My Reality TV Gold

I’m an idea man. That means I think about things and don’t accomplish a whole lot. Imagine Steve Jobs without the intelligence and work ethic. For instance, I’d like to have a universal TV remote control implanted in my brain. I’m sure it can be done, but I just can’t get started on it.

I watch a lot of TV. Many of my friends harrumph “I don’t watch TV, except CSPAN. I’m too busy re-reading the classics.” Well, good for you. You’re missing out, my pseudo-intellectual friend.

Sports are on TV. The great film Road House is often on. There are news programs, comedies, horror movies, history programs and, of course, Reality TV.

Reality TV is just TV without actors. You take non-actors and film them doing stuff. It helps if your stars are mentally impaired, already famous, or have odd physical anomalies. Generally strange lifestyles such as survivalism, obscure religions and polygamy are also pluses.

Reality TV falls into two broad categories. One is slice of life programming ranging from the curious world of Honey Boo Boo to the insufferable largesse of the Kardashian family. The other category is the competitions such as singing, dancing and survivalism.

TV producers love Reality TV because it’s cheap–no actors, no sets and very little scripting. Of course, there are scripts. After all, if we really followed someone’s life we’d watch them make beds, pay bills and nap. We have to have a little structure for entertainment purposes.

With all this in mind, I’ve been thinking, as I’m wont to do, about my own reality shows. I have several ideas, and they are all solid gold.


We take a young Amish man (probably named Yoder) and set him off during Rumspringa to be trained as a crime scene investigator. Yoder incorporates his Amish ways into modern crime-fighting, using saw dust to dust for fingerprints and drawings instead of demonic photography.

Yoder returns to Pennsylvania Dutch Country to fight crime among the Anabaptists.  Each week we follow him as solves a new mystery such as horse thievery, buggy vandalism and the use of electricity.   Violent crimes are not excepted, either.  He can investigate forced shavings and other such outrages.  I’ll figure it out as we go along.  Remember:  The Amish are entertaining regardless of what they are doing.


Anyone who follows me on the various social media knows my admiration of The Learning Channel Special, The Man With the 132 Pound Scrotum.  I’m a big fan, not as big as his scrotum, but big nonetheless.  I was equally parts fascinated and horrified.  Why?  Well, the guy had a freakin’ 132 pound scrotum!!  How about that?

In my show, we follow him around with a camera and record his adventures.  Okay, I know the guy got the scrotum thing fixed (Thank God!).  I would never suggest that he regrow it just for my TV show (unless he really wants to).  We can fit him a lifelike prosthetic scrotum to duplicate the real one.

We can get him a job in various Reality TV occupations such as pawn shop owner or commercial fisherman.  Hilarity and horror will ensue, because of–well, you know–the giant scrotum situation.  Perhaps we can even turn him into a Doomsday prepper just to see if anyone would be willing to share his shelter with him.

Did I mention that he had a 132 pound scrotum?  People will tune in just to see that.


Everyone loves little people.  They used to be called midgets, but I understand that is now a pejorative term.  I think “dwarf” is still okay, but it sounds worse than midget.  By the way, is it “dwarves” or “dwarfs?”  I don’t know. Spellcheck says it’s “wharves.”  I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.) Anyway, if that, too, is offensive we’ll change the title, although we lose a certain alliteration.

This one is simple.  It’s just a dance competition among little people  Here’s the twist:  Their dance partners are non-little people professional dancers.  (I hesitate to say “normal” sized. After all, that infers that the little people are abnormal.  I don’t want to alienate my core audience).  Wouldn’t you  watch little people dance madly about trying to keep up with their larger partners? OR we could have professional little people dancers try to teach clumsy big people how to dance.  Either way, it’s ratings gold.


The History Channel’s R. Lee Ermey marries Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June, Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, Chloe Kardashian and Flavor Flav.  They all move into a house together.  I don’t have anything else figured out for this yet, but you’d watch it.


