Some people look like chimpanzees, and that’s the truth of it. I’m not being mean or hurtful. You’ve seen that person who looks like a chimpanzee. And you’ve caught yourself thinking of that person in a jungle, swinging from a vine and peeling a banana with their feet, and then you’ve chastised yourself quickly: no, no, that’s wrong of me to think. I’m here to say it’s not wrong, but there are rules you must follow when dealing with chimp-looking people.
All people deserve some amount of respect regardless of their appearance, but we also have to respect our imaginations. When the grocery-store cashier pushes her lips out to form an elongated cone, and she lounges one long forearm across the top of her head, DON’T LOOK AWAY AND CORRECT YOURSELF. Certainly, you don’t want to offer her a fez, diaper, and tiny motorcycle because that would be offensive, but you’re allowed to run a quick dream sequence of her coaxing termites out of a stump with a reed. With that blue cashier’s vest and ridiculous hairdo, she’s asking for it.
There’s more etiquette involving people who look like our closest ape cousin. You cannot under any circumstances offer them a cigarette and a kitten. (God, how they love cigarettes and kittens.) WE know they want a cigarette and a kitten. THEY know they want a cigarette and a kitten. But crossing a crowded art gallery to gift a small cat and a smoke to a chimpish person might be in poor taste. When dealing with chimpanzee-people, one must ask oneself, “Would I give this person a Lucky Strike and a tabby kitty if he or she did not look like a chimpanzee?” Your honest answer is your guide.
I won’t say who or when, but a chimpish individual reports a news segment on a local channel. I won’t even mention a gender. There are a lot of you out there, those of you with a little bit of frost in your hearts who will scour the channels, biting your thumbnail or fiddling with your TiVo thingy, commanding it to record every local news hour, hoping, waiting with the patience of a child on Christmas Eve for that fortunate day when this News Chimpanzee pops onto screen in a little western cowboy outfit, riding a tricycle so you can point and howl. No, I won’t give you the satisfaction. These simian newscasters deserve our respect and you’re just being mean.
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, June 5
Pelz Wedge System
Golf 9:00 a.m.
Not entirely sure what this is, but color me intrigued. A mysterious “system” for wedges, you say? Tell me more. OH DAMN! It’s on the stupid Golf Channel. NEVER MIND! STUPID GOLF!
My Friends Tigger and Pooh
Disney 9:30 a.m.
Week in and week out I write this column. Not once, NOT ONCE, have I ever made the most obvious joke ever. Oh, it’s been tough. Every time I sit down in my coonskin cap and Sansabelt jumpsuit, ready to do my weekly duty on my laptop, and NOT ONCE (!) have I opted for the low-hanging fruit. Oh, sweat rolls down my temples. You better believe. Sweat. Rolls.
Friday, June 6
CBS 8:00 p.m.
You bet your sweet ass I want to see them. There isn’t a guy out there who doesn’t want to see them. Oh, sure, there’s that one dude who works in I.T. with the ponytail who’s a little too into reptiles and swords, and he SAYS he doesn’t want to see them, but he’s lying to make himself feel better because he knows he’ll never, not in six lifetimes, get the opportunity to see them. I’m not so cognitively dissonant. Pull ’em out, Jennifer. For the love of hot molasses, pull ’em out.
Saturday, June 7
Tennis: French Open Women’s Finals
NBC 7:00 a.m.
It’s women playing a sport. The sport is tennis, and the whole affair is French. Until they institute DMV-style lines to the dentist chair, two hours of this is about as masochistic as you’re likely to find.
Billy Graham: Longing for Change
CBS 7:00 p.m.
At first glance, I thought that read “Lounging for Change” instead of “Longing.” Well, hell yes, I’d lounge for change! You and me, we’ve had our differences, Billy, but I’m all about lying around and having a Bloody Mary to effect some humanitarian effort. Set those grapes on my belly and put Predator in the DVD player, we’re helping Darfur, dammit.
Sunday, June 8
Hour of Power
Lifetime 8:00 a.m.
On Sunday mornings, I like to cruise past the churches in my neighborhood because poor people really get dressed up for church, but as was mentioned earlier they are poor and also have really bad taste. It’s just not a Sunday morning for me until I get a good eyeful of cascading, ruffled, purple rayon. America’s freedom fabric!
Monday, June 9
How to be a Player
BET 8:00 p.m.
Speaking of poor taste in clothing, let’s talk about mine. Being a strict “Big Johnson” tank-top-and-jean-shorts kind of guy, I have never in my life had anything dry-cleaned. I don’t even know what the process entails or what is inside a dry-cleaning establishment. Behind the doors of a dry cleaner’s may lay a wonderful land of candy and fireworks and Hot Wheels and Tonka trucks and strippers and motorcycles and meat and time machines and whiskey and sharks, and I’d never know it. Damn. Somebody tell me if any of that’s true because I’ve worked myself up into quite a lather.
Tuesday, June 10
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
USA 8:00 p.m.
I’m 32 and I really wish I was still a virgin. If I could go back to that night, I’d grasp my own shoulders, look myself in the eye and say, “Do you really want to go through with this? You’re opening a whole world of misery. Dealing with women for the rest of your life to repeat this one situation, let me tell you, kid, you’re better off not going in there. Besides, that woman in there only has one leg, but she’s got three kinds of herpes. And when you go to el baño, she’s going to steal your wallet. And she’s a man.”
Wednesday, June 11
Farmer Wants a Wife
CW 8:00 p.m.
Satire Television Writer Wants a Reason to Not String a Hose from His Exhaust to His Driver’s Side Window, but You Don’t Seem to Give a Hot Damn, Do You, CW?
Thursday, June 12
Raiders of the Lost Ark
USA 8:30 p.m.
Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn...DUHN-DUHN-DUHN! (whip crack!) Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn...DUHN-DUHN-DUHN-DUHN-DUHN! Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn...DUHN-DUHN-DUHN! Duhn-duhn-duhn-duhn... Oh, yeah, good luck getting that out of your head this afternoon. Ha ha! SUCKER! Eat it!