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The Reader's Eye on Television

What I am not is a loud ass in the morning. I am a morning person. When most people are slapping their alarm clocks and begging God to let them sleep, I'm cartwheeling to the shower.While you are covering your head with a pillow and thinking, " Ugh, I have to get up and go to work ," I'm thinking, " WOOHOO!"

It's irritating, I know. Morning people irritate even me -- a specific subtype of morning person. Most of us are quiet. We know that morning is a quiet time. But out of a group of ten morning people, there are always two loud asses. The other eight of us can only glance at each other and roll our eyes while the loud ones carry on at their operatic range in an otherwise quiet coffee shop.

"Did you see the Oscars last night?!" one old loud-ass woman with frazzled salt-and-pepper hair asks no one in particular.

"I didn't even know they were on," the sweet college kid behind the counter says in a softer voice, an attempt to quiet the squawking dingbat.

"Oh, they were great! Just great!"

The barista nods to her. A nicer gesture than the one I'm performing behind the shouting gypsy's back.

I sit down with my cup and flip through the paper. The rattling old can's male counterpart steps into the café. You've all seen him: gray ponytail, beat-up leather jacket, and -- strapped to his back, the worst offense of all -- the guitar.

I pull out my notebook and start scribbling, "Don't start playing that damn thing. Don't start playing that damn thing. Don't start playing that damn thing."

The "musician" takes a seat and sets his coffee and scone in front of him and thrums out some horrid B-side to a lost album of a crappy band nobody's heard of.

"You guys remember this one? You remember this one?" he's asking over his own acoustic assault.

The rattling can is still going on about the Oscars, "Did you see them? Weren't they just marvelous?"

Me, writing in my journal, "I wish you two would shut up. Nobody cares about the damn Oscars, and no, nobody's heard of that terrible song. Look around, the rest of us are under 200. How could we remember it? Just shut up, the both of you! Shut up!"

The Oscar lady comes over to my table, smiles and asks, "Whatcha writing?"

Proudly, I hand over my book.

Thursday, March 1 American Idol Fox 8:00 p.m. I'm sad and embarrassed for everyone involved. My initial reaction of rage has metamorphosed into melancholic ennui. As I sit here and thumb my thesaurus, I'm...aggrieved at the state of my once beautiful empire. How I long for those stimulating days of Alf , Small Wonder , and Out of this World . Sing me back, Evie and Mrs. Ochmoneck. Sing me back to those reposeful days of bright television.

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Fox 9:00 p.m. That last capsule was weird. I played on my own pretentious faux intellect and juxtaposed it with the inanity of past and current TV shows. Yes, I still have my thesaurus out. Someone, please take this devil's book from me!

Friday, March 2 38th NAACP Image Awards Fox 8:00 p.m. Bill Cosby gets a Lifetime of Boring the Pants Off People Award and they'll probably drag out LL Cool J. That's not what I want to watch. Women dressed as hookers and men dressed as if they're little kids who've borrowed their fathers' pants for the evening and can't quite keep the beltline above the hips, now that's entertainment. Also, if I'm going to devote an hour and a half to this, there better be a bodyguard shooting.

Saturday, March 3 Cake CBS 9:00 a.m. The Hostess snack-cake company used an anthropomorphized cartoon treat to promote one of their chocolate confections. The cartoon's name was King Ding Dong. I'm not making this up. Another little known fact is that my real last name is Ding Dong, and through extensive genealogical searching I have found that I am heir to the Ding Dong throne. I shall be called Ding Dong, Prince of North Park until my ascension as rightful ruler of the Ding Dong kingdom. Carry on. CARRY ON!

Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy ABC 8:00 p.m. This show will be boring. What I want to see is Building a Nightmare: The Britney Spears Failing Rehabilitation and Hoo-ha Flashing on the Web Academy .

Sunday, March 4 Grease: You're the One That I Want NBC 8:00 p.m. Isn't this over yet? Haven't they crowned a winner? How is it I can't make it through one week without this extra large bucket of bad underwear darkening my cable box? Bring more of it on, I say. What I want is a two-hour special of this ruinous armpit stink. More, I say! Now with extra dipping sauce!

