Due to a public groundswell, my Indoor Life Network is about to launch. (The Outdoor Life Network's trade infringement case against Couch Slouch was thrown out by a Wyoming Superior Court as "frivolous.") ILN has secured major financial backing, from NBC Universal, Viacom Inc., and my Uncle Sid, flush after hitting a Pick 4 at Wheeling Downs last weekend.
Our charge is simple. We're tired of the broadcast clutter that solely celebrates what's happening outdoors -- networks such as Fuel, Speed, the Outdoor Channel, the Golf Channel, the Weather Channel and, of course, the nefarious Outdoor Life Network. We will celebrate the indoors!
Our motto: "If It's Beyond Your Reach, It's Beyond Your Reach."
(What's so great about The Great Outdoors anyway? It's a jungle out there. The Great Indoors is quieter, cooler and safer -- in all the saloons into which I have ever wandered, I have never seen a mountain lion or a mosquito.)
Here is the Indoor Life Network's inaugural lineup of prime-time programming:
"Bowling, Billiards & Basket Weaving": A feel-good fest centering on all things good about 10 pins and eight balls. (Basket weaving is not addressed at any point -- it is simply included in the title to attract a broader demographic.)
"How To Make Your Universal Remote Work For You, Presented by The Clapper": From his guest house, Kato Kaelin hosts the ultimate slacker's guide to creature clicker comforts.
"Oprah's Book Club -- NOT!": Sure, you're indoors all day, but who feels like reading a book anymore? We'll show you how glancing at book reviews, overhearing conversations at Bed Bath & Beyond and watching "the O'Reilly Factor" can make you book-smart without the big book budget.
"The Internet": An interactive video guide to the single most important piece of stay-at-home technology since indoor plumbing.
"Howard Hughes Remembered": This much-honored series documents how the nation's most eccentric billionaire hermit recluse was able to spend the final 91/2 years of his life -- pre-cable TV -- without ever stepping foot outside his Desert Inn Hotel penthouse suite in Las Vegas.
"America's Top 365 Pizza- Delivery Joints": One for every day of the year. No muss, no fuss!
"Survivor 8 -- New Jersey": Seven high school seniors hoping to gain admittance to Montclair State University share a Paramus boarding house. They are allowed out of the complex once a week, for dinner at a diner. Each day, they must eat together, sleep together, read USA Today together and play Twister together.
"ILN's One-Touch Home Shopping Show": Grand Opening special -- vintage, Elizabethan-era dumbwaiter (four easy payments of $29.95, plus shipping & handling).
"Foosball 2Night": Highlights, interviews and analysis from the nation's slowest-growing indoor sport.
"Air Hockey 2Night": Well, "Foosball 2Night" needs a companion program. That's how we got "Around the Horn."
"History of the Microwave": Remember how your mother would slave over a stove for hours and hours? What was she thinking? Last night, I had Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Chicken a l'Orange in Sauce with Broccoli and Rice ready in 41/2 minutes!
"The Indoor Olympics": Marquee events will include the sofa-to- bathroom-to-kitchen-to-sofa 15-yard sprint; watching "Blind Date" while paying gas and electric bills online; programming TiVo for six months of viewing (time trial); breast- feeding your infant while clicking between "The Young and the Restless" and "Wolf Blitzer Reports," and vacuuming your entire living room without getting off the couch.
"Poker for Idiots": Uniquely qualified in both areas, I will host this baby.
Ask The Slouch
Q. I watched the Tour de France because of Lance Armstrong, but I never figured out what a "peloton" was. (Kim Cooke; Madison, Wis.)
A. A peloton is a group that crowds together toward a common goal but never quite gets to where it's going. You'll spot a bunch of pelotons at the Democratic National Convention.
Q. Why does the pitcher always point up in the air on a popup? Does he think his teammates don't know where to look? (Doug Gordon; Sunnyvale, Calif.)
A. Former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis started this tradition accidentally in 1972. He was actually pointing to a group of reindeer he thought he saw crossing the night sky.
Q. Prior to Saddam Hussein's capture, the press often mentioned Saddam's "doubles." What have they been doing since his capture? (J. Yost; Lyndhurst, Ohio)
A. One of them is on Iraqi unemployment, the other took a job programming ABC's prime-time schedule.
Q. Who holds the corporate naming rights to your couch? (William T. Young; Stow, Mass.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!