Rocky, my rubber duck, is tunneling out of the bathroom. I know he’s tunneling because upon morning muster and inspection he’s been congenial and respectful, which is unfamiliar behavior for him. At night inspection, he’s tucked in and stage-snoring; it’s all an act. When I’m not looking, he’s in there busting his little rubber tail, sweating and chipping away at grout and tile, and when I’m around he pretends to be an angel.
It kills me that I can’t catch him doing it or find evidence of the act. I’m sure he’s recruited my roommate’s ceramic cat from atop the television and together they’ve worked out an elaborate signaling system. The cat watches me and tells Rocky where I am and when it’s safe to dig. In the early morning, sometimes I swear I can hear the tink tink tink of tiny improvised metal tools. When I rouse from slumber and clop into the hallway the noise ceases. The ceramic cat wears a nonchalant demeanor and Rocky the Rubber Duck is snoozing soundly in his bunk.
For good measure, I check the shutters on the bathroom windows, tap my cane on random tiles to check for any that fit improperly, and toss the medicine cabinet for contraband. So far I’ve found nothing, but recently I’ve awakened to the routine tink tink tink. Bursting from my room and crashing into the bathroom, I caught Rocky and the ceramic cat chatting casually and sipping coffee, their little legs crossed as they sat straight-backed in their chairs.
“What in the name of Freddy Mercury’s ghost is going on here?” I asked.
“Clearly, we’re building a summer cottage,” the ceramic cat answered.
“Watch your smart mouth,” I said. “You know you’re not allowed to fraternize with other household decorative animals, you know you don’t get coffee until breakfast, and YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LEAVE YOUR CELL ON TOP OF THE TELEVISION!”
“Okay, okay, man, straighten your wig. We were just chatting.”
“Get back on the TV. NOW!”
The cat smugly brushed past me.
“And you!” I shouted at Rocky. “I know you’re up to something. I can hear it, and I can see it on your arrogant little bill.”
Rocky merely set his coffee down and went about his morning routine.
I closed the door and walked to the kitchen. The ceramic cat followed me with his gaze and I swear I heard a muffled, tiny tink tink tink.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, November 27
The National Dog Show
NBC 12:00 p.m.
Oh, here’s what I want to watch while I’m gearing up to eat some turkey and mashed potatoes: stinky, hairy, dog butts prancing around a floor. Super. Bring on the bird while I’m starin’ straight down Fido’s fuzzy barrel.
Storytellers: Kid Rock
VH1 9:00 p.m.
Tell us, Kid Rock. Tell us a story. “Okay, children. Gather ’round the fire and hand me a Natural Light. Let me just take my Hep C medicine and a syringe of methadone to get into that Christmas spirit. Ah, that’s the good stuff. When my leg shakes like that, I call it ‘yule-logging the elves’ eggnog.’ It’s the magic of the season!”
Friday, November 28
BETJ Virtual Awards
BET 9:00 p.m.
When we find Sasquatch, which awards show will he attend? He’s not black, white, or Latino. Perhaps we’ll have to create an entirely new awards show for just him, Tiger Woods, and Barack Obama. Lindsay Lohan can drag her spent carcass onstage and present the award for “Best Artist in the...You Guys” category. You may ask why Lindsay would be there. It’s because she’s one-sixteenth Wookie. (You can tell by her armpits.)
Saturday, November 29
Carebears: Adventure in Care-A-Lot
CBS 9:30 a.m.
I’ve solved the energy crisis. Line up all the eight-year-olds, put electrodes in their ears, and give them an unending supply of tinfoil to chew on. Their little cavity-filled molars will spark an electrical revolution!
Along Came Polly
NBC 8:00 p.m.
“Let’s play a new exciting edition of Would You Rather! Okay. Here’s the question: Would you rather watch Along Came Polly or...” Yes! Whatever the second option is, I’ll take it. “But I didn’t finish the...” Doesn’t matter, I’ll take it. “It’s eating your next three meals out of a hobo’s underwear. Are you sure?” Done. Sign me up. Tell Little Scamp to strip down and sauté the hot dogs, I’m comin’ over.
Sunday, November 30
Britney: For the Record
MTV 9:00 p.m.
Please, please, please, whoever’s listening and holds the power to do this: Please make Britney stop being normal. She adds far more entertainment value to society when she’s not trying to sing and she’s just letting her Britney hang out. Get her back on crystal, throwing her underwear to the wind, and crashing the Crazy Bus into the side of the Nut Hut.
Monday, December 1
NBC 9:00 p.m.
Previously I think I mentioned wanting the superpower of flying and never having to use the toilet. But this morning I witnessed a squirrel run up a telephone pole, and now for a superpower I want strong claws and pulling muscles. What I do when I get to the top of the pole is irrelevant. I’ll be up there. I’ll be in moose antlers and a cape. And I’ll be happy.
Tuesday, December 2
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
PBS 8:00 p.m.
As an agnostic, I’m not wild about Christmas as a religious ceremony, but as a drug enthusiast I cannot overlook the importance of Christmas as a psychedelic treasure chest. There are flying deer, flashing lights, a fat man in a floppy hat who gives you a colorful present, elves, trees in our living rooms... If we can somehow incorporate a chupacabra with a tennis racket — blammo! — we’re celebrating the weirdest thing ever.
Wednesday, December 3
The Ultimate Fighter
Spike 10:00 p.m.
If you ever watch this show you’ll understand the term “ultimate fighter” refers to the ongoing battle of who can have the ugliest haircut and the stupidest tattoos. Competition is stiff this season, boy. Stiff!
Anderson Cooper 360
CNN 8:00 p.m.
This recession has me worried and I know (I know!) the werewolf hordes are only biding their time, sharpening their claws and canine teeth, and when we are at our most vulnerable, they’re going to strike. Obviously I need a tank and a castle. And bars of silver. And an army of genetically mutated baboons. Attack! Attack, my army of baboon men! (I’m rethinking my decision to mix scotch and cough syrup with my morning coffee. Things have gotten decidedly weird.)