When I was eight, I ripped the skin off my right arm. I had been riding bikes with Timmy Sanguinetti at the churchyard. It was a day of us tear-assing all over. We had seen how fast we could go before rounding the corner behind the chapel and crunching through the gravel. Our front tires would sink in the powdery dust of the lot to where we'd almost have to jump off our seats, but we'd pedal through to the other side.
Across the street from the churchyard was my house, and if I'd known I was going to peel off the skin of my right arm, I'd've peeled it off right there in my driveway instead of riding over Sunset Hill and down Greeley Road to do it. Hell, if I'd've known I was going to crash my bike so far away, I'd've probably just went inside and watched TV instead.
We checked all the doors to the church that day. Tim said one time somebody'd left the back door beneath the chapel open. He said there was a refrigerator standing inside the hall and that he'd snooped through it to see if there was anything inside worth eating, but there'd been only a jar of green olives. Timmy hated green olives.
The door at the top of the stairs that ran along the side of the church was closed, too. So we sat on the cold concrete steps and wrote stuff with a piece of chalk that'd been left there by some other kid. We wrote the names of the girls we liked and then scratched them out with our shoes. Since we were on the topic of girls, we argued about how Transformers made other Transformers.
I contended, and still do to this day, that Transformers do it , and Timmy said they just built other Transformers from spare parts and scrap metal.
"They're a race of beings from another planet," I said, my proposition as plain as day. "That means they do it." Timmy thought we should ride over to ask Monkey, since Monkey was two years older than us.
It was over on Greeley, by the school, and about a block from Monkey's that I hit a huge pothole in the asphalt and got pitched over the front of my handlebars and tore my right arm down to the red meat.
Monkey's mom screeched her tires over to my body, loaded me into her brown Toyota Corona with the tinny doors and drove me home with my bike in the trunk. The next few days I sat on the carpet in front of the TV with a wet rag over my torn skin that I'd move around to keep from sticking to me, and I drank chocolate milk through a straw.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, June 15
Road Trip With Huell Howser
PBS 8:00 p.m. Huell Howser wears his accent like a midget in a corduroy leisure suit.
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
BRAVO 2:30 p.m. Okay! We get it! You're a celebrity, but not a big one. Please, either do something worthy of success or go back to burning lattes at the Starbucks on Wilshire. Stop with the whole "Paris won't return my calls, but I have her number" bit. Damn.
Friday, June 16
The Dog Whisperer
NGC 8:00 p.m. Although my parole officer and the front-desk girl at my gym don't like it, I am known as "The Underpants Whisperer" around the North Park and Ocean Beach areas.
Saturday, June 17
SCIENCE 3:00 p.m. Why do we call our planet Earth? They didn't even name it after a Roman god, like the other planets. The word just lays there: Earth. Let's call it Disco Disco 17. Earth sounds like we all just love cinnamon-colored sweaters and vanilla pudding. Disco Disco 17, however, that's a party.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
WB 8:00 p.m. One of my new favorite things is to brush my teeth and quickly eat a handful of strawberries. Because -- blech -- it just tastes so gross...ew, yuck. I love it. Just smelling them doesn't do anything; you have to mash them up right on top of the minty sweet aftertaste. Oh, man, that's gross.
Sunday, June 18
What Women Want (2000)
CBS 9:00 p.m. From what I can gather, number one on the list is a fundamental unseating of everything logical and efficient in favor of a world in which its every operation, including the very direction of its spin, is subject to emotion.
Monday, June 19
World Cup Soccer
ESPN 2:00 p.m. Why are we pretending that soccer's not dumb? It's like the World Cup is a chick who played back in college, and America's trying to get in her shorts, and we're all saying, "Oh, yeah, you were on the Lady Aztecs team? That's awesome. I respect you so much now," and we're getting a little handsy because we're drunk and we can see the lacy top of her bra.
Tuesday, June 20
SPIKE 2:00 a.m. Sure, playing "What's in the needle that washed up onshore?" can hold suspense and make for tense drama, but remember, kids, never poke your friends without their permission, and if the label on the hypo reads, "Propertee uv Pam Anderson," be sure to throw it back!
Wednesday, June 21
HBO 5:45 p.m. Someday I hope to be chairman of Oscar Mayer and to have an assistant named Robin so I can say, "Quick! Robin! To the Weinermobile!" And I'll be in a pinstriped suit. And I'll probably be a little drunk, too.
Thursday, June 22
So You Think You Can Dance
FOX 9:00 p.m. I don't like the aggressive accusation of this title. It's like I've been accosted by street toughs from Michael Jackson's video for "Beat It," and we have to hold each other's hands and pretend to knife fight, but I really just want to comb my Jheri curl and pull up my chunky wool leggings.