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"For what?"

"Because, she's gonna give me something."


"What do you think?"

"Oh. Well, we better get this truck back together. Hand me the half-inch socket."

"I've gotta get outta here," Isaac said. "This place is killing me."

"What are you gonna do?"

"I'm going to go to Hollywood. The damn heat is killing me here."

"Then help me get this radiator out. Grab down there and pull it up. Water and antifreeze are going to come out and splash all over, but that's the way it goes."

"Angie's going to hook me up. Good Lord, that smells rotten."

"It is rotten. Your radiator's rotten, and the antifreeze stinks. Hand me my beer."

Isaac and Joe swallowed from their beer cans and regarded the hole where the radiator had been.

"I've been thinking of moving to San Diego," Joe tells him.

"What's in San Diego?"

"What's in Hollywood?"

"Hollywood has everything. I can't be in these little plays around here, it's embarrassing. I need to be on a TV show. What am I going to do, stay here and take another bit part in Annie or Sweeney Todd? I need to get down there, audition, work, push myself. Swimming pools and movie stars, Joe. Swimming pools and movie stars."

"We could have our own TV show. 'Live from Isaac's Ford, it's the Isaac and Joe Show!' We could have guests, like Mr. T and Vanilla Ice -- anybody who sucks now. We'll be the exact opposite of all the other shows.

"Hey, pick that end up and we'll drop it in. Hang on...get the beer cans out of the way."

It's hot and the brown rust from the radiator stains the boys' hands. The rust gets on their jeans and on their shirts and all over the fenders of the truck. They wipe the sweat from their foreheads and noses. Rust smears in wet muddy streaks across their faces.

"Bring that hose over here and we'll fill this up."

"What's in San Diego?"

"What isn't? There are jobs there, just like here. Am I going to work at Save-Mart here the rest of my life? See if it starts, and we'll check for leaks. Wait, move that beer." Isaac starts the truck and the two peer in.

"Looks good, now you can go to Angie's and bring me back some," Joe says laughing.

"Damn, it's hot. I'm going to Hollywood."

"I'll come up to see you from San Diego."


Thursday, February 17 JUDGE JOE BROWN

KUSI 9, 5:00 p.m.

I'm going to start calling my bathroom "my chamber." I already wear a gown and powdered wig all day. I bang a meat tenderizer on the closest table when I'm not getting enough attention, so it'll be an easy transition for my roommates. Openings for the position of bailiff will be posted to sdreader.com some time in June.


CBS 8, 8:00 P.M.

One word: prison. You want to see human nature boiled down to its base constituents? Take 20 greedy, backbiting fame-whores and drop them into Folsom with only a nacho and a nine-volt battery to aid them on their "journey." Ratings would soar, and the contestant pool for reality programming would dwindle to acceptable levels.

Friday, February 18 JERRY SPRINGER

KUSI 9, 4:00 p.m.

This is it, folks. This is your culture. 7-Eleven and Ron Jeremy took their place among the Parthenon and Mona Lisa the minute Andy Warhol put brush to canvas and painted his first Coke bottle. Jerry Springer will be recognized as a genius, only 60 years after his death. You were here at the dawn.


ETV 49, 9:00 p.m.

If the qualifications for being a television celebrity only require that one sleep with a football player, then my friend Glitter Bear Gary is eligible ten times over. I'd love to be so rich and famous that proximity to my hanglow confers instant star status.

Saturday, February 19 The Hunt for Red October (1990)

WB 5, 3:30 p.m.

During my time onboard a sub we visited the island nation of Singapore. In a drunken conniption I threw a vodka bottle into a swimming pool and had to pay to have it refilled. After having just recovered from the incident in which a teenager was caned for writing graffiti, the Singapore government took it easy on me and only had me banished for life.

Zoolander (2001) TBS 33, 8:00 p.m.

This is the sole reason I have a "no Ben Stiller movies" policy. The very few times I've been convinced to break it, I have been disappointed in the movie, disappointed in Ben, but mostly disappointed in myself. The tragedy -- horror, the horror -- is that many see him as an eminent comedic talent but only know his father from King of Queens.

Sunday, February 20 MTV Cribs

MTV 30, 6:45 p.m.

The doorbell in my truck doesn't shut off. I try to think of it as the atonal, rhythmic performance of an accompanist to whatever song is on the radio. I never succeed in fooling myself and end up slamming the door, punching the steering column, and swerving into other lanes while careening down the 8 East. The only thing that irritates me more is MTV.

Monday, February 21 Sports Illustrated's

40th Anniversary Swimsuit Special

SPIKE 45, 7:00 p.m.

I don't really think of these women as sexual anymore. I did when I was a kid, but now the imperfections of a woman are what attract me to her initially: a big nose, pudgy hips, clunky glasses. I'd rather see the ropey hound sitting at the end seat of the bar strap up in a bikini than the polished, symmetrical, and luminous SI woman. Actually, seeing any woman in a bikini would be a profound turn of events for me.


MTV2 62, 9:30 p.m.

In my fear of prosecution I shunned the video camera when I was in high school. If I had the foresight to capture my mischief on handicam it would be my ass you see doing gainers off of bridges and lighting Volkswagens on fire for that sweaty wad of MTV cash. Idiocy just wasn't as profitable then as it is now.

Get Fit

SHOPNBC 67, 9:00 p.m.

Get fit! Sit on the couch, smoking menthol cigarettes, and buy things off the television. We promise all your insecurities will be replaced by rippling muscle. You only have to send us $59.99 for the next ten months, and we'll send you a piece of plastic that holds within it the secret to "tone." This has nothing to do with your self-image and everything to do with your credit card number. Operators are standing by!

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