollars!" This always pleases the crowd.
IRON CHEF AMERICA
FOOD CHANNEL, 9:00 P.M.
If anyone works at the new Subway in O.B. can you drop a key off for me at the Reader office? My roommates and I want to make sandwiches in the middle of the night when we're drunkenly stumbling home from the bar.
PARTY MONSTER (2003)
SHOWTIME, 3:00 A.M.
It's a good thing you didn't see me on 4th of July weekend. I got down to the lizard part of my brain. On the 2nd of July I killed 2 E pills, a G of cola and a bottle of bourbon -- not the good stuff, but not trash. By the morning of the 3rd I was bare-chested wrestling my houseguests until a lava lamp knocked me unconscious. I slept from 10a.m. to 2 p.m., got up, and started myself back on the chemical regimen described above until I "woke up" from a blackout and noticed I was on the sidewalk in front of my apartment making out with some strange woman. The only thing I could think was, "What is this girl's name?" It's good you missed all that.
MONDAY, JULY 18
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
TCM, 5:00 P.M.
A month of minor injuries and major partying has left me inactive. Last Saturday I woke up sans shoulder pain and hangover-free so I caught my first Jiu Jitsu class in weeks and the next day I rode bikes with Kip to Mission Beach. Monday, muscle soreness set in and I walked with every joint rigid from my knees to my neck. My arms shot out from my body. I groaned from the dull ache and my erratic muscle spasms made me knock over a candy rack in the local mini-mart. Not my finest moment.
TUESDAY, JULY 19
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG
KPBS, 6:30 A.M.
Rachel and I noticed that in her neighborhood there are several lesbian couples walking their dogs first thing in the morning. "What do they do, hand you a puppy at the DMV when you come out of the closet?" I asked. "Every gay woman up here has a mutt." Later, at lunch, we bumped into a girl with short, spiky blonde hair wearing a wife-beater tank top and a pair of cargo pants. Before I could pull her away Rachel asked her, "Excuse me, where's your dog?"