"We are the oldest whitest people on the planet, aren't we?" Ron asks. I agree and nod. "We're like the last holdouts in a zombie movie. Outside that door is a civilization we don't recognize. People in white jerseys and white ball caps turned sideways race imported cars. Somehow everyone can afford diamonds, diamond rings, diamond watches and pendants. We're stuck in here. If we leave the house we'll be ridiculed for not being cool anymore."
"I don't even own a low-rider," Ron says, the glow of the television lighting up his slack face and gaped mouth.
"How are we expected to get busty women to shake and roll their hips at the edge of our pool if we don't even have a mansion?" I turn to look Ron in the eye.
"We're so old," he moans.
Turning my gaze back to the TV, I say, "I don't even know what that means." I point to the screen. "That woman just said a word. It sounded like English. It probably is English because she looks American. I didn't understand it, though. I can't repeat the word. It certainly wasn't French or Spanish or Japanese, but I don't know what it is."
"Yeah, what is that, like, Jamaican or something?"
"I don't think so," I say, furrowing my brow with concentration. "This isn't reggae."
"Oh, no way. We'd be all right if this was reggae," Ron agrees. "That'd be something we could understand. We know what reggae is."
"Exactly," I concur. "This isn't reggae and it isn't rap. I listened to rap when I was a kid; it was about being poor and getting hassled by cops. This," I gesture to the screen. "This is about stacks of hundred-dollar bills in briefcases and private jets."
"Wait!" Ron exclaims. "They just said it again. She did, that one with the short shorts and the bikini top, she just said that word again. I've got to look that up on the Internet or something. What does it mean?"
"I'm not old," I mutter. My gaze falls to the floor, and I turn my eyes inside. I say, "I'm 29. I still like hip-hop. I like Sage Francis and DJ Z-trip. Oh no," I gasp. "Are they not cool anymore? Please tell me the Beastie Boys are still alive."
"What the hell are you guys watching?" Brianna yells from the kitchen. She walks to the edge of the front room and leans over the couch to snatch up the remote control. "MTV?" she exclaims at the onscreen guide. "Your asses are way too old for MTV. Here," she says, dialing up a channel. "Watch VH-1."
"Oh, thank God," I breathe out. "I know who Heart is."
" What About Love !" Ron yells with his arms up in triumph.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, January 26
NBC 8:30 p.m. You and three of your friends will never share an apartment the size of a cathedral. You'll never live out wacky capers from your renovated trolley car house or install a roller disco in your bedroom. You won't make catty comments about your roommate's blind dates. You're going to toil as a menial laborer for two-thirds of your life, and the only thing you have to look forward to are television shows about characters who do those things. Your only hope is that your spouse doesn't get "personal training" from a fitness instructor in the yoga room. Get used to it!
ABC 9:30 p.m. The approximation of this show's title to "crap" almost seems like the producers have read this column and they're lobbing me a softball. Keep it up, ladies. You're making this too easy.
Friday, January 27
The Dukes of Hazzard
CMT 7:00 p.m. The Dukes of Hazzard is a thinly veiled metaphor for gay rights. Sure, sure, they're cousins. I know. Keep telling yourself Boss Hogg isn't a symbol of institutionalized elected officials. Daisy isn't their fruit fly, and Jessie's still their "uncle." You keep living in this fantastic world where they're just "good ol' boys."
Saturday, January 28
FOX 5:00 p.m. You need a badass name if you're going to be a hero. Jack, Bruce, or Frank will do. Your name is Mortimer? You're going to be a booger-picking librarian. That's how it is. The white-haired guy with the crooked nose and the bottle of gin in his pocket who runs the boxing club down the street isn't going to take anybody named Aloysius, so your name is Al from now on.
USA 6:00 p.m. This season's adorably hip mental illness is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But ONLY OCD. Nobody is going to think it's cute if you crap in your sock drawer and light the drapes on fire. It's endearing if the arrangement of your shoes is governed by esoteric self-imposed regulations, or if at dinner parties you need to touch all the water glasses to the back of your neck, but that's all. If you're compelled to collect and save your own saliva in a pickle jar and then carry on a conversation with it, keep that to yourself, please. That's so 1994.
Sunday, January 29
DHC 5:00 p.m. YES! Finally, the prophecy rings true. Lead me to Atlantis, little one. Let me hold your dorsal fin and kick, kick like a noble porpoise. For I will be thy demigod!
Monday, January 30
CBS 9:30 p.m. Oh, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, you old cards. Thank you, George Washington, James Madison Jr., and John Blair. For without you drafting the Constitution of the United States and within it Article III, which defines and outlines of the role of the Judiciary Branch, then we would never have cutesy television shows with ironic titles about the sassy lead female role such as Judging Amy and Courting Alex. Oh, you mad old geniuses in powdered wigs.
Tuesday, January 31
State of the Union
NBC 6:00 p.m. Mmmhmmm...Condoleezza. Wrap me in Saran Wrap and pop balloons in my ear, Condoleezza. Wear your stiffest collared shirt, and eat an apple strudel off my back, Condoleezza. CONDOLEEZZA!