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1. Days of Our Lives. It all started when I lived with the sorority-types on campus. They’d schedule their classes around it. Me, I tried to keep mine in the afternoons because I thought it was best to rise when breakfast was no longer required. (Saved calories!) So there I’d be, eating my grilled-cheese sandwich, stuck in front of the rabbit-eared, 19-inch tube, watching Diedre Hall and Drake Hogestyn duke it out in a contest for worst acting. Soon, I was the first one to turn on the TV, eagerly awaiting Sami and Lucas’ shenanigans and Stefano’s bad accent. It was bad television at its best, and I was hooked.
2. McDonald’s french fries. Crispy, greasy, better slathered with ketchup. Not apologizing.
3. Googling Britney. Oh, go ahead, judge me. But really it’s fascinating watching a train wreck in progress. And a trailer trash wreck at that. Whee!
4. Idol. Paula’s incoherent rants. Simon’s chest hair. Counting how many times they say “bad karaoke” in a show. Oh, Idol, how you make the cold winter nights worth living.
5. Peering at the neighbors. They have a blanket covering their basement window, but it hangs down about 5 inches. I often stand in the shadows of my dark dining room watching them pace, argue, and obsessively rearrange trinkets I can’t quite make out. Part of it is because I think they’re up to something, but the other part is purely voyeristic. I have actually used Myles’ spy kit to try and make out what the papers on their table say. Damn spy kit. What do I expect for $20?
It pours, straight through the roof. (Or more accurately, when
the snow melts …)
And where does it pour? Straight into my television — the vehicle whereby cheesy soap operas, late-night talk hosts, sitcoms and juicy reality television shows occupy my wine-addled brain when I finish work.
So for Christmas, Ed and I get to buy each other a new boob tube. (Let’s just skip the part about how we need a new roof.)
And now we have to buy an overpriced HDTV. I would have been fine watching my analog piece of shit for another 20 years. I prefer my TV a bit fuzzy, to tell the truth. I don’t care to see every wrinkle on Deidre Hall‘s face (Botox takes care of most of them, I know …). And I certainly don’t need to see the mold and grease in the grossest restaurants in the country any more clearly than I already do.
And how in the hell am I supposed to get a Sesame Street nap when there’s no TV? Who will Simon point at and say “boos coos”? (That’s Blues Clues for those of you without kids.)
Frankly, I think we’re going to have to take action tomorrow. I’m starting to panic. And to all of you uptight literary types who don’t even have cable (I know some of you read this), I say you try having three kids and not plunking them in front of the good old electronic babysitter for a break. And you try reading mind-numbing city council stories for eight hours and then coming home and tackling a novel.
I prefer to read on the treadmill and fry the day out of my brain when I’m done working. Judge me if you must, just don’t take away my TV.