If there is an opposite of "hip," I am the embodiment of it. All people have an amount of hipness in them, even if it's the tiniest drop. A staid soccer mom may enjoy the newest releases of industrial music, a hat-tip to her younger days. Your accountant might have a Vespa scooter, skinny black jeans, and a leather jacket. You wouldn't know it to look at his thick glasses and chocolate necktie during tax season. My DNA rejects hipness like a child's immune system rejects a baboon's heart. I am 31, but when I cross the threshold to a record store, I am a chubby 13-year-old in denim shorts and pink socks. The college student behind the counter can smell my lack of cool. It clings to me.
What's worse is that I try to fit in with the DJ-ing, teased-hair vamps of the night. Bartenders tolerate my presence because I overtip. Lead singers with leather wristbands and torn shirts will look at me from the stage, their Mount Olympus of cool, and will want to forbid me from being in their crowd. I dork up their fan base, and they don't want their art associated with my baggy clothes and receding hairline. So I clap along to be accepted, but I am arhythmic and out of sync with the beat.
I also go to bed at 8 p.m. on weeknights. Yawning and eye-rubbing has never taken the attention of a flashy blonde from her Saturday-night dance partner.
Dancing. Mugh. My last attempt at dance resulted in emergency services being deployed.
So I sit. I feed my iguana, Thor, who will never reject me because his brain is the size of a donut sprinkle, and I am his provider of lettuce and crickets. I watch TV.
Most people despise commercials. Anyone halfway cool must think advertisements are two minutes between their birth and death that were not enriching to a short life. I like commercials.
I've heard pharmaceutical commercials are the most irritating. To me, they are a moment of hope.
With pills to cure everything from allergies to social anxiety, there must be a drug company out there willing to commit money to the disease of awkwardness.
"Albutamol!" I wait for an announcer to say. "No longer will you settle for smelling the perfume of beautiful women, alcohol, and sweat from afar. No longer will you be seen as something to throw trash at by the athletic and outgoing. With Albutamol, you'll have all these things for yourself!"
Thursday, May 24
CW 9:00 p.m.
My goal this year is to invert my head. I want to push it into my body inside out, as you'd roll up a pair of tube socks. When I lose motivation, I watch this show and slap another five-pound weight on the helmet. I am certain my chest cavity is far more interesting than the CW's Thursday-night primetime lineup.
Live with Regis and Kelly
KUSI 9:00 a.m.
Kelly Ripa and I worked our way through college as raccoon washers in Yosemite. We spent the summer shellacking varmints for catalogue photo shoots. It's fun to see how people grow. I came to San Diego to start a life as a cat burglar, and she went on to be a decorative twit. I'll bet she can still shampoo an underbelly with the best of them, though.
Friday, May 25
Laura Croft: Tomb Raider
Fox 8:00 p.m.
Indiana Jones gets a butt lift and a lip plump.
Saturday, May 26
In Wine Country
NBC 5:00 p.m.
Wine is to this decade as cocaine and pink shirts were to the '80s. For all of you who look back at your wide-eyed, nosebleed prom photo and lament your decision for the extra-large shoulder pads, imagine how you'll feel in 25 years when you find the slideshow of your trip to Napa and those khaki pants.
The Lawrence Welk Show
PBS 7:00 p.m.
I imagine Lawrence Welk as the most successful surreal satirist in American culture, proffering horrid pabulum to the masses and snickering as it was consumed. Somewhere a storage unit holds in its contents a note detailing Mr. Welk's whole bizarre hoax, and at the bottom it reads, "It was probably my days shooting heroin with Coltrane that made me want to do it. Signed, L. Welk, Duke of Cool."
Sunday, May 27
American Idol Rewind
CW 4:00 p.m.
I'd rather light my hair on fire and put it out with a cheese grater. A stubbed toe. Armpit smell on public transportation. My mouth being fitted for a homeless man's second-hand dentures. All of these things are more desirable than a Sunday afternoon with Kelly and Justin.
Monday, May 28
Miss Universe 2007
NBC 9:00 p.m.
I'm really excited about the talent competition this year, and I can't wait to hear how these upstanding citizens plan to better society. Now if only the promoters would do away with that demeaning bikini competition so we can focus our attention not on prurient matters of sexual attraction, but on the cultured minds of every nation's finest... Wait. I couldn't keep that up. BRING ON THE T&A! WOO!
Tuesday, May 29
Mayor's Budget Town Hall
TWCNSD 10:00 p.m.
Well, bite my thighs and tell me to write bad checks. Is it that time of year again? Honey, get my stuffed animals greased up and the bandages ready. We're going to need more ecstasy, body paint, and that tarp from last year is ruined. Yeah! The Mayor's Budget Town Hall!
Wednesday, May 30
The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator
ABC 8:00 p.m.
When a celebrity impersonator is alone -- I mean, really alone -- does his index finger hover over the speed-dial button labeled "Suicide Hotline" the whole time? At some point he has to either call and blubber into the receiver or swipe the bottle of painkillers off the counter and pull the vodka out of the freezer. For a few hours, it's touch-and-go. Touch-and-go .
Thursday, May 31
USA 9:00 p.m.
My friend Matt can open a beer bottle with his wedding ring. That's about the only reason I can think of to get married. You know, if you're camping or something, that'd be pretty handy.