This is perhaps my most controversial idea.  Homosexuals have long been feared, yet quite entertaining.  From Broadway musicals to figure skating, they have provided endless hours of joy for heterosexuals who are otherwise are terrified of them–much like our African-American friends were viewed a generation or so ago.

I’m tired of this.  I want to create a fascinating gay reality show intended to both entertain and horrify.  Each week, we take a couple of gay men, the more flamboyant the better (think of a gayer version of skater Johnny Weir).  We then strip them naked and place them in various survival scenarios.  (Alright, they don’t have to be naked–unless they want to be, in which case I’m perfectly okay with it.)

I’d prefer gay men for show–not because I’m gay or anything, not there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s just that the world of pornography has worked many years to mainstream lesbians.  Gay men, on the other hand, remain feared and loathed, what with their awesome Gay Agenda which they pass out to people on the street.

We’ll send them to gun shows, Tea Party rallies,  NFL locker rooms, church services, Arizona–anywhere we can think of that they might be unwelcome.  They can announce things like “Hey! We’re gay people!  We’re here to turn you and your children and grandchildren all gay like we are!”  They can make out with each other.  Maybe we’ll even send a minister to marry them on the show.  As long as they gay it up good, I’m fine with it.

Controversy notwithstanding, I realize there’s not much of story line here.  I mostly just want to annoy people.  This will probably do it.

These are just five ideas.  I have many more.  We can take a bed-ridden, morbidly obese person and have him or her live in the wild with Bear Grylls for a week.  How about someone with a hideous deformity trying to become a country music star? What if Gary Busey and Bob Dole travel across the country on Route 66 on motorcycles?  Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Willie Aames and the Kid from Deliverance form a Christian Alt-Folk band?  The Bachelor, starring Abe Vigoda? Let’s set up a camera in prison and hope that we see Jerry Sandusky get violently abused.

I’m running out of ideas now.  I’ve been thinking about something like a microwave, only it freezes things really fast….

© 2014

Superman, Court Storms and Other Random Musings

My mind spins with random thoughts.


The only comic book I ever read much was Superman. I loved Superman. I loved the Superman TV show with George Reeves. Honestly, I don’t understand why I loved that, but I did. Even with body padding, George Reeves made for a decidedly unfit looking man of steel. Jimmy Olson, as played by Jack Larsen, looked like he could whip Superman’s ass. Of course, that may have had something to do with the fact that Larsen appeared to be in his 30’s playing the young Olson.

A new Superman movie comes out this year. I hear it’s a darker Superman. I guess he’s a troubled soul. I don’t buy that. Superman isn’t troubled. He’s Superman.

Now, I’m hearing that there may be a Justice League movie. You know the Justice League–Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and The Green Lantern band together to fight evil. Later, other more obscure superheroes joined. You may have seen the cartoon series with the wonderfully sonorous tones of Ted Knight as the narrator.

Here’s my question: Why the hell does Superman need to join up with these other so-called superheroes? He can do everything they can do and more. Super-strength, super-speed, super-vision, super-swimming. He can fly!! Oh, and he’s indestructible. Okay, he doesn’t have Wonder Woman’s invisible plane. Big whoop. Again, he can freakin’ fly! He’d kill Batman. Just flat kill him. The Flash? Be serious. Superman is so fast that he can turn back time. He’d catch The Flash and then beat the living crap out of him. I never even understood The Green Lantern. Superman can do everything he can do.

Let’s don’t even talk about Aqua Man. He has gills and can talk to sea creatures. That’s helpful–TO NO ONE!

So, that’s it. Superman has no business in the Justice League. Let them fend for themselves. Of course, when they get in a bunch of trouble, who will they call?


Fans of the University of Miami (Don’t call it “Miami of Florida”) had the audacity to run onto the court after beating the Duke Blue Devils. If one followed the many breathless accounts (hundreds of which were via ESPN’s sundry media outlets), you would have thought two things: (1) This is the first time this has ever happened; and (2) Numerous Duke players were trampled to death.

