All week long the Miami Herald has been running stories about how to do stuff cheap, and Friday's piece is about stuff you can do at home this weekend that's inexpensive and relatively legal. Here's my little chunk on television:
Ha! Admit it! You saw that headline about cheap TV and thought this was a story about hot-wiring your cable box. Sorry, but we're holding that one for a special Felonious Weekend edition later this year.
But even if we can't suggest any legal ways to make your television cheaper, we've got some ideas about how to get more out of it: Check out those little-watched channels with numbers like 8,702 -- they're full of odd and entertaining (if not necessarily good) programming that offers a break from all those CSI and Law & Order episodes.
• The Fox Reality Channel airs mainly reruns of old reality shows. Most of these are merely stupid and trashy, but from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, you can see a marathon of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, possibly the worst series in the history of broadcast television. In this 2004 show, a young and pretty Phoenix schoolteacher tries to give her parents strokes by pretending to marry a loathsome, slobby pig. How often do you get to see a genuine portent of the end of Western civilization?
• The exercise channel FitTV screens something called Namaste Yoga at least half a dozen times a day. Not only do you get to watch clinically insane people contort their bodies into triple-pretzels (and hope they might not be able to untwist!), but there are also explanations of words like yuj and namaste and pranayama that possibly we wouldn't even print in the Miami Herald if we knew what they really meant.
• NASA Television airs live footage of space missions when they're afoot, and reruns of old ones when the skies are dark. Watch hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars turn into space junk in the blink of an eye as random, tiny asteroids crash into brand-new satellites! See the invention of Tang! Try to guess if the moon landings were really faked!
• Don't listen to Dr. Spock and his pruneface, killjoy disciples -- you're never too young to start watching TV. BabyFirstTV is programmed specifically for infants. Prop them in front of the set at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for Art & Music, dedicated to "exploring the world of the arts through dance, music, movement and more." After they're all freaked out by Twyla Tharp and Thelonious Monk, tune in the 11 p.m. Nighttime Programs for Baby -- soothing music and shifting, colorful shapes, basically the stuff they'll seek through the use of illegal substances once they become teenagers.
• Speaking of illegal substances, was that really just spinach in those cans that Popeye used to toss back? Watch for clues in the 5 a.m. Sunday screening of an original episode on the classic-cartoon channel Boomerang. Later risers can catch a 15-hour Flintstones marathon that starts at 8 a.m.
• Q. What makes the perfect Sunday brunch? A. Croissants, mimosas and the Military Channel's 8 a.m. documentary show Futureweapons. This week's episode, Maximum Impact, is about "weapons that annihilate en masse." Go ahead, have two mimosas.
• GSN, which used to be called the Game Show Network, has reruns of old game shows all weekend long: Family Feud, Match Game, Let's Make A Deal, What's My Line, Russian Roulette. That last one, I should warn you, isn't quite as exciting as it sounds.
• For the adult version of Nighttime Programs for Baby, tune into the Golf Channel any time, day or night. All golf, all the time, guaranteed to produce restful sleep within minutes.