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"At Shady Acres we're committed to respect," the announcer says. Across the TV screen, a golf cart eases down a concrete path between two manicured lawns. I look over at my dad. "Don't even think about it," he says, stubbing a cigarette. Saying nothing, I point at the TV screen. "No!" he yells.

"Shady Acres isn't a retirement home for old folks. It's an active community for seniors who still have some pep," the announcer states matter-of-factly. A couple in white bucket hats plays shuffleboard; they stop to wave at the camera. I'm still pointing at the television set.

"You're not putting me in one of those goddamned homes!" Dad yells. I say nothing, my finger still directed at the screen. "Nope," he says, calming a little. "I'm not going."

"In you go," I say. "I give you, eh, maybe ten years."

"I'm not going!" he yells. "I'm moving out in the desert. Out in Nevada. Where it's hot and they don't have the stupid laws that they've got here. I'm going to sit out on the front porch in the sun and shoot my guns and then go ride my motorcycles."

"Oh, no," I tell him. "You're going to putter around with those old farts. It's going to be white v-neck sweaters and sandwiches in the clubhouse. It's going to be crafts and bingo and movies on Wednesday night. We're going to trade in your greasy jeans for a nice pair of khaki pants. Those Harley T-shirts will have to go. No more smoking and drinking."

My dad pops a knife from its holster on his belt, "I'll cut your throat."

"You won't be able to," I answer. "You'll be a doddering old coot. You won't have your faculties. I'm going to sell your motorcycle and guns and donate the money to Dianne Feinstein."

"Why you, filthy little -- " he stops, replaces his knife. He cradles his head in his hands for a second and then says, "Where did I go wrong with you? I'll tell you what. If you put me in that home, I'll burn it down, I'll drive that golf cart to the nearest motorcycle dealership, and I'll ride away. And, when I die, it'll be on that bike, out in the desert, and for a funeral you can stick a bone up my ass and let the dogs drag me off. Deal?"

He leans back in his recliner and lights another cigarette. The old man. Smoke circles his head and hangs.

"Deal."

WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK

Thursday, September 1

Chicago Hope

DHCP 9:00 a.m.

My physician and roommate, Kip, has suggested that eating three almonds a day is enough to ward off cancer. Since I've heard this news I've been eating seven almonds a day. I expect to be bulletproof by the end of the week and invisible in time for Halloween. I should get a cape.

Larry King Live

CNN 9:00 p.m.

It takes a village to raise an idiot.

Friday, September 2

60 Minutes II

KFMB 8:00 p.m.

Bring me the eyebrows of Andy Rooney!

Saturday, September 3

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address and Democratic Response

CSPAN2 3:45 p.m.

If Condoleezza Rice had a white-templed beehive hairdo she'd look like the bride of Frankenstein. With those saloon-door teeth and that Neanderthal brow I can't help but imagine lightning shuffling up a Jacob's ladder behind her head and the eerie "ooooWOOOOooo" of a theremin.

Connect With English

ITV 3:30 p.m.

I'm teaching my neighbor American slang and he's teaching me Korean. The building across the street was just painted the same color as a band-aid. "Hot ass, Stephan. It looks like hot ass." He points his finger and nods his head. "Look like hot ass."

Monday, September 5

Gacy (2003)

EMYST 5:00 p.m.

Last week I told of a young woman who had a Tupac statue on her coffee table. You think that's bad? Steve the Texan has gone over to a nice young woman's house after a few drinks and found her CLOWN SUIT in the closet. That's as creepy as it gets.

Judge Judy

KUSI 7:30 p.m.

I'd pay to see Judge Judy take on Judge Joe Brown. No-holds-barred. Cage match. Smart money's on Judy.

Tuesday, September 6

My Super Sweet 16

MTV 6:00 p.m.

I feel like I need a tetanus booster just knowing this exists.

Wednesday, September 7

R U the Girl with T-Boz and Chilli

XUPN 8:00 p.m.

Why would they spell "the" and "girl" correctly?

Thursday, September 8

Daily Show

COMEDY 8:00 p.m.

Where do they find the people to interview? Have these dummies never seen the show? Do they understand the premise?

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