Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shameful, Shameful Things

You know how sometimes you do something, feel kind of bad about it, but then shrug it off? Like the time you got to the car after leaving the supermarket and discover that somehow a jar of mayonnaise had maneuvered itself under your jacket in the cart, and you wrestled, really wrestled with whether you should go back and pay for it, but then didn't? Or the day you were wandering aimlessly around the house in your pajamas and the phone rings, and it's your friend, saying she's in the area and can she stop by, and you can hear her voice on the answering machine, "Hellloooo! Are you therrrre?" but you don't answer it?

And then there are those undeniably unforgivable things, those that are so intrinsically wrong, so inimitably perverse, that the only person you can tell is your husband, for fear that if anyone found out you would never be able to leave the house? Like, for instance, watching a whole ONE AND A HALF hours of 'The Ashlee Simpson Show' then Jessica Simpson in the 'The Newlyweds' and then 'The Ashlee Simpson Show' AGAIN? People, I'm not talking casual watching here, as in doing something productive, like tackling some of that foot-high stack of bills while the TV yammers on in the background. I'm talking hardcore watching, the kind where you only go the bathroom during the commercials, actually 'shush' your husband because you're trying to hear Ashlee's point, the kind where you would actually CUT someone if they tried to pry the remote out of your small, bony hand.

I'm not really sure what alien lifeforce invaded my body and forced me to watch 90 whole minutes of mind-numbing blather ("I don't like to sneeze!" "I love macaroni and cheese!") but it was powerful, and had me glued to the set, my butt planted firmly and defiantly on the leather couch. I've watched 'The Newlyweds' before and hate to admit that I actually find it endearing in a sweet, pathetic way, but the 'Ashlee Simpson Show' had me spellbound, mostly with incredulousness at how someone so lame could actually have their own show, even if it IS MTV. Even more worrisome, it never occurred to me, not even for a second, to take the high road and change the channel, maybe catch the last few minutes of that documentary about volcanoes on 'National Geographic' or, God forbid, turn off the TV altogether and ask my husband how his day was.

In order to avoid this type of sad, almost criminal behavior