Neither is true, but it happened to Duke so it’s a big deal. Coach Mike Kszwkfjkdsji (close enough) did as he is wont to do and hurled obscenities at the crowd. When asked about it, Coach K sounded like he had survived the Benghazi attack. Now, countless talking heads have had enough. This must stop.

Let’s first disabuse ourselves of the notion that Coach K is a potential Nobel Prize winner who just happens to coach basketball. He’s a tempermental, foul-mouthed coach. His mentor is the despicable Bobby Knight. He’s not a college professor. He’s a college coach.

Here’s what should happen. Every school’s fans should run on the court after every Duke game, win or lose–whether they are playing Duke of not. Just run wild. In fact, when Duke loses, fans in every arena in the country should rush the court when the score is announced. Let’s just make it a tradition like that crazy octopus-throwing thing in hockey. One exception should be North Carolina. Don’t ever do that against your big rival. It just makes you look sad and desperate.

I say we go a step further. Opposing fans should rush the court even when Duke wins. That should make Coach K completely mental.

I am a proud alum and lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky. We’ve had the court rushed on us at INDIANA UNIVERSITY! Indiana, winner of multiple national championships, poured onto the court after beating UK in a regular season game. They put it on the cover a phone book. We’ve had this happen so many times that the Southeastern Conference now levies heavy fines for it. Trust me, the SEC isn’t concerned about Arkansas fans going wild if they beat Auburn.


Imagine Coach K’s reaction to this.

The uninformed might ask: When do you UK fans rush the court? Answer: When we win the National Championship and only then to congratulate the players on doing what we knew they would do any way. I’m not saying we’d never do it during the regular season. As soon as we win a game that we fans don’t expect to win, I’m sure we’ll consider it.


It’s tax time again. Pause. Are you done moaning? I pay a lot of taxes, and I’m fine with that. You know why? It means I make a good living. If I didn’t pay any taxes, I wouldn’t be making much money. I like making money. Now, I’ve known some folks who made a lot of money and didn’t pay taxes. Some of them went to jail. I’d rather pay taxes.


Why are there so many Amish TV shows? I don’t get it. Amish Mafia? Amish people in New York? Young Amish running wild during Rumspringa. Evidently, the Amish are entertaining. Hmm.

I met an Amish guy once, I think. He had the beard, the hat and the poor-tailored clothes–that’s my stereotypical view of the Amish. But it was at a gas station. He was buying a bottle of water. That doesn’t seem Amish. We exchanged pleasantries. He had a bit of an odd accent. Nice enough, too. Yeah, he was Amish.  He didn’t entertain me.

I don’t find the Amish any more entertaining than Mennonites or Hutterites. I grew up in Eastern Kentucky where we had some experience with Mennonites. They did mission work in Eastern Kentucky. That’s how pitiful we were. Mennonites thought they had it better than we did. Again, nice people but not a barrel of laughs, unless you think bonnets are funny, which they kind of are.

Of course, all this makes me think about Shakers even though they aren’t Anabaptists. I live near a historic Shaker village. It’s pretty nice unless–like me–you enjoy cable TV. The Shakers don’t marry or procreate, and they’re prevented from adopting. There are only three left, and they’re like 90 years old. Not much TV potential there.

The Amish do one thing entertaining. Sometimes, they hire men to replenish the gene pool. That’s right–hired men to impregnate their women just like in the movie A Boy and His Dog. You have to do it in front of the husband. There’s some reality TV for you.


Let us not speak of this again.


Okay, I lied. I used to read Archie comics, too. I’m still haunted by why he rejected Betty. SHE THREW HERSELF AT HIM! I didn’t know any girls who looked like Veronica and Betty. Maybe that’s why I liked it.

