By Scott Brown
Updated October 24, 2006 at 07:04 PM EDT
Credit: Tom Cruise: Scott Gries/Getty Images

As all of you know, Tuesday is Cruise-Day. And you know what that means: All pants are half off! Wait… that’s half an old Michael Jackson joke. So hard to keep the vicious derision properly targeted! Tell you what, let’s just spin the wheel and see exactly how The Excitable One will climb out of the pit he gone and dug for hisself. His choices, based on a published report:

— Lions for Lambs, a political indie drama about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Redford may direct and play a role. Cruise is being wooed to play a congressman, Meryl Streep a journalist.

— The Ha-Ha, adapted from a Dave King novel by Chuck Leavitt. Cruise would be born on yet another fourth of July, playing a Gulf War vet rendered mute by his injuries who’s charged with the care of a 9-year-old. That’s right: rendered mute. Which is why Tom’s publicist must be pushing hard for this one.

— Selling Time, a Fox drama from Spike Lee (the new, studio Spike Lee) about a man who (according to Variety) “sells back chunks of time in his life for a chance to relive and change the worst day of his life.” I don’t really know what that means. But maybe that’s ’cause I haven’t paid the $15,000 to ascend to that level of understanding.

Conspicuously absent from this list is the comedy Cruise was reportedly developing (or, at least, exploring) with Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin). Perhaps it was decided that it was, er, a bit too soon to laugh with, at, or near Cruise? We know that’s not the case, don’t we, PopWatchers? So tell me: What should our boy Tom do next? Besides change Suri’s dirty Thetans?