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Like an elderly pet, my television shows signs of physical and mental decline. And not one of those throwaway pets like a county-fair goldfish; no, my TV is a loyal Weimaraner, so noble. Now she’s leaving me, soon to take her journey to the Rainbow Bridge with all the other 26-year-old, 13-inch black-and-whites. I can see her there, with her little cane and bandaged antennae, smiling down at me in my bedroom. I’m wearing my usual mourning garb of Lone Ranger mask and coonskin cap. A gentle tear slides down my cheek. We had some good times, ol’ gal!

I’ve prepared a eulogy for the final day when I set her in the alley: “It was three years ago this Fourth of July. Dear friends bestowed upon me a gift of a spare television that had lost its power button in an apparent entertainment appliance gang fracas. How else a TV can lose a power button I’m not sure, but this plucky box entered my home and my heart.

“She was my first television. Sure, former roommates had TVs that I was fond of, they’d sniff at the back of my knee and I’d stroke their head, but they were never my television, and I was never their owner. “Owner” sounds so possessive. My TV and I shared a symbiotic relationship. She provided hours of thoughtless lazy entertainment, and I kept her fed with electricity and cable data. At night I’d cover her in a little blanket and put her away in a cabinet with a kiss between her rabbit ears. In recent months she forgave my ever-ballooning underpants size, and I forgave her failing volume output.

“Now she’s in a happier place. Now she can rest.”

I feel so awful about this. She’s not even passed on and I’ve browsed for newer models. I know she wants me to find another television after she transitions to angel, but it feels blasphemous while she’s alive.

Last week I wandered down a television aisle. I stood before sleek black 14486.10.P-HD-DVIR wafer-panel Mars-satellite-capable (oh, God, how the new ones are capable) Panasonics. I dabbed my eye and sniffled a bit. When a service clerk asked me if I was all right, I screamed, “Does it look like I’m all right!? You know nothing about the love I had! Nothing! Get out of here before I kick your ass, what is your name...? Katie!”

Thursday, June 26
Last Comic Standing
NBC 8:00 p.m.

Promos for this show pretend that people watch it. Isn’t that cute? Aw, NBC. Did you draw this all by yourself? Let’s put it up on the fridge. Just adorable.

Burn Notice
USA 11:00 p.m.

At first I thought the title read “Bum Notice” and that we’d finally started tracking our indigents and reporting their locations, which is a way better idea than the weather and traffic segments on the news. Tell me where there are onramps free of beggars so I don’t have to pretend that a leprechaun appeared on the passenger side floorboard, diverting my attention from the rapping at my window. “Oh! Something’s over here now, I can’t look at your witty sign, sir.”

Friday, June 27
XXX: State of the Union
FOX 8:00 p.m.

One thing’s for certain, Ice Cube is menacing because the writers and director told us so. He is not at all chubby, dimwitted, and distracted by the six-pack of Olde English in his trailer. Not that that is a bad thing because honestly there are two and a half slices of meat lovers on my counter and a tallboy of Pabst Blue Ribbon in my shower that are calling my name. Ah, I like being a morning person.

Saturday, June 28
P. Allen Smith Gardens
CBS 10:00 a.m.

If I worked in a garden, I would go by the name “P” too. And I’d drop in subversive comments such as, “What we want to do now is mark our territory of where we’re going to plant the gardenias” and “We want to direct the hose stream on the back fence so it goes mostly in the neighbors yard.”

Chappelles’ Show
CW 11:00 p.m.

Someone has to explain to me what is so wrong about “blackface” performers. Yeah, yeah, I get the history of it; it was condescending, but there are far worse things than shoe polish smeared about the cheeks. I just can’t muster up the required reaction as though it is a jacket of inside-out koalas. Koala jacket. Now that’s awful. Fbrrr, I just got a chill.

Sunday, June 29
American Idol Rewind
CW 11:00 p.m.

Fauxhawk: mullet of this decade.

Monday, June 30
History Detectives
PBS 10:00 p.m.

Until there’s an investigation into the sudden disappearance of awesome cartoons such as M.A.S.K., Voltron, and G.I. Joe, I’m gonna skip. Thanks, PBS. By all means carry on burping donkey meat, you publicly funded fart blossoms. (Gaw! Stupid PBS.)

Tuesday, July 1
Dr. Denese Skin Care
QVC 10:00 p.m.

The better show is Dr. Denese, Why Is Your Skin Peeling Off Your Cheek? Oh, My God, Dr. Denese is a Zombie! Everybody Run Before She Eats Your Brains! EEEEE! And there’s the hot chick from Reaper who gets cornered in a shed with me, but I’ve got a shotgun and I’m, like, “Bring it, Dr. Denese! I got 12 gauges with your name on ‘em!” Then I’m like Ted Nugent hunting pheasant or unicorn or something. BANG! BANG!

Wednesday, July 2
Wimbledon Update
NBC 11:35 p.m.

Super. More tennis and golf, please. Like I don’t have clay and grass and Tiger’s knee cartilage and Serena Williams’s big butt and man-shoulders comin’ out of my ears already.

Thursday, July 3
Fear Itself
NBC 10:00 p.m.

The most frightening and tearful occasion of my life has to be when I watched the ending of E.T. and the Army guys were dragging E.T. off in that plastic and he was dying. I bawled like a baby. My dad kept saying, “It’s okay. It’s not real. It’s just a movie.” Still, I couldn’t stop crying. I’m glad my dad was there. It helped. Otherwise, my 27th birthday would’ve been ruined.

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towelheadedcameljockey June 26, 2008 @ 2:36 p.m.

Where is Remote Control King article located online (what section)?

I have to actually type "Ollie" in search bar to bring up your past stories and that's how I locate the current Remote Control King. I've tried looking under "Stories" but can't find anything with this title. I've looked under "first person", "reviews" and "oddities". I even went as far to look under "news" and "foods" but still nothing.


Russ Lewis June 26, 2008 @ 2:55 p.m.

Towelhead, try looking under "What to Do." No, this is not a joke.


Ollie June 26, 2008 @ 3:12 p.m.

Also, there is a list of all the story links at the bottom of the main page. If you arrive on the main page, scroll to the bottom and look for "Remote Control." Bingo.


Ollie June 27, 2008 @ 9:40 a.m.

I used to be "What's for dinner." Mmmm...beefy.


Barbarella Fokos June 26, 2008 @ 6:36 p.m.

Ollie is what to do, and that's all there is to it. ;)


jen June 27, 2008 @ 10:22 a.m.

I swear this column belongs under "oddities".


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