’S official, I’m in recovery. Just canceled “Scheduled” under “Saved.” No more Nicolle, no more Chris and Chris, no more Rachel, no more—this, for me, the unkindest cut of all—Lawrence. The whole enchilada. The whole shebang. Cold turkey…years long, too, it was, the habit, the MSNBC habit. I bought the ticket, leaned forward, took the ride. Addiction, likely. Dependence, certainly. But I had to. She threatened me, my wife did. “Se’s matando, nosotros. ¿No ve usted?” “It’s killing you: us, don’tcha see?” is how she put it, my Mexican wife did, blood waving down her olive neck, then, I translate, “Night after night of—what?” then disgustedly, “¿miedo y asco?”—fear and loathing? Not that I was surprised. It’s been coming for a while. The tautened nerves. The lost balance. The tense melancholy. You know, the typical signs of sclerotic idealism. Then, blam! the blubbering, potomaniacal judge was confirmed to the so-called High Court, and I…well, I screamed out like a sabbath of witches the answer to a crossword puzzle clue for a cry of despair, “It can’t be! It can’t be!” like that. “Qué! ¿Qué es esto?”—“Senator Corncracker”—“Quién?”—“You know,” I threw back to her, “the monomaniacal ‘foul owl on the prowl?’”—“¡Oh, ese Corncracker!”—“He just ramrodded the mythomaniacal preppy’s confirmation through the politicomaniacal upper body!” Then, pause, eyes flashing, mouth wreathed in alarm, she shouts, “¡Agarsche!” just like that, “Duck!” as if to the whistle of incoming artillery, adding, freely, “We’re in bat country and the weasels are closing in!” Then, somberly, puffing at un cigarillo muerto, “Whatever we are doing is wrong, and we are losing…” She shares, my dear wife does, my fugitive, unreasoning fears, the sinking of the heart; the lip-biting, rat-gnawing hate. I can tell ’cause, y’see, it’s sólido entre nosotros…don’t misunderstand—I agree with the entire MSNBC crew—Stephanie and Hallie, Willy and Alex, Joe and Mika. I could go on, and she could too. I mean, like, they’re my—our—familia, our “tribe,” as they say nowadays. But she can’t take any more, and who can blame her? Any more of Ari’s relentless BREAKING NEWS crawlers or Rachel’s nightly tease—“Watch this space”—or Katy’s midday cutesy-poo handoff to the rapper with the three-day stubble after she’s served up an hour of DC angst? “¡Palabras sin sentido!” she calls ’em contemptuously—“Bootless words!”—“¡Palabras sin sentido!” over and over again, over a glass of “bottled poetry.” Then, stygian, in a voice big and stout, “¡Por qué lo juro!” and here she solemnly raises her right hand, and I think, naturally, she’s ’bout to rap out a fearsome oath to defeat our lateritious President Whataboutery, or at least his myrmidons, but no, it’s at me she’s—“¡Lo juro por Dios!”—swearing to God— “Voy a tirar un completo Lyssy, ¡te lo juro!” She means, of course, if I don’t stop watching—let me interject here that this isn’t the first time my wife has made such a—well, precisely this threat. Exactly what her threatened “complete Lyssy” means and where she picked it up I don’t quite know, and have never asked. My best bet: community theatre, where she goes to improve her English. Whatever, wherever, it sounds positively baleful. This time, though, this time she appends hurriedly, in a soft minor, a voice small and shrill, “Como si todavía tuviera esa tarjeta para jugar.” “Card” and “as if” and “play” I catch, and…well, for the first time, I get it. I mean, I grasp between the lines the situation. Y’see, she thinks, I think, my wife does, that all of MSNBC’s unnerving chuntering and lurid chyrons, their perpetual grievance with no surcease save a soupçon of the soon-to-be dropped Lockup: Raw: then what? Kasie D.C.? Well, the thing is, she thinks, I think, my wife does, I think, that maybe…well, how to say it? Well, of late, I’ve had a  problem with, ahem, performing. There. ’S out. End of story. Let’s just leave it at that—except, okay, okay—even with enhancers, so-called. “Ed,” she goes, screwing up her eyes, “¿Sabes lo que pienso?” Of course I want to know what she thinks ’cause, like I say, ’s sólido entre nosotros. So, “What?” I go, “What do you think?” and she says…no, no, she asseverates is what she does, “Ed,” she asseverates, “creo—,” a marked pause here, then, quick as thought, darkly, “MSNBC está jodiendo con ATT,” that is, loosely, “MSNBC is fucking with ATT.” ATT…Alpha Titan Testo…then she throws me a pleading look that seems to say, in any language,  “’S why you can’t pop a chub.” Shark Tank is where she came across it, ATT. Two sister-chemists at MIT supposedly netted the biggest deal in Shark Tank history. “All six sharks,” she tells me, rápidamente, infomercially-like, “all six! teamed up to seed the company with a staggering $2.5 million dollars!” Then, pausing for breath, she quotes, I translate, “In just a short six months, their product has completely disrupted the Men’s Health industry in the United Kingdom, and with the help of the sharks, they are now ready to take over the world market!”—“You really think that—?” I go. Then she flatly ticks me off on her fingertips, “Triste, deprimida, desesperada, positivamente las paperas,”—sad, depressed, hopeless, positively mumpish. Then she makes a fist with raised pinkie and delivers the coup de grâce, “¡Impotente!”—“You really think—?” An unconscious sigh and kicking nerves stop me.—“Clássico,” she enunciates mincingly, and then, flat as a bad joke, in perfect English, “classic drug interaction.” ’S when I swore off, ’cause, y’see, I want it to be solid ’tween us.