Startling me from sleep, my clunky phone lit up and buzzed on the nightstand. Ding ding! Brrrr! I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, fumbled with the phone's blue backlit controls, and read the text message that woke me. "I can't sleep."

It was my friend Jennifer, and for some reason she felt it necessary to include me in her insomnia.

"So what?" I typed on the miniature keypad. "I can sleep. It's 1 a.m. Now leave me alone."

I pressed the "Send" button, punched up my R2D2 pillow, and lay back down on my chilly Incredible Hulk sheets. Watch over me, Hulk. Watch over me.

Rolling into bliss once again, my limbs stretched into satisfaction and my head swam through nighttime galaxies like a dandelion puff caught on the wind and... Ding ding! Brrrr!

My damn phone went off and murderous rage compelled me to snatch it from the stand. The text, from Jen again, read, "Can't sleep because I've got 'Green Acres' stuck in my head."

"Oh, no!" I shouted. Oh, God, how I wished I could unread that last line, but my mental struggles were in vain. Quickly the infectious horns buh duh buhdumbump! and Zsa Zsa's voice crept into my head. "New...York is where I'd rather stay."

I popped out of bed, growling, "Nooooo!" The foul woman had doomed me to sleepless repetition of a catchy TV tune. My phone lit up and buzzed in my hand again -- Ding ding! Brrrr! The text from Jennifer read, "I get allergic smelling hay..."

My mind did the horn section -- buh duh buhdumbump!

"Nooooo!" I yelled again, switched on the lamp, and set about texting a particularly nasty response. "I was asleep! I was fine! Now you've got that..." I stopped texting and hit the "Call" button.

Jennifer answered with a surprisingly robust, "GREEEEEEEEN acres is the place to be!"

"No! No!" I shouted. "I was asleep!"

"Faaaarm living is the life for me!"

"I'm going to strangle you!" I said. "It's one in the morning! You booby-trapped me!"

"Land!" she sang back to me, "spreadin' out so far and wide..."

"Ugh, you miserable woman," I said and rubbed my forehead. "All right. If we're going to do it, we're going to do it right. I'll sing his part and you do Zsa Zsa, and you better put a lot of funky Hungarian on it too. From the top..."

What I will and won't watch this week

Thursday (I've got something for you to be thankful for, right here), November 22

Judge Maria Lopez

CW 10:00 a.m.

What in the name of John Oates's mustache is this? CW marches forth with their regularly scheduled programming even though there are parades and football games and all kinds of wonderment and mirth to be had on EVERY other channel. Who on Earth would watch a fake judge show when there are giant inflatable Transformers attacking the treetops of New York? I mean, really.

Oprah Winfrey

CBS 5:00 p.m.

Legend has it that any man who can sneak into Oprah's dressing room and sniff her wig will be rewarded with a pot of gold, which sounds easy enough, but here's the catch: anyone who sniffs the wig turns to salt, which the hag then sprinkles on spanakopita . I'm not making this up. Seriously, I read it in an encyclopedia.

Friday, November 23

The Andy Griffith Show

CA4SD

On the back of Ron Howard's neck is an outlet. If you plug a set of headphones into it, you can use his ears to pick up shortwave radio. Aim his ears toward the sky and listen for alien broadcasts. Like in that Jodie Foster movie before she got all old and thin and weird looking like Madonna.

Saturday, November 24

My Friend Rabbit

NBC 10:00 a.m.

What I really want to know is why there aren't other races of Smurfs. Like African-American Smurfs and Mexican Smurfs. Smurfxicans, if you will. Are there Eskimo Smurfs near the North Pole, and do French Smurfs eat horsemeat? Because that would just be too weird. You're not supposed to eat horses.

Cox Presents: The Nutcracker Ballet

CA4SD 5:30 p.m.

There hasn't been this much snickering from teen boys since Wang computers ran a recipe for spotted dick in their magazine ads.

Sunday, November 25

Mystery!

PBS 6:00 p.m.

The better show is Mystery! I've Got a Meatball Hidden Somewhere on My Person. It Could Be Perched Atop My Head, But I Think We Both Know Where You're Going to Look First. That's Right: The Crotch. You Dirty Thing, You . Or maybe I'm the only one who likes that show. Damn, I love that show.

Monday, November 26

That '70s Show

Fox 6:00 p.m.

The little dark-haired one wants me and I know she's kinky. And not regular kinky, either, I mean things-you-wouldn't-even-understand kind of kinky. She wants to shave my body and wrap me in plastic wrap and then pop balloons under my chin. See, I told you she was hot and strange. Don't be jealous of our love.

Tuesday, November 27

Seinfeld

TBS 5:00 p.m.

Am I the only person who thinks Seinfeld stunk out loud? It stunk like Orville Redenbacher's fake leg. (And, remember, he worked in kitchens. That thing got sweaty.) I'd rather lick a gas-station bathroom key than watch that stinkin' show. Dirty stinkin' show.

Wednesday, November 28

Presidential Debate

CNN 5:00 p.m.

Here's what happens when we don't regulate the airwaves. We let any old Dick Cheney or Rudy Giuliani say whatever they want. When anarchy reigns, then what do you get? Unicorn poop in the vegetable crisper, that's what. Things can go haywire in a hot minute is all I'm saying.

Thursday, November 29

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric

CBS 6:00 p.m.

Katie Couric clubbed a baby harp seal once. I know, it's deplorable, but she was in college and "experimenting." At the time she hated her dad and was really rebellious. She's patched things up with her family and keeps the seal stuffed on her mantel. You know, to remind her.

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