It was a rugged year, and I was not always a good boy. I made some mistakes in 1991. You know it. I know it.
Droves of females called and wrote, angrily attacking me after I clumsily mentioned the allure of miniskirts in a column I wrote about sexual harassment and the televised Anita Faye Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings.
Catholics galore accused me of anti-Catholicism for supporting KCET's decision to air the controversial documentary "Stop the Church."
But bring on the clean slate. This year will be different. You're reading the words of a changed man. I'll do better, you'll see. If it's resolutions you want, I've got blockbusters. In 1992, among other things:
\o7 I Resolve \f7 to not use bad grammar. I hope.
In writing about CNN's live coverage of the William Kennedy Smith trial, I noted high in my column, unfortunately where no one would miss it, that the electronic blue dot covering the face of Smith's accuser, Patricia Bowman, at various times \o7 shrunk.\f7
A number of readers noted that the correct usage was \o7 shrank.\f7
Oh, my shrunken ego.
In his letter pointing out my error, however, one reader misspelled \o7 grammar \f7 with an "e." No one is perfect.
Certainly not me. Or is it I? As anyone who regularly edits this column can testify, I can't spell either. Or is it neither?
I once misspelled \o7 fascist--\f7 without the first "s"--twice in the same sentence, and the copy desk, by this time apparently desensitized and shellshocked by my constant misspellings, failed to catch it.
On the positive side, I did manage to get six out of seven letters. In just about any other profession, getting six out of seven is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, I did it in the lead sentence. The lead sentence of a column blasting someone \o7 else's \f7 incompetence.
The incompetent person I criticized never used my misspellings as a means to counterattack. He was either too kind or as bad speller as me. Or is it I?
As you can see in any case, when it comes to self-criticism, I'm no shrinking violet.
I \o7 Resolve \f7 to not use \o7 goofy \f7 in another column. Not for a while, anyway.
Actually, I stole \o7 goofy \f7 from another TV critic. I read it in his column, and fell in love with it: What a goofy actor. What a goofy little show. What a goofy script. I could go on and on, and have.
I felt no guilt about stealing \o7 goofy \f7 from him. Years earlier, he stole from me in broad daylight, plucking \o7 oh--\f7 the lower case snidely denoting insignificance--from one of my prize columns. Others then stole \o7 oh \f7 from him, and the frenzy was on, the result being that \o7 oh \f7 is now widely used by columnists everywhere.
I will not identify the TV critic from whom I stole \o7 goofy. \f7 Giving credit to others is something I'll cover in my 1993 resolutions.
However, it's time that I take back what is rightfully mine. It's time that I welcome back a long-lost old friend. I'm getting a chill up my spine. On your feet, please, and a standing ovation for . . . \o7 oh.\f7
I\o7 Resolve\f7 to not get sucked into watching terrible old movies.
It looks interesting. It may even start interestingly. But there's no counting the times I get drawn into a movie that's a no-brainer and then stay with it, my rationale being that having already invested so much time in this dog, I might as well stick around to see how it ends. Big mistake.
At 10 p.m. Sunday, I found myself in front of something called "Bedroom Eyes" on KADY in Oxnard. As soon as I saw the promo--a guy window-peeping on a \o7 menage a trois \f7 that turns into murder--my lascivious side got the better of me, and I knew I was going to watch it. I gave up watching "Spartacus" to watch it.
Hooked. Two-plus hours out of my life--gone, wasted on of one of the dopiest, worst-written-directed-and-acted movies ever made.
None of the kinky sex I was anticipating. Not even a watchable plot. Just some dumb schlub of a voyeur who witnesses a murder and, instead of doing the logical thing and going to the cops, runs away and blabs it all to his beautiful, but equally dumb shrink. He hides in her apartment, where the sexy murderer finds him and tries to carve him up, too, but only after parking her swanky car with its personalized plates right in front of the apartment house where everyone will see it and, thus, be able to identify her.
When "Bedroom Eyes" ended after midnight, I was sleepy, unfulfilled and angry--angry that anyone could get money to make such an amateurish movie and angry that I had been foolish enough to squander an evening on it. But never again. Lesson learned. I'm turning over a new leaf.
Right after I watch "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman" on Cinemax.
I \o7 Resolve \f7 to not make fun of such easy marks as Willard Scott, Geraldo Rivera, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dick Vitale or Roseanne and Tom Arnold. Unless they deserve it.
I \o7 Resolve\f7 --to write no more columns about me. Not unless I'm as desperate as I was when I wrote this one.