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I LOVE TELEVISION

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Oh, boy! Have I mentioned that I love gambling? Well, I do! I love gambling! In fact, I'm just like one of those people you see on posters in casinos who've lost their home and families thanks to their addiction — except in my case, I'm smiling and haven't lost anything, because I'm making an ass-load of money! Woo-HOO!

See, it's those losers who are consistently LOSING at gambling that make it hard for those of us who win — they're giving "addiction" a bad rap! Now everybody looks at ME like I'm one of those sad sacks on the posters, when in actuality, I'm rolling in piles of moolah and snorkeling in a gold-encrusted swimming pool filled with hookers and coke.

Here are things I like to gamble on: blackjack, baccarat, poker, roulette, pai gow, craps, sports, ponies, what type of underpants people wear, what celebrity is going to jail next and if the next dog I see passes by a pile of cat poop or stops to eat it. OH! And I also bet on TV. "Oh, Humpy, you poor mentally handi-capable person," I hear you cry. "Nobody bets on TV." Au contraire, mon frere! This nobody does! There are tons of things on TV to gamble on, and for certain websites, it's big business. Take for example Bodog.com, which not only offers card games, sports betting and horsies, but you can wager on TV and celebrity stuff, too!

For example, recent bets included "Will Tony Soprano survive the final episode of The Sopranos?" "Will America's Got Talent host David Hasselhoff eat a hamburger onscreen during season two of the show?" and "Will someone be burnt or cut in the fourth episode of Hell's Kitchen 3?" I swear I'm not joking! In fact, recently the site had to suspend betting on who would eventually win Hell's Kitchen because someone on the show possibly leaked the winner's name! DAMN IT!! And I totally had $500 riding on the crying tubby Asian cowboy!

In fact, the only thing wrong with this site is that they don't have nearly enough TV stuff to wager on. For the love of God, why can't we bet on television questions like this?!?

• Will Katie Couric finally accept the fact that no one's watching the CBS Evening News, whip off her bra and swing it 'round her head like a helicopter?

• Will any show on TV ever be as good as Arrested Development, or should we just say "screw it" and drink ourselves to death underneath our building's crawl space?

• Will it turn out that the big secret behind Lost is that the castaways were actually miniaturized by the communist Chinese, and are now living in a sub-microscopic world that's been injected into the intestines of a syphilitic donkey with rickets?

• And perhaps most importantly, will TV ever realize that a reality show about Humpy doing cannonballs into a swimming pool full of prostitutes and blow would be a shoo-in for at least 137 Emmy Awards?

(As far as that last one goes, if I were you? Bet your entire life savings on "YES!" C'mon … we all know it's just a matter of time!)

Five bucks says you e-mail me in the next three minutes.

steve@portlandmercury.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 14

8:30 p.m. ABC FAST CARS & SUPERSTARS

It's a fun day at the racetrack until volleyball star Gabrielle Reece flips her car into the stands.

8:30 p.m. NBC 30 ROCK

If you haven't watched this heelarious show starring SNL's Tina Fey, catch it now in reruns!

FRIDAY, JUNE 15

8 p.m. CBS THE PRICE IS RIGHT

Bob Barker host of the show for 35 years — avoids screaming obese contestants for the very last time.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16

8 p.m. NBC COLD MOUNTAIN

(Movie, 2003) Jude Law plays a dreamy Confederate soldier trying to get back to his scrawny, annoying sweetheart (Nicole Kidman).

10 p.m. A&E CONFESSIONS OF A MATCHMAKER

Debut! Style gurus pick apart two ugly people, so they can become a more socially attractive couple.

SUNDAY, JUNE 17

10 p.m. HBO ENTOURAGE

Return! Things go from bad to insane for Vince and the boys while trying to film in South America.

10:30 p.m. HBO FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS

Debut! A comedy documentary following the exploits of a New Zealand two-man digi-folk band trying to make it big in NYC!

MONDAY, JUNE 18

9 p.m. FOX HELL'S KITCHEN

While serving members of the armed forces, the Pentagon realizes that Chef Ramsay could be our best weapon against al-Qaida.

9 p.m. NBC AGE OF LOVE

Debut! Like The Bachelor, except women of all ages compete for one hot tennis star. Move over, grandma!

TUESDAY, JUNE 19

9 p.m. USAA TRIBUTE TO AL PACINO

The American Film Institute celebrates the career of the man who gave us, "Say hello to my leetle friend."

10 p.m. E! SIMPLE LIFE GOES TO CAMP

Nicole and Paris teach kids how to win a beauty pageant, starting with "Bulimia 101."

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20

8 p.m. CW HIDDEN PALMS

Things get even more mysterious in this teen drama that's like a more sinister version of The O.C.

10:30 p.m. COM LIL' BUSH

The animated adventures of President Bush when he was a kid. This episode: Bush's third-grade class invades Iraq.


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