One Day At A Time 

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

MONDAY, MARCH 20 Today is the first day of spring, and what do we do on the first day of spring? (Besides getting refitted for our diaphragm?) WE CLEAN HOUSE. And that's exactly what the producers of American Idol threatened to do earlier this month, when they considered giving the heave-ho to emotionally stumbling judge Paula Abdul. According to Us Weekly, tensions on the set of the talent show reached a boiling point, primarily because of Abdul's erratic behavior. "Paula was being very difficult," said an inside source. "[She was] crying all the time and arriving late for meetings." Huh? That sounds like half the Mercury staff. However, even the casual viewer can clearly see that Paula has been off her game. Check out Mercury writer Chas Bowie's hilarious Idol recaps every week on portlandmercury.com's Blog Town, USA in "Let's Talk TV." As he puts it, "Paula is definitely on 'ludes. Not maybe. Not a couple drinks in. It'll be in Ann Romano's column as a full-blown rehab story by Christmas." Sounds like a good bet, friend. But if Paula goes, who would step in to replace her? According to this snarky source (and subsequently denied by Paula's reps), "[The producers] liked Jessica Simpson a lot. And some were pushing for Britney Spears." Ka-WHAAAA?? Even in her current post-pop princess elephantine state, we can't imagine Britney EVER stepping foot on that show. What if they asked her to sing?? As for Jessica, those Proactiv acne and Pizza Hut/Miss Piggy commercials won't last forever, so she should jump for the job. AND she already looks like she's hopped up on 'ludes.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 We're pretty sure Britney knows that hubby Kevin Federline is the worst rapper of all time, but it does keep him out of the house, and stops him from doing stupid things like attempting to pierce baby Sean Preston's ears. A selfish attitude, if you ask us, especially since we're the ones who are being subjected to Kevin's godawful recordings. Take the one he released this week for example, which gravely insulted Us Weekly, and by extension, ourselves. Here are some lyrics from his untitled opus: "Ya'll motherfuckers striking out right now/And you magazine motherfuckers, too/Can all kiss a dick/Us Weekly, I'll shout every one of you bitches out/All your shit is fake!/I love my kids/I love my wife, too/You know what you could do? [laughs]/Grab your socks!/FUCK THE MEDIA!" Ouch. That really hurt our feelings. One question, though. We already pick up our socks, so if you really love your wife as much as you say, why don't you start grabbing your own?

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 In their bid to insult every person in the world, South Park producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone have chased away longtime cast member Isaac "Chef" Hayes. After quitting the show last week over Parker and Stone's constant lampooning of the truly ridiculous "religion" Scientology (of which Hayes is also a member), the 63-year-old soul singer was the object of a special tossed-together episode skewering his departure and beliefs. Entitled "The Return of Chef" (which aired tonight), the character of Chef is "brainwashed" by a club of child molesters, and the South Park kids are forced to take him to a psychologist (who, as we know, certain bullshit religions tend to hate). By the end, Chef is subjected to a number of grisly accidents including being shot, struck by lightning, impaled, mauled by a mountain lion, and eaten by a grizzly bear. However, at Chef's funeral, young Kyle delivers a eulogy that reminds viewers they should direct their anger not at their old friend, but "at the fruity little club for scrambling his brain." Hmmm... you don't think he's talking about Scientologists, do you? Nahhh... us neither.

THURSDAY, MARCH 23 Speaking of slightly insane people who don't know what they're talking about... actor Charlie Sheen is back in the gossip rags again this week—and not for boinking prostitutes. Apparently the star of that abysmal sitcom Two and a Half Men has a couple of crackpot theories about the attacks on September 11, and he's not ashamed to share them. For some unknown reason, Charlie was asked about his political views while on the Alex Jones radio show, and said he believed that the US government was complicit in the 9/11 attack. "It seems to me like 19 amateurs with box-cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets feels like a conspiracy theory," said the son of obviously embarrassed father Martin Sheen. "It raises a lot of questions." He went on to expound on the collapse of the Twin Towers, opining it to look like a "controlled demolition." How can anyone who witnessed the Hurricane Katrina fiasco have faith that our government could pull off something as complicated as the September 11 attacks? They can't even go on a hunting trip without shooting each other in the face. Go back to the prostitutes, Charlie. It's what you do best.

FRIDAY, MARCH 24 Portly actor Randy Quaid feels snookered. He played the sheep rancher in Brokeback Mountain, and claims he was told that he was participating in a "low-budget, art-house film, with no prospect of making any money," and not the homo-juggernaut we all know and love. Believing he was slumming and not, as it turns out, marrying up, he agreed to forgo his usually seven figure fee and points for an unspecified, though much smaller, amount. (Sources say he did get to keep the mustache and three sheep.) Now he's suing for $10 million in damages. Gay cowboys? Come on, Randy, you couldn't see the profit margin written all over that one? Meanwhile, Ang Lee is countersuing. He says he thought he was hiring Randy's brother Dennis Quaid.

SATURDAY, MARCH 25 Hunky Patrick Dempsey has taken our heart hostage. He's got it in a basement tied to a chair with a gun to its head and a piece of duct tape over its mouth and he hasn't let it eat in five days. But not all hostage taking is that romantic. So police in Fernandina Beach, Florida reacted swiftly when they believed that evildoers had stormed the downtown post office. The cops cordoned off the block, surrounded the post office, and started shouting and doing police things (fingering their guns, adjusting their caps, talking into radios). What they didn't know was that the evildoers were in fact members of a high school Spanish club who were filming a student movie. Some citizens had seen them going into the post office with toy guns and... well, you know. Happily it was all cleared up when the postmaster said he had given permission to the young cadre to use the post office to make a movie called Rolling Thunder. It's a low-budget, art-house film starring the treasurer of the Spanish club and Randy Quaid. He's agreed to work for scale.

SUNDAY, MARCH 26 According to the Oregonian, Mount Hood is melting. Not melting like our heart melted when we saw Patrick Dempsey on the cover of Details (good God, he's handsome)—but actually, physically thawing. The seven biggest of the mountain's 11 glaciers have shrunk an average of 34 percent since 1900, which is, incidentally, a faster rate of shrinkage than hubby Kip's 401k. Since the rate of global warming is only increasing, the big thaw is expected to accelerate. And who wants to look at a mountain without snow on it? That's just gross. You know what they should do when the glaciers are all gone? Carve it into something scary. Like Skeletor's Snake Mountain. Wicked cool. You know, this global warming thingy might work out after all!

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