Why I CanÂ’t Leave You People Alone for an Extended Amount of Time

Look, people, itÂ’s really simple: I left for a few months, leaving civilization for a little while, all in the hands of you nice folks. I come back, and look at the mess yÂ’all made. I canÂ’t keep cleaning up after you people. ItÂ’s bad enough I had to teach the bears to actually crap in the woods, not on the trail, and had to educate mice not to nest in my hair, but rather, to gather me nuts and berries and ice-cold soft drinks. So I had to catch up with all of the events of the summer in one week in order to realize the size and scope of the screwups that you people have made. I apologize if I forgot your mistakes, but here we go.
China has pretty much recalled everything. I think the Great Wall is made of lead paint and tainted food now. All the crap we are sending back could be shot off into space with their new space program, just so they can build one of their famous walls on the moon. At least it wouldnÂ’t be composed of dead workers and those pesky Mongols this time, although China probably hasnÂ’t completely tossed that idea out yet.
But I shouldn’t harp too much on China, because they are not the only ones that seem to be issuing recalls this summer: God seems to have defective goods, too. Tammy Faye, Jerry Falwell, and Billy Graham’s wife all were “recalled to heaven” while I was lost in the woods, and I, for one, hope that He isn’t finished making my Sunday mornings a little less preachy on basic cable. I would give Him a list to help out, but then it would raise the question of why I was up that early on a Sunday morning.
I figure that God already has appointed people that speak for Him (priests, rabbis, ministers), so why do we have the guys on Sunday morning cable in suits, on huge “campuses,” telling me to send money to them so they can continue to do God’s work? If they really want to do God’s work, instead of multimillion-dollar facilities, they should invest in the poorest communities; try to make a difference in SAT, ACT, and LEAP test scores; worry about poverty instead of ratings; and love one another instead of the almighty dollar. But that could be just the trail mix talking.
On my one or two days this summer getting news and television, I stumbled upon the fall lineup. BAD, BAD TV execs. You have made me want to read books, go exercise, or even (ugggh) study. Let’s start with the one that stands out as the crème of the crap this fall: Cavemen.
Let me get this straight: the GEICO® cavemen have earned their own TV show this fall? So I can now watch a thirty-minute commercial with commercials of its own? Was the gecko not cute enough to score its own show, too, or is that coming in the spring to Animal Planet? Why not all the other cool commercials, too?

· Mr. Whipple is starring in his own show about the wacky life of a stockman at a small grocery store. Prepare for a short season as a Wal-Mart opens next door. Surprise guest: Chester the Cheetah.

· Those two ladies from the Wendy’s commercial star in Where’s the Beef? They roam the inner city of Chicago, bitching and complaining about being shorted and slighted by area merchants. Expect to be disappointed as they eventually find the beef.

· Wild wackiness ensues when old people fall in unexpected places as candid cameras bring you I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up! This season’s final episode involves not one but two supreme justices slipping and falling. It will leave you in stitches.

As for Cavemen, I just hope the gecko gets to live next door and itÂ’s put on a network channel, so I can ignore it like all the other garbage they normally show.

The only other show that got stuck in my brain was Kid Nation. Forty kids, forty days, no parents. Hmmmm. I think I read this somewhere before. Lord of the Flies? No, that canÂ’t be right. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome? Close. Camp Nowhere? Even with Christopher Lloyd, not what they had in mind. Wait, they did make a movie of Lord of the Flies, so thatÂ’s it.

I canÂ’t believe that they would leave that many kids alone wherever for 40 days. You turn your back for five minutes and kids will get into trouble: joyriding in your car, spraying graffiti on the underpass of the interstate, or pouring paint into the pool again. I saw a group of teens in the woods with a leader this summer, and I saw what they picked out on their own as food: candy bars and cokes. At least when these kids on TV get done, we can roll them over to The Biggest Loser. Nothing like recycling, I guess.

Next month, IÂ’ll have to cover the election, so I wonÂ’t have to get mad and come over and smack your nose with a newspaper again. Unless you like that sort of thing; then IÂ’ll send my roommate over.