There were those days. When I was young and there was violence in my blood. There were those nights. Pulling a friend from the double yellow line of a busy road while he screamed, "NO! Let me go!" Taking a punch to the mouth and giving one back. Smashing bottles on a Wednesday night in Foggy's Notion bar in Point Loma. Wednesdays at Foggy's was dollar-drink night. You could get faced on ten bucks. There's a recipe for blood and spit, teeth gnashed, and a balled-up fist wrapped around and tearing a shirt. Damn dollar-drink night in a crowded bar, where shoulders nudged and drinks were spilled.
Then it was on. BOOM! Tables flipped over, a highball glass is tossed hard as an arm can throw it into my goddamn kidney. Cold booze and ice splash across my back and seep into my shirt and undershorts; somebody's knee in my guts. But his shoulder is right in front of me, and I've got a good hook around his elbow and shove him under a bench and kick his ribs. Another pop in my yap, and before I can return the favor, a bouncer hems up my arms over my head and pushes my chin into my chest, and the rear door is opened with the top of my head. Bonk, my noggin pushes the long bar latch on the door and then I'm outside in the alley.
"Hey! My friends are still in there!" I scream at the slammed metal and rivets. Oh, there were those nights.
We knew it would happen. Every Wednesday night. A bar situated between three military bases. Nothing good can come from booze for a dollar.
After we got kicked out and the moon stretched toward the ocean, in the morning, there were girls in a lot of makeup and bracelets at a house. Whose house was it? Didn't matter because it was all we needed.
That was us. When we were young and dramatic.
Now I stand in my bedroom, flipping channels on my tiny black TV, trying to decide between America's Pissiest Celebrity Catfights or Real Life People Doing Stupid Crap that Nobody Does in Real Life , and if I shut the set off and look into the black glass, I can see the scattered bits of bottle and the streaks of fuming liquor against the glowing neon-green exit sign of my 20s.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, September 28
The Megan Mullally Show
TBS 8:00 a.m. How do you do it? How do you sleep at night with the stink of soccer-mom makeovers still in your clothes and the crushing heartache of knowing you did a "vacuum cleaner special." How do you, Wal-Mart and the Olive Garden, sleep at night knowing you raped (RAPED!) a once-great nation?
Cirque du Soleil: Corteo
BRAVO 8:00 p.m. Svetlana! Ling Pao! Natashka! Put your knees behind your ears and get back in your damn cages! We didn't pay your parents 25 yen and a yak for you to gawk at every damn thing in America. If you can make the human handstand pyramid at our next show in Denver -- and I mean RIGHT this time -- then I'll let you out and give you a bowl of buttermilk, but that's a thousand miles from where we are now. Here, you can pee in this coffee can. We're late, and if I hear one peep I'm going to break in my new whip. Now, move!
Friday, September 29
ISAT 9:00 p.m. Magnum P.I.'s mustache against Farrah Fawcett's flippy hair in a no-holds-barred grudge match. The Ferrari vs. the Grand Prix racer. The tiny .22 tucked into the stiletto boots or the diver's watch, the Tigers baseball cap, and the Island Hopper Chopper? Who wins doesn't matter, because there's romance and Aqua Net in the air.
Saturday, September 30
TRAV 11:00 a.m. I would like modern medicine to give me a Bigfoot rear-end transplant. Mine's already pretty hairy, so that's not a problem. Think about it. He lives in the woods, and so far all we have are some footprint castings and tufts of hair. No Bigfoot T.P., if you catch my drift. I like to camp. Now, somebody BRING ME THE ASS OF SASQUATCH!
American Idol Rewind
KSWB 8:00 p.m. American Idol Rewind, Pull It Out, Smash It, String the Tape Up Around the Neighborhood and Burn the Bits that Hang Down, Destroy the VCR, and Throw It Out the Window would be the better show.
Sunday, October 1
The Beauty of Snakes
ANIMAL 12:00 p.m. Everyone knew one of these morons growing up. That "snakes are beautiful" kid who was irritatingly into reptiles and would tell you all about them if he could wrangle a single second from you. There aren't too many of those people around at age 40. Sure, some of them outgrow it and move on to Renaissance fairs or role-playing games about wizards, but you've got to imagine that most of them look around at the aquariums and mouse cages one morning and think to themselves, "This is why I'm 27 and a virgin."
Doug's 1st Movie (1999)
KSWB 12:00 p.m. I don't know who Doug is, but if this is the best title he could come up with, then I hope this was also his last movie. Like, I don't call this thing "Ollie's TV Column." Wait. Crap. I do. Somebody take this away from me. I don't deserve it. Oh, the shame. I need cookies and a good cry now.
Monday, October 2
FOX 11:30 a.m. Is this that show where the judge is wearing all that pink makeup? And she slams her gavel and says, "I hereby find the defendant guilty...of being sexy!" and then she says, "Bailiff, cuff him and bring him to my chambers," and the bailiff is that other girl in a black garter and leather holster, but, brother, that ain't a gun she's carrying. Because that's one of my very favorite shows. If this show isn't that show, then it should be. This show is probably very stupid compared to, you know, "that" show. Wink!