I knew this kid who would steal your comics if he came to your house.  We had to check his coat sleeves before he left.  Oh, and he used to draw obscene things on Betty and Veronica.

Well, that’s it.  Those are just a few random things rattling around in my head.  I feel better now.  Wait a second…what if Superman had been raised by an Amish family?  Imagine the possibilities…..

© 2013

I Hate The Waltons

The whole contemptible Walton clan struggling through hard times with another meager meal.

I hate the Waltons.  Not the Walmart Waltons.   I like them.  Save money.  Shop smart.  Only at Walmart. That’s good stuff. I mean the TV Waltons–John, Olivia, John Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Jim Bob, Ben, Erin, Elizabeth, Grandpa and Grandma.  All of them.

In real life, I try not to hate people.  It’s just not good.  I have no such reservations with fictional characters.  Aunt Bee, Jenny from Forest Gump, Bruce Dern in The Cowboys, any Jim Carrey character–each of these is vile in its own way and intended to be so.  The Waltons, though, are different. They are supposed to be sympathetic, even likeable, yet I hate them.  Why?

The Depression

The Waltons lived in the Great Depression, except for them it was the Not So Bad Depression.  They had a house.  A sawmill.  A truck. They lived on Walton’s Mountain, which means they had their own freakin’ mountain, for God’s sake.  Ever see their meals? Roast pig, turkey, chicken, vegetables, pies, cakes–you name it.  My Dad grew up in the Great Depression in a house with seven kids.  Mush, that’s what they ate.  Oh, and maybe ham they cured themselves.  The Waltons lived like kings.  I hate that.

Here’s what a family with seven kids looked like during the Depression.

The Parents

John and Olivia were a lovey-dovey pair right up until Olivia got shipped off to a TB sanitarium in a contract dispute. So solemn, so wise, just like real parents, right?  Here’s how you’d be if you had seven kids with all the drama of that crowd:  John Boy would come in with one of his pressing social issues he was trying to resolve.  John would look at him and say:  “How the hell should I know?”  Or he’d say something like:  “Hey, egghead, how ’bout working at the damn sawmill for a while?”

The Kids

Okay, I know there were seven of them, but there really were only three and a half for all practical purposes.  John Boy, Mary Ellen and Jason. These were the Big Three before anyone ever heard of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.   The other four just drifted in and out occasionally.  I’m not even sure Erin was really on the show.  She disappeared for long stretches.  I never could keep Jim Bob and Ben straight.  I had to remind myself that Jim Bob delivered his lines like he’d suffered a debilitating head injury.

One would think that the casting folks could have at least tried to find kids who resembled each other to play siblings.  In a modern setting, that bunch would have subject to DNA testing the first time anyone saw them together.

John Boy is my biggest problem.  He’s like one of those people you should like, but you just can’t.  You know the type.  The neighbor who is very friendly, always speaks and will help you with anything.  You want to kick a nail into his ear.  John Boy is like that.  Almost every episode has “Here he goes, again” moment with John Boy.  He’s helping someone or misunderstood or stuck in the middle of some issue.  Lighten up, John Boy.

Earl Hamner wrote The Waltons, and I assume John Boy–being a writer–is modeled after him.  That probably explains why he dominates the Walton landscape.  Here’s a question:   Was Hamner called Earl Boy?  If not, why the hell is John called John Boy?  NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN CALLED THAT!  If you grew up in the ’70’s and shared this name, you were at some point called “John Boy.”  Even today, you will be called that.  I know from whence I speak on this one.  That is reason enough to hate John Boy.

I have to mention Fake John Boy.  At some point in the series, Richard Thomas (John Boy) decided to leave to pursue other acting opportunities in the most ill-conceived career move since Pernell Roberts abandoned the Ponderosa to embark on his storied movie career.  Fake John Boy was worse than the real one.  He wasn’t John Boy.  Oh, he was nauseatingly earnest like the real one, but you couldn’t help but yell “FAKE!” when he was on the screen.  Okay, maybe I’m the only one who did that.


