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Friday night I put on a Mexican wrestling mask and went bowling. I'm not making that up. It's a huge bowling alley, over 20 lanes, so the two dozen of us in masks made up only a bit of the crowd who showed up to bowl. But we dominated the lanes.

I taped lucha libre matches from the Mexican channel. When I got to the alley, I asked the round, gray woman behind the counter to play them on the alley TV circuit.

"I don't know, honey," she balked.

I pleaded with her. "It's a special night. It'd mean a lot to me. It's my birthday."

The last one was a lie. My birthday was two days later, but I figured it was close enough to count.

She relented, and, I'm guessing, for the first time in her career of working at a bowling alley, she played grand theatrical Mexican wrestling instead of reruns of Professional Bowlers Association championships.

We took it all very seriously. "I don't know if I'm going to make this split," I caught myself saying.

My friend Kip offered advice: "I think you want to cross the lane, clip that pin, and see if it'll bang around in there to get the number seven." Kip's mask was black and gold and mine was solid silver. While contemplating our next roll, we sipped at beers from slippery longneck bottles that we'd stuck into our masks' mouth holes.

Some of the others who'd come to bowl were very cool with us. "Can I get a picture with all you guys?" a man in a baseball cap and polo shirt asked. We gathered around him while his wife worked the camera. One girl asked if we had an extra mask so she could bowl with us, and we did.

There were, however, "league bowlers." A group of middle-aged salesmen who got red in the cheeks and flushed hot with anger when our team of luchadors arrived. One man glared at me every time he missed his shot, and I'm sure he blamed his poor performance that night on us.

He complained to the front-desk lady, but she laughed and told him, "There's no rule against wearing masks while bowling."

He got madder and madder and then he threw his towel in his bag and told his buddies he had to leave.

And we luchador bowlers glided up our lanes, wiggling and jumping in hope, pumping our fists at strikes and spares, and high-fiving in our bright and spangled masks.

Thursday, May 10 Animal Miracles Animal Planet 10:00 a.m. I wonder if cats break wind. I mean, I've walked into a raunchy dog cloud, but I've never heard of a cat letting one go. I imagine a cat's comes out with a manner of disinterest and a French accent.

Hot Pursuit Court TV 9:00 p.m. One more reason to hate cable and all its superfluous channels, including the Court channel. Unless each of these high-speed chases ends with the suspect crashing his vehicle into a municipal justice building, this show has nothing to do with a court. Now that I think of it, that'd be a cool show. Maybe there's hope yet.

Friday, May 11 Ghost Whisperer CBS 8:00 p.m. Jennifer Love Hewitt needs an assistant on this show, and I'm just the man to do it. She'll talk to the spirits of the wandering dead, and I'll talk directly to her chest. I'm the cleavage whisperer, and her milky white cleft has secrets to impart to me. Ssshh... they're talking to me right now.

Saturday, May 12 Vegas Vacation TBS 8:00 a.m. If David Hasselhoff had pulled his pants down and shot a moon at the camera when he was hammered on that Vegas hotel room floor, he'd be elevated from Hero status to Immortal Walking the Earth. There's still time, Michael Knight. There's still time, plenty of whiskey, and a drunk can be quickly parted from his belt and trousers. Wind up for it and let 'er go, sir.

Entertainment Tonight CBS 7:00 p.m. Who wants to help me bake a cake for the judge who put Paris Hilton in jail? I want it to be a big cake, a sheet of sugary goodness the size of an SUV, with icing and decorations that'd make the Taj Mahal look like a brown paper sack. I want it so big it'll hold an overflowing chocolate fountain in the center of it, and it should be covered in porn and bottles of booze, too.

Sunday, May 13 Darts Fox Sports 5:00 p.m. Darts are boring. Let's put them through the extreme-ification process that has transformed every other sport. Let's see. We'll have teams. The competition will be in the woods. Competitors should be camouflaged. Body shots are worth 10 points. Neck shots are worth 20. Put your goggles on; if you take one to the eye it's not my fault.

Monday, May 14 Dancing with the Stars ABC 8:00 p.m. Fresh hot mess! Get it while it's steaming. Packed with Vitamin S and now boasting 30 percent more stink and oil. Just break the skin that's formed over the top, and dole yourself out a heap.

Tuesday, May 15 The 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards CBS 8:00 p.m. When will this come down? When will this Empire of America collapse beneath the weight of its own shameless self-congratulation? It happened to Britain. It happened to Rome. We are Babylonians in sequined mini-dresses and ice skates.

Wednesday, May 16 Britney Spears: A Pop Idol Exposed XDTV 9:00 p.m. Now that they're both divorced, crazy, and addicted, Britney Spears and Whitney Houston should combine bank accounts, build a compound, fill it with drugs, and sing warbling insane duets with and to each other until authorities breach the outer wall and tear gas the wigs off of them. The Britney and Whitney Variety Hour! I'd watch.

Thursday, May 17 The Best Damn Wacky Talent Show Fox Sports 8:00 p.m. Fox Sports is running that "Best Damn" title into the dirt like a drunken teenager who just heard the "that's what she said" joke for the first time and wants to say it after everything everyone says all the time. It's understandable, though. Jocks aren't known for their fresh wit.

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