FIRST THINGS FIRST! It's come to my attention that I Love Television™ readers love nothing better than "love." They're loopy for "love," and will go to great and unexpected lengths to prove it. Therefore it is with great pleasure to announce that the Mercury is starting its own personals section! It's a terrific way to discover that new boy or girlfriend you'll be dumping in the near future. And OH! Is it EASY! Simply fill out the form located on page 42, send it in, and squeal in delight after reading it in next week's (August 10) issue. And who knows? Maybe you'll even find the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE (i.e. one that doesn't require batteries)! So c'mon! Don't wait for fate to spoon-feed you some booty. Take out a personal ad today! You'll be glad you did!

And speaking of love, I Love Television™ reader Sam Findlay writes, "Dear Wm.™ Steven Hump-me: Would you please use your immense influence in the television industry to pull some strings and get me on one of these newfangled 'reality shows' like Survivor or Big Brother? If successful, I'll give you such a rub!" Well, Sam, though I could easily lie to you (as I often have when a "rub" is involved), here's the hard truth: Most of the "television industry" thinks I'm a big dick, and the only "string" they would allow me to "pull" is the one attached to a rabid weasel, covered in broken glass, which they would happily stick deep inside my bungy.

However! While the thought of starring in a TV show is undeniably attractive, I also think it would be worth a rub for me to talk you out of it. Now, I know I've said in the past that it's your God-given right to make an ass out of yourself on television--but remember! I'm a big dick, and I love getting people in trouble. Think about it: While the cast members of Survivor and Big Brother may be getting oodles of national attention is it really what they want?

Example! Consider the case of Kelly, one of the unfortunate members of Survivor who got kicked off the island. She's barely home for two seconds when the cops come knocking at her door with a warrant for her arrest! Apparently, thanks to her newfound fame, the pigs looked up her record and discovered she's wanted for using a stolen credit card! And even worse? She used it to buy dinner at the Olive Garden! Talk about embarrassing!

Or what about Richard (the big gay spear-fisherman) who returned home, only to be arrested for allegedly abusing his 10-year-old son? (I Love Television™ Legal Note: He was later acquitted.) Meanwhile, nosy reporters discovered that George, the tubby wuss on Big Brother, accidentally killed one of his pals 12 years ago on a hunting trip! And to top it all off, remember Rick Rockwell, the millionaire groom/goon from Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? Well, a crazed "fan" recently broke into his hotel room, and after a scuffle, the fan ended up ripping Rick's big toenail off!

Now truthfully, Sam! Is this the way you want to live your life? Running from the law, grieving over your dead hunting buddy, and limping around on a bloody toe? Take it from me: Fame and fortune aren't all they're cracked up to be. (However, the rubs are very nice. Ahhhh, a little lower and to the left, please.)