Jack Bauer Sells Me Oxi-Clean
I escaped from TiVo hell. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. What was at first a cool, easy way to save shows for my later viewing pleasure soon turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. At one time, these were the shows that were set up in the Season Pass Manager: House, Desperate Housewives, Lost, ER, American Idol, The Office, The 4400, Nip/Tuck, 24, Heroes, Brothers and Sisters, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Holmes On Homes, Intervention, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Now, before anybody goes and calls me a girl, or a “chick” (Mr Lady) understand that I wasn’t watching all of these shows. NukeMom had quite a few in there. I’ll let you debate over which shows she watched, which ones I watched and which ones we both watched. I swear, drink one wine cooler while listening to Delilah in your bunny slippers and you’re a prissy boy for life. Besides, they were Nukegirl’s slippers, and in a court of law I could still plead the fifth.
The original idea of TiVo is sound; record shows when you don’t have time to watch them, then come back when you do have time and get caught up. Simple, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. My portion of these programs came out to 9 1/2 hours. When you factor in the shows that I was watching “live” while recording another one showing at the same time, you can add another 4 hours, giving us a grand total of 13 1/2 hours of television. That’s about how long it took Da Vinci to paint the Last Supper. Tolstoy wrote War and Peace in less time, and I think I’m going to watch all of this TV in one week? Well, if I don’t get through all of it this week, I can just save it, and catch up NEXT week! Genius!
By the middle of October I had enough shows stored in my TiVo to prompt Bill Gates to go out and buy more of their stock. If I had started watching right then, skipped through commercials and gave up some frills like eating and sleeping, I could be done by Christmas. Hey, it was a tangible plan at the time. The problem was, no matter how hard I tried, I could rarely stay awake for an entire episode of ANY of the shows. It would go something like this: I would start watching a show, fall asleep, wake up, watch some show, fall asleep, on and on until around 4am when I would wake up on the couch because Billy Mays had yelled “BAM!” loud enough to wake me up. I’d turn the TV off, go to bed and dream some very strange dreams.
The problem with trying to stay awake while watching TV is that everything runs together; shows, commercials, dreams, everything. Ever been dreaming and when you wake up you realize that your dream is strangely consistent with the plot of the show on the TV? Seriously. Try rewinding next time you wake up on the couch with the TV on and see if I’m not preaching some gospel here. The murkiness in my head was toying with my ability to separate fantasy from reality. It used to take quite a few Miller Lites to do that; now TiVo was doing it. Jack Bauer was waxing poetic about the attributes of Oxi-Clean and Orange Glo, while Billy Mays was kicking some terrorist butt. Dr. House was running, er, hobbling on his cane around the Washington Monument in a suit patterned with question marks telling me how to get free money from the government. At the same time, Matthew Lesko was taunting his interns, popping pills and ogling Dr. Cuddy. I couldn’t keep it straight anymore. My cerebellum hurt. It was time for a change.
I have finally come to my senses. I have 3 shows that I refuse to miss. I make time after everyone has gone to bed to watch them, and my new plan has been working famously. At weeks end, I am at shows end rather than at wits end. It’s a win-win. I win, my sanity wins and Franz Kafka can move out of my brain. At least I won’t have to worry about Dwight Schrute trying to get me to go to Free Credit Report dot com anymore.