Look, I know generations of families used to live to together.  I guess that was realistic enough.  Man, these two had their noses in everything.  I hated them.

Wil Geer played Grandpa.  He was a hippie and friend of Woody Guthrie, which means I should have liked him, but no, I didn’t.  I think it’s because the writers couldn’t figure him out.  Was he comic relief?  Was he a wise old sage?  Was he just a pain in the ass like some old people?  You never knew for sure.  To some extent, he suffered from a 1970’s phenomenon known as “The Hip Oldster.”  In the ’70’s, TV writers, being largely devoid of original ideas, wrote every older character the same.  They would be hip, oversexed, “cool” people.  They rode motorcycles and said naughty things.  Sometimes, that’s what they did with Grandpa.  Sometimes, he was the voice of reason.  Mostly, he just annoyed me.

Ellen Corby was a little more tolerable as Grandma.  She actually acted liked an old lady.  Surly, hard to deal with, opinionated and not particularly pleasant.  Now that I think about it, I kinda of like her.

The Godseys

Ike Godsey owned the General Store.  Other than a few passing references to “hard times,”  Ike seems to have thrived through the Great Depression and the rationing of World War II.  His store was FULL of stuff.  He was probably the richest man in Virginia by the end of the war.

Cora Beth wouldn’t have been so fired up about “Mr. Godsey” if he’d owned this Depression era store.

He married Cora Beth, an impossibly haughty friend or distant relative of Olivia’s who showed up to sponge off the Waltons’ inexplicable largesse.  Ike decided to marry her.  Even John recognized what a pain in the ass Cora Beth was and tried to talk Ike out of marrying her.  Like a lot of folks, he didn’t listen and married her anyway.  She continued to preen around for years.  Oh, and she always called Ike “Mr. Godsey.”  I hated that.

How about have Erin turn up pregnant and marry Ike in a shotgun wedding?  That would have been a ratings bonanza!  Plus, Erin would have actually played role in the show.  No, we got Cora Beth.  I hated her.

The Pathos

At the heart of The Waltons was some pitiable, sad story with a comparatively uplifting ending, usually because of the superior intelligence or morality of the Waltons themselves.   No family is THAT good, except maybe the Cartwrights.  I cared nothing for it and always wanted the Waltons to get put in their place.  It never happened.  I hated that.

The Ending

Good night, John Boy.  Good night, Mary Ellen.  Good night, Jim Bob.  Blah, blah, blah.  That’s how the show always ended.  Hey, were they all in the same freakin’ room?  That’s weird, especially since they were able to say good night to their grandparents without raising their voices.  I shared a room with two brothers when I was little.  It’s not fun.  Just once–once, mind you–I wanted someone to say:  “Hey, shut the hell up!  I’m trying to sleep!”  No one ever did.  I hated that.

Here’s the kind of house the Waltons would have lived in. I’m guessing they wouldn’t have been quite so chipper at bedtime in this place.

At this point, you’re asking:  “If you hate the Waltons, why do you know so much about them?”  First, that’s really none of your business.  Second, I watched a lot of TV as a kid.  A lot.  I didn’t care what I watched.  I watched the Waltons to just hate them.  Sometimes, my Dad would watch with me and ridicule them.  I liked that.

Occasionally, I’ll see the Waltons on TV and tune in for a few minutes.  It doesn’t take long for me to be disgusted.  I always hope I’ll catch the episode when their house burned.  At least I think that happened.  Maybe that was just my own fantasy.

Good night, John Boy.

© 2012

Love and the Color TV

Your author pictured in the middle being forced to watch black and white TV. I can’t even look directly at it. December 1962.

