July 20, 1969, is the date that the moon landing was faked. It says so, here in black ink on the yellowing label that's peeling back from the metal canister on my desk. You see, it's all very simple. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a spy. I wanted to slip into a room wearing a fine tuxedo, shove a hatpin into a double agent's ear, and abscond to the manicured west garden through a water-closet window.
As a rotund, bespectacled, pimple-face, I thought that fitting myself for formal wear and a Ruger might be a bit premature, so I sent off for a "French Technique -- Tongue to Lip Lip-Reading Course" advertised in the back of one of my Soldier of Fortune magazines. With the help of this tutorial, I spent hours in front of a mirror moving my mouth around and sounding out the vowels, chattering like a chipmunk and drawing the alphabet on the mirror with my tongue.
It was this self-training to become a cunning linguist that helped me to read former president John F. Kennedy's lips on a black-and-white film shot on the sound stage where Neil Armstrong was led in the biggest shenanigan ever perpetrated.
Because at the same time of my oral training I was also interested in restoring classic pickup trucks, with the help of my uncle and father, I bought and fixed up a 1967 Chevrolet C-10 truck. Twenty years later I bought a 1956 Chevy step-side from a former janitor, who had retired from Universal Pictures in Los Angeles. It was behind the seat of this pickup that I discovered the silver film can now sitting on my desk with the July 20, 1969, on its label.
Upon review of the silent film, it's clear that President Kennedy is mouthing the words, "Marilyn still has some big old shooters." He must be talking about his faked assassination six years prior because he's holding his hands out in front of him like he's carrying two watermelons, implying that whoever this Marilyn person is was involved in the gunshot wounds he sustained to his chest and neck. Astronaut Armstrong only holds his chin and looks impressed at what must be the description of Kennedy's contrived slaying.
Only someone as atrociously unsuccessful with women as I -- someone who would lock himself in a bathroom and lick a mirror for hours or rebuild a Saginaw four-speed transmission blindfolded -- could've pulled off reading JFK's lips like that on a found film in a dusty relic of an automobile. Although, as a teen I had braces and elaborate headgear, and I would sometimes confuse "sh" with "h," but that's all behind me. I've got you by the short ones, Mr. President.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, July 27
SPEED 6:30 p.m. My Norelco electric nose-hair trimmer smells like the Fireball Wall Climber Slot Car Racetrack that I received for Christmas when I was eight. I know because I used to hold the cars on the track, gun the handheld throttle, and sniff the blue arc of lightning that leapt from the metal rail to the bottom of the electric model racers. My "Men's Groomer" smells exactly the same, like ozone and burning hair. Whenever I trim, it's like Christmas all over again, except without the tobacco and crying.
Friday, July 28
Hair Show (2004)
BET 7:30 p.m. It was pretty easy to chat girls up this one time we were in Vegas because there was a hair show. All you had to do was find a girl with a white skunk stripe or red checkers painted into her lopsided beehive and go, "You in town for the big convention?" They all had the same "How'd you know?" answer, but you couldn't follow up with, "Because. Look at your ridiculous head, dummy!" OH! Hairdressers love their own goofball 'dos.
Saturday, July 29
Practical Magic (1998)
ABC 8:00 p.m. Here're some tips for all you dorks who have a "Here Dragon Dragon" bumper sticker on your car or dance naked in the moonlight beneath an elm tree on the solstice or "summon the four directions -- north, south, east, west -- for spirit and guidance." Tip 1: It doesn't work. There's no such damn thing as magic or "majyck" or "majik" or however the hell you want to do it; it's a crock, and your little sticks and rocks are just that. Tip 2: Patchouli doesn't cover the high-powered b.o. emanating from your unshaven pits. And, Tip 3: Shut your trap for ten seconds. You might land a boyfriend or a job.
Sunday, July 30
Chemistry: The Universal Connection
ITVS 8:00 a.m. Fools. My transformation into the Baboon King through a simple chemical process had already begun when Haji, my Indian assistant, acquired a jar of the red alien goop that rained down on Bangladesh last month. Injecting both serums into my legs, I became the true alpha baboon, and with the outer-space gunk in my blood, I was able to see the future. It was only a slice of time, and I was limited in my vision, but I could tell it was real because George Stephanopoulos, my arch nemesis, appeared to me, floating on a cloud of ice cream, holding and caressing his pet weasel. Maybe the stuff made me a little sick and I had a fever, but it seemed real at the time. Y'know?
Monday, July 31
EACT 6:20 p.m. Yeah, I'm 30, and I laugh when I hear the phrase "K-9 Unit." Sue me.
Tuesday, August 1
The Cheetah Girls (2003)
DISN 8:00 p.m. It's about time Disney branched out into exotic dancing. I always had a thing for seashell bras and Arabian veils. I'll give you a dwarf, Snow White. C'mere!
Wednesday, August 2
Rock Star: Supernova
CBS 8:00 p.m. Let's talk about this stinker for a bit, and let's start with Tommy Lee. He looks like the Hep C overtook him and he died three days ago. Someone propped him up with a metal rod through the back of his pink jacket, hosed rouge pancake makeup onto his remains, and ran a wire through his jaw to make his teeth chatter in front of a microphone.
Rock Star: Supernova
CBS 8:00 p.m. Wait, I'm feeling kind of mean this morning, so let's dedicate another paragraph to the others who are behind this. Navarro's a junkie who would look more at home beneath the burgundy velvet curtain in an underage goth coffee house, crying and writing sad poetry, than in a rock band. Here's a shocker for those of you who haven't seen the show: Dave isn't in the new band he's forming. Why would he associate with that cavalcade of puppy crap when he can sit on his balls for half an hour a week, collect a paycheck, and walk away from this horrific travesty?
Rock Star: Supernova
CBS 8:00 p.m. I'm not done! Let's talk about the other no- names who are in the band. Escapees from the Ralph Macchio and Scott Baio Retirement Home for the Terminally Untalented and Over Hairsprayed would be an apt description. What a fabrication of cool through paid association and repetition: Why are we so cool? Because we say we're cool, and we're sitting next to the corpse of Tommy Lee.
Rock Star: Supernova
CBS 8:00 p.m. I'm STILL not done! This show sucks. Sure, Tommy Lee and Navarro were in important bands a long time ago, and they're lending street cred to these goonimals and amateurs for profit, and we're all kind of prostitutes. Hell, I get paid for this column, and the paper gets paid by advertisers, and you, the public, pay the advertisers for beepers and boob jobs. We all do something for money, and I can hear you shouting, "Who do you think you are? The 'entertaining TV police'?" Well, yes, I am! You know what used to be cool? Doing your own thing, for no money and no fame and to hell with it because that's what you wanted to do. Now, you have some stupid record label and production company cobbling together an idea to make eight million dollars while spending six million to hire known rock legends, and the drunken L.A. plastic princesses squeal, and we get this Starbucks Chai Latte rock and roll. Well, if this fiasco were in a cage at the zoo, I would hover above and pitch poo at it before it got any on me. This ain't rock. Fine, I'm done. Yeah, it's early in the morning and I'm drunk. So what?