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Like a donkey on a tilt-a-whirl, I have no business being in a kitchen. With that in mind, I’m going to share some of my cost-cutting-cooking and home-organizing tips.

First, what you want to do is unplug your refrigerator. That thing runs all day and all night, costing you hard-earned pesos. Keep your moose meat (that you’ve shot and butchered) in a snow bank behind your house, like Sarah Palin does. With my California public education math skills, I’ve figured out that this alone can save you...hang on (carry the one...divide the remainder by five...sprinkle with unicorn kisses and voila!). At the end of each month, you’ll be entitled to 345,739.87 Turkish Lira, which in today’s market will buy a lot of moose marinade.

Next, what you want to do is only cook your food halfway through. I like my chicken a nice medium rare. Pork chops you can rub between your hands really quick and they’ll be done. Shellfish need a little more preparation, so those clams and mussels you found in the park have to be placed inside a foil-lined boot and set in the alley for five minutes. Or just run them through your coffee maker.

Hobos love a good bargain! Sell that gas-guzzling SUV and wrangle yourself a sturdy hobo. You might have to pay a little extra for a decent saddle, bridle, and riding crop, but the savings on gas will make up for the original expense within the first 16 and a half lunar months, according to the Mayan calendar. Ride your hobo to Target to pick out Pop-Tarts; he’ll smell the savings and you only have to hang on (squeeze tight with your knees). You really don’t want to scrimp on Pop-Tarts; you want to pay the full price because those Kmart “toaster pastries” that your mom made you eat are laced with Chinese milk products, kerosene-soaked sawdust, and high-fructose corn syrup. They’re kind of like Gobots when all you really want are Transformers. That’s not family-healthy!

To really pile on the savings, rent a copy of Beyond Thunderdome or wait until it plays on the USA Network. Take notes. Okay. First, you’re going to need a pig-fart processing plant. Think of the energy savings! Next, get a dimwitted child with super strength and an ambitious midget.

Are you getting all this down?

WHAT TO WATCH DURING AN ECONOMIC MELTDOWN!

Thursday, October 16
Weather: Evening Edition
The Weather Channel 7:00 p.m.

If we’re ever reduced to a society in which there’s no power and therefore no weather forecast, I’m going to have to find my father or some suitably grizzled elder who was born before television. As it stands, I have no way of knowing if it’s going to rain just by watching sheep do a counterclockwise circle around a pile of rocks, or that it’s going to snow because all the bats are standing up and the crickets are playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” (Where the hell did old people learn that stuff anyway?)

Survivor Gabon
CBS 8:00 p.m.

After the coming revolution I’ll install myself in a nice supply job — something to do with rice and Band-Aids. Really, it’s our only option. We’ll say my exterior is “doughy,” wholly unsuitable for any kind of exploration, and most of my interactions with insects end with me shrieking, “EEEEE! It came really close to my face!”

Friday, October 17
Crusoe
NBC 8:00 p.m.

On the other side of this economic crash, we’ll have to go back to sailing wooden ships, eating monkeys, and you better be handy with a sword. You’ll also have to carve your own wooden legs, craft ceramic teeth, and wear those weird sailor shirts with the little cape behind the neck and the thick horizontal red stripes. I’m wearing that outfit right now, and I’m shifting my eyes left to right, scanning this coffee shop for sick, weak monkeys. I’m ready.

America’s Next Top Model
CW 9:00 p.m.

Supermodels will make excellent fighter pilots. After they retire from the service, they can be senators. What’s the worst that could happen? If they crash five planes each, manipulate a savings-and-loan scandal, then 20 years later run for president and pick a small-town mayor as a running mate, we really won’t be worse off than we are right now. They can’t possibly be as bad as that.

Saturday, October 18
My Own Worst Enemy
NBC 9:00 p.m.

Starting now, anyone involved in cliché spy dramas involving secret operatives with split personalities will automatically be volunteered to work in the salt mines. “You get in that bucket, Christian Slater. I’ll lower you down into the hole, and you chip salt off the walls. GET IN THAT BUCKET, CHRISTIAN SLATER!”

Sunday, October 19
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
ABC 8:00 p.m.

Anyone involved in makeover shows will be dragged into the cobblestone streets and beaten with leftover lengths of rubber hose. See? The second Great Depression won’t be all bad.

Monday, October 20
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
FOX 8:00 p.m.

With any luck, a nuclear blast will irradiate the population and give us superpowers. Obviously, the girl in this show who was in Firefly and Serenity will be given the power to communicate with undersea creatures through her giant sonar dome forehead. Her and Christina Ricci will be forever locked in a battle for supremacy somewhere along the Mariana’s Trench.

Tuesday, October 21
Dancing with the Stars
ABC 9:00 p.m.

As future governor of the Free Republic of United Territories of North Park San Diego, I’ll need a maid for my gubernatorial mansion. I call dibs on that rich girl with the huge butt who used to be on this show.

Wednesday, October 22
Knight Rider
NBC 8:00 p.m.

If ’80s television has taught me nothing else, it’s that cars can really do anything: fly, talk, boondoggle local sheriff’s deputies and their basset hounds, be tacitly racist. I’m outfitting my truck with rockets, wings, and a gin distillery. I’m going to spin donuts on the mayor’s lawn while I sip a martini. (Really, this paragraph has nothing to do with the coming economic times; it just sounds like fun.)

Thursday, October 23
Kath and Kim
NBC 8:30 p.m.

I’m going to need leather bandoliers, buttless chaps, and a hockey mask if I’m expected to properly pillage the suburbs. All househusbands will be called into duty as dune-buggy drivers, and all chainsaws and baseball bats will be confiscated for my personal collection. ONWARD, MY ARMY OF PASTY, EYEGLASS-WEARING WEIRDOS! EXCELSIOR!

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