“This is the happiest day of my life.”  Thus I spoke one day in 1967.  I was 4 years old and talking to a television salesman.  Why was I so happy?  My family had just purchased its first color television.  Color TV, my friends.  It was that simple.  I had seen Batman and Get Smart with their tantalizing “In Color” graphics at the bottom.  Until that day, I could only dream of what that really meant.  Lost in Space, too was in color, as were many other TV shows.  Even at 4 years old, I knew that a life-changing event was unfolding.

My first color TV. No, it wasn’t crooked. That’s the photo–I think.

I think the TV was an RCA.  Could have been a Philco or Zenith.  Of course, it had a round screen.  No remote control, either.  The only remote control I had ever seen was on an episode of Dennis the Menace.  It was roughly the size of a brick.  No, our new TV had a dial.  That was okay, because I liked to sit so close to it that I could just reach up and turn the channels as needed.  My mother told me that sitting close to the TV would cause me to die of radiation poisoning, but I was willing to risk it.  (As a side note, she said standing beside the TV would give one a mega-dose of deadly radiation waves.  I never bothered to find out if any of that was true. After all, you couldn’t see the screen).

TVs used to be complex.  They were called TV “sets,” for some reason.  If you removed the back, the cabinet was full of vacuum tubes of every size imaginable.  Those tubes held all the magic, especially the big one–the picture tube.  I was never allowed behind the TV.  My mother made it clear that to venture to the back of the TV was almost sure to result in sudden and fatal electrocution injuries.  I did, however, have occasion to watch the TV repairman work on it.

Oh, yes, there were TV repairmen.  They would come to your house and work on the TV.  They carried large cases full of vacuum tubes.  Once, I mistook the Jewel Tea Man for Mr. Simms, the TV repairman.  I furiously castigated him for being so late to fix the TV.  I think I was 6 years old at the time.  I was serious about the TV.

TVs used to be full of these. They held all the magic.

Remember vertical and horizontal “hold” dials?  If you do, you’re as old as I am.  For the uniformed, these were tuning knobs you could use to adjust the picture if the screen image began rolling or zig zagging. “DON’T TOUCH THOSE DIALS.”  If you messed up the picture, you might never get it right again.

TV was dangerous in those days, too.  If you broke the picture tube, the TV would explode, killing everyone in the house.  “DON’T HIT THE SCREEN WITH ANYTHING.”  There was the poor boy who–for reasons that remained obscure–kissed the screen and died immediately.  My mom never said whether he was related to the boy who died under similar circumstances kissing a toaster, but it seems likely.  Perhaps my unbridled love of the TV made mom concerned that I would get carried away with passion.  At least I understood the toaster story, given that I liked to stare at my reflection in it like a small Narcissus.

TV stations used to go off the air at midnight, some at 11:30.  They’d usually sign off with The Star Spangled Banner.  You’d just have white noise or maybe a test pattern until 6:00 a.m.

Black and White Test Pattern. What this was supposed to test or why it had an Indian on it are beyond me.

I don’t know the purpose of the test pattern, but someone used it to test something every night.  The old TVs were powered by the magic of the cathode ray:

Diagram showing the basic set up of a TV picture tube.

To this day, I don’t understand any of this.  To me, here is how it works:

Your author’s basic understanding of television technology.

We all know the power of television.  Dress up any troglodyte and put him on TV enough, and–PRESTO!–he’ll be elected to public office.  Have you ever been on TV?  Doesn’t it make you feel like you’re just a little better person than you were before?  People will say:  “Hey!  I saw you on TV!”  You could be on TV eating a live squirrel and people would still think:  “Hmmm.  There’s something different about him, now.”  The first time I was on TV, I was probably 8 years old.  It was the Harlan County Poke Sallet Festival Parade.  My brother and I were riding in a convertible.  I think it was John L. Belcher’s car.  If not, it should have been.  It was the kind of car John L would have driven.