Monday, March 5 Heroes NBC 9:00 p.m. I have a terrible stomach cramp. It might be from bad milk or it might be from the injection of orangutan DNA I've administered to make myself superhuman. Oh, sure, " Injection of orangutan DNA ," I get it. It's very funny. Laugh it up, but I can already feel my forearms lengthening and the back of my hands have grown a covering of red fur overnight. Oh, yeah. "Hairy palms." Would you kindly pipe down before I fling something unpleasant at you? I don't think you're taking this in the serious manner in which it was intended.

Tuesday, March 6 The Real Housewives of Orange County Bravo 7:00 p.m. I've seen ten minutes of this, and I've already had an ass full. These frigid cougars are each on their last leg of hotness, and they're desperately trying to nail down some schmoe with more cash than he has self-esteem. And they all have horrid brats who "deserve a new car." That's it. End of summary. It's as entertaining as a box of hair. I want my ten minutes back.

Wednesday, March 7 Pussycat Dolls Present:The Search for the Next Doll WB 9:00 p.m. I feel like a wounded combat soldier. I want the team to triumph in victory, and I know I'll be dragging the platoon down because I have no legs. I lay here, blood mingling with tears on my cheek. I can only say, "Finish me. Finish me, Sarge. Make it quick. Make the hurting stop." And out of compassion he sticks two more morphine shots in my leg. "The suffering'll be over soon, son. The suffering'll be over soon."

Thursday, March 8 Dr. Christiane Northrup: Menopause and Beyond -- New Wisdom for Women PBS 8:00 p.m. You can't see me, but I've collapsed to the floor. I've pulled my computer down, and I'm pecking this out with the last finger I can still move. I can't bear it. I can't bear the thought of it. It's too much. PBS. Old women. Talking about menopause. Maybe, if I gouge my eyes out now, I can end this horrific image in my mind. Excuse me. I'll end this article politely. I have to crawl to the kitchen for my corkscrews and grapefruit spoons.

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What I am not is a loud ass in the morning. I am a morning person. When most people are slapping their alarm clocks and begging God to let them sleep, I'm cartwheeling to the shower.While you are covering your head with a pillow and thinking, " Ugh, I have to get up and go to work ," I'm thinking, " WOOHOO!"

It's irritating, I know. Morning people irritate even me -- a specific subtype of morning person. Most of us are quiet. We know that morning is a quiet time. But out of a group of ten morning people, there are always two loud asses. The other eight of us can only glance at each other and roll our eyes while the loud ones carry on at their operatic range in an otherwise quiet coffee shop.

"Did you see the Oscars last night?!" one old loud-ass woman with frazzled salt-and-pepper hair asks no one in particular.

"I didn't even know they were on," the sweet college kid behind the counter says in a softer voice, an attempt to quiet the squawking dingbat.

"Oh, they were great! Just great!"

The barista nods to her. A nicer gesture than the one I'm performing behind the shouting gypsy's back.

I sit down with my cup and flip through the paper. The rattling old can's male counterpart steps into the café. You've all seen him: gray ponytail, beat-up leather jacket, and -- strapped to his back, the worst offense of all -- the guitar.

I pull out my notebook and start scribbling, "Don't start playing that damn thing. Don't start playing that damn thing. Don't start playing that damn thing."

The "musician" takes a seat and sets his coffee and scone in front of him and thrums out some horrid B-side to a lost album of a crappy band nobody's heard of.

"You guys remember this one? You remember this one?" he's asking over his own acoustic assault.

The rattling can is still going on about the Oscars, "Did you see them? Weren't they just marvelous?"

Me, writing in my journal, "I wish you two would shut up. Nobody cares about the damn Oscars, and no, nobody's heard of that terrible song. Look around, the rest of us are under 200. How could we remember it? Just shut up, the both of you! Shut up!"

The Oscar lady comes over to my table, smiles and asks, "Whatcha writing?"

Proudly, I hand over my book.

Thursday, March 1 American Idol Fox 8:00 p.m. I'm sad and embarrassed for everyone involved. My initial reaction of rage has metamorphosed into melancholic ennui. As I sit here and thumb my thesaurus, I'm...aggrieved at the state of my once beautiful empire. How I long for those stimulating days of Alf , Small Wonder , and Out of this World . Sing me back, Evie and Mrs. Ochmoneck. Sing me back to those reposeful days of bright television.

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Fox 9:00 p.m. That last capsule was weird. I played on my own pretentious faux intellect and juxtaposed it with the inanity of past and current TV shows. Yes, I still have my thesaurus out. Someone, please take this devil's book from me!

Friday, March 2 38th NAACP Image Awards Fox 8:00 p.m. Bill Cosby gets a Lifetime of Boring the Pants Off People Award and they'll probably drag out LL Cool J. That's not what I want to watch. Women dressed as hookers and men dressed as if they're little kids who've borrowed their fathers' pants for the evening and can't quite keep the beltline above the hips, now that's entertainment. Also, if I'm going to devote an hour and a half to this, there better be a bodyguard shooting.

Saturday, March 3 Cake CBS 9:00 a.m. The Hostess snack-cake company used an anthropomorphized cartoon treat to promote one of their chocolate confections. The cartoon's name was King Ding Dong. I'm not making this up. Another little known fact is that my real last name is Ding Dong, and through extensive genealogical searching I have found that I am heir to the Ding Dong throne. I shall be called Ding Dong, Prince of North Park until my ascension as rightful ruler of the Ding Dong kingdom. Carry on. CARRY ON!

Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy ABC 8:00 p.m. This show will be boring. What I want to see is Building a Nightmare: The Britney Spears Failing Rehabilitation and Hoo-ha Flashing on the Web Academy .

Sunday, March 4 Grease: You're the One That I Want NBC 8:00 p.m. Isn't this over yet? Haven't they crowned a winner? How is it I can't make it through one week without this extra large bucket of bad underwear darkening my cable box? Bring more of it on, I say. What I want is a two-hour special of this ruinous armpit stink. More, I say! Now with extra dipping sauce!

Monday, March 5 Heroes NBC 9:00 p.m. I have a terrible stomach cramp. It might be from bad milk or it might be from the injection of orangutan DNA I've administered to make myself superhuman. Oh, sure, " Injection of orangutan DNA ," I get it. It's very funny. Laugh it up, but I can already feel my forearms lengthening and the back of my hands have grown a covering of red fur overnight. Oh, yeah. "Hairy palms." Would you kindly pipe down before I fling something unpleasant at you? I don't think you're taking this in the serious manner in which it was intended.

Tuesday, March 6 The Real Housewives of Orange County Bravo 7:00 p.m. I've seen ten minutes of this, and I've already had an ass full. These frigid cougars are each on their last leg of hotness, and they're desperately trying to nail down some schmoe with more cash than he has self-esteem. And they all have horrid brats who "deserve a new car." That's it. End of summary. It's as entertaining as a box of hair. I want my ten minutes back.

Wednesday, March 7 Pussycat Dolls Present:The Search for the Next Doll WB 9:00 p.m. I feel like a wounded combat soldier. I want the team to triumph in victory, and I know I'll be dragging the platoon down because I have no legs. I lay here, blood mingling with tears on my cheek. I can only say, "Finish me. Finish me, Sarge. Make it quick. Make the hurting stop." And out of compassion he sticks two more morphine shots in my leg. "The suffering'll be over soon, son. The suffering'll be over soon."

Thursday, March 8 Dr. Christiane Northrup: Menopause and Beyond -- New Wisdom for Women PBS 8:00 p.m. You can't see me, but I've collapsed to the floor. I've pulled my computer down, and I'm pecking this out with the last finger I can still move. I can't bear it. I can't bear the thought of it. It's too much. PBS. Old women. Talking about menopause. Maybe, if I gouge my eyes out now, I can end this horrific image in my mind. Excuse me. I'll end this article politely. I have to crawl to the kitchen for my corkscrews and grapefruit spoons.

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