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Night blankets me as I patrol the neighborhoods of North Park. No, it isn't "stalking," as the police have alleged. It happens that my ex-girlfriend's house is in a hot spot of criminal activity to which I am often called. Okay, she wasn't my "girlfriend," according to the letter of the law, but I did tell her I loved her once. We had been out on what I consider dates on at least two occasions. Yes, her "roommate" came along with us on the first date, and she spent the entire evening dancing and making out with her, but they were only roommates. She told me so.

And the second date was a function of work, I admit. Some called it a weekly meeting to discuss hiring policies, but there was lunch. It was brought right into the meeting room, and it was obvious that she and I were together because she gave me her roll and I shared my chicken wings. So what if we were teleconferencing with our offices in Austin? There was still chemistry.

After that date, I sent her the "love e-mail" that defined our relationship from there on out. Of course, she quit the job. Interoffice dating was frowned upon. She wanted to be with me, but her roommate occupied most of her time away from the office, and the rigors of being lead payroll supervisor forced her to keep her distance at work. So she had to quit.

I didn't see her after she quit; she accidentally gave me the wrong phone number when she left the office, but we were still clearly dating. When I followed her home from her favorite dance club and watched as she and her roommate had a lingerie pillow fight, I knew that tension in the household would leave her vulnerable to the criminal element in her neighborhood. I moved to North Park to keep her safe.

She's in there, watching The L Word with her new roommate. I guess her last roommate was too dramatic; they argued a lot. I don't trust her new roommate, though. Her eyes are kind of close together and, as a trained crime fighter, I recognize that as an indicator of antisocial potential.

So, I wait. Outside of the court-ordered 50 yards from her front lawn, I wait. Until she and her new roomie don their pajamas and brush their teeth, I wait. In my tablecloth cape and Incredible Hulk Underoos, I keep the neighborhood safe.

WATCH THIS WEEK

Thursday, December 14

The View

ABC 10:00 a.m. Danny DeVito pissed people off by doing an interview half drunk from the night before. I say all interviews with movie stars should be done half drunk. Hand out highballs in the green room. Each variety-show host should know how to make a good 15 or 20 drinks, including a Long Island and a stout martini. For competitive athletes, have beer on tap. Child stars get a sip of champagne. Keep everything even keel and moving along. You know?

House of Tiny Terrors

TLC 8:00 p.m. Homunculi. Little people. I had them in my apartment when I lived in Clairemont. They're pests; I found them ripping apart my underpants one morning. The thing is, you can't exterminate them. They're people, only they're the size of your palm. And they're mean. If you find 'em, you have to call the Department of Homunculi Services. Don't hurt one of them, whatever you do. Then you've got the Association for the Advancement of Mythical Creatures on your hands, and next thing you know you're standing in a courtroom full of angry unicorns and Santa Claus, in the corner, putting you on his "naughty list." Oh, it's a mess.

Friday, December 15 Braveheart

Bravo 7:00 p.m. Enraged by the killing of his wife, Scotsman William Wallace embarked on a drunken, anti-Anglo tirade, claiming that, "Every war in history was started by the English." His horse was impounded, and in a subsequent press conference, Mr. Wallace apologized and admitted he had "a drrrinkin' prrroblem."

Saturday, December 16 Saturday Night Live

NBC 11:30 p.m. Saturday Night Live should write a parody of itself. It would go like this. Girl 1: Saturday Night Live is lame now. Girl 2: Yeah, lame. Girl 1: They're repetitive and lame. Girl 2: Yeah, they just repeat the same thing over and over to fill five minutes of sketch time. Girl 1: I know. It's lame now. Girl 2: Yeah, lame. Girl 1: And repetitive. Girl 2: Yeah, lame and repetitive.

Glamour Women of the Year 2006

NBC 11:00 a.m. Finally, a program to showcase the accomplishments of women. Now, one of you winners, be a darling and make me a bourbon. If you look cute doing it, I'll give you a good swat on the ass when you get back. Thanks, sweetie.

Sunday, December 17 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

TNT 4:15 p.m. The ring is a metaphor for heroin, which was popular in Tolkien's day. Golem is an old junkie, and Sam is Tolkien's boyfriend, trying to break him of his habit. When Frodo has the ring, he doesn't eat, can't sleep, and becomes gaunt. It's left out of the movie, but Gandalf gives Merry the Hobbit one whopper of a cold sore. You know, Gandalf has that cane and a white horse. You can imagine.

Monday, December 18 Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Toon 7:00 p.m. Hold steady, people. It'll all be over in a couple weeks. Hunker down. Dig in. It's gonna be hairy until New Years Eve, then the plastic schmaltz gets deflated and you can return to the streets without fear. January 1, we step down the Irritating Crap Threat Level from "red and green" to "kind of a turquoise-ish."

Tuesday, December 19 Starsky and Hutch (2004)

FX 8:00 p.m. If I ever meet Ben Stiller, I'm going to smack him like he was an eight-year-old in Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, December 20 Medium

NBC 10:00 p.m. Woof. Wednesdays are lean on decent TV programs. What the hell. Shut the damn thing off and prowl around. Suck the vapors of dry booze off a float of ice and look, from eye-to-eye, at everyone in the bar. There'll be one. One who's looking, like you. When you spot each other, be bold: count to three and walk over. You might spend next Wednesday night not giving a good goddamn about what's on TV.

Thursday, December 21 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Family 8:00 p.m. Ah, the yearly viewing of How Ron Howard and Jim Carrey Left My Childhood Butt up in a Ditch and Whimpering . On a quiet night, you can hear the soft whirring of Dr. Suess turning over in his grave. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmaaaaaas...

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