Virgil Q. Wacks filmed the parade for his TV show, Virgil Q. Wacks Variety Time.  If you’re not familiar with Virgil Q, I can’t describe his show.  It was a kind of an advertising/travelogue program.  He filmed us in the car and there we were–on TV.  His film collection is archived at East Tennessee State University where we live forever.

There were many disadvantages to growing up in Harlan County, Kentucky, but TV wasn’t one of them.  We had cable.  That’s right–cable TV in the 1960’s  It was the only way to get a TV signal in the mountains.  (As a side note, I am the owner of 1 share of Harlan Community Television, Inc., the longtime local cable company).  In those days, TV channels ranged from 2 through 13, with the little understood UHF channel to boot.  We had signals on all the channels on the dial:  Lexington, Kingsport, Knoxville,  Asheville.  We might have been Ground Zero in the War on Poverty, but by God we won the TV War before it even started.

I loved that color TV.  Eventually, the dial (or channel changer, as I called it)  fell off.  As most families did, we replaced it with a pair of pliers until it could be located, a minor inconvenience.  Sometimes, I would lie on my back and watch the TV upside down just for the hell of it.

I spent many hours in front of that TV. Yes, Batman was in color.  Spectacular color, too.  By the end of the ’60’s, everything was in color! When I was around 8, I started watching sports on that TV.  Hey, kids:  There used to be one Major League Baseball game a week on TV.  It was called, fittingly enough, The Game of the Week.  It came 0n Saturdays, and I always watched.  There was also an NBA Game of the Week.  My earliest sports memory is Wilt Chamberlain and the Lakers vs. Lew Alcindor and the Bucks.   You rarely saw some athletes at all.  The only time you’d see some players would All-Star games or playoffs.  The NFL, being ahead of its time, always had a couple of games on Sundays.

I am part of the TV Generation.  I knew the TV schedule every night of the week.  When I was 3 years old, I surprised my parents by counting to 100 one night.  When my mother asked where I learned that, I could only reply:  “From the TV.”  I was told–and still am–that TV will rot my brain.  Perhaps it has.  I know the lyrics to the theme for Gilligan’s Island, yet I will sometimes forget my children’s birth dates.

One of the calling cards of the intellectual is the refrain that “I don’t watch television.”  I’m not an intellectual, and I do watch TV.  Always have, always will.  I watch sports on TV.  I watch movies on TV.  I watch sitcoms and true crime and reality shows.  I’ll watch anything for a few minutes.  I’ll watch Toddlers & Tiaras just to get outraged.  I’ll watch shows about 900 pound people.  I’ll watch reruns of King of Queens just to marvel at how it could have been on the air for years.  It’s as funny as a truck load of dead babies, but I’ll watch it.  I’ll watch the news, the weather, the History Channel.  I’ll watch Road House for 500th time.  I may know more about the Beverly Hillbillies than any person alive, and I’m proud of it.  TV series, miniseries, short films, previews, reviews–everything.

That first color TV didn’t stay around all that long.  Within a few years, my father enjoyed some financial success, and we had TVs everywhere.  We even got a remote control Zenith.  We had a TV in our bedroom (technically, it was my brother’s).  We had a TV in the kitchen, too. The old TV was relegated to the basement where we continued to use it, but it was now like an old horse put out to pasture.  Like a horse, it sat in that basement for many years after it quit working entirely.

Now, I have monstrous TVs.  46 inch, 60 inch, plasma, LCD, high def–you name it.  Hundreds and hundreds of channels–all at my finger tips.  I not only have a remote control, I have a pillow which doubles as a universal remote. None of them, though, ever thrilled me like the first one.  I’ve loved them all, but none of them–none–ever made me declare that it was the best day of my life.

One day, there may some disaster which destroys society and forces us to start over.  The first thing I’ll do is try to figure out how to build a TV.  TVs–like ships and airplanes–work on some kind of magic, I’m sure.  So, I don’t where I’d start, but I’d get right on it.

Oh, and it would have to be a color TV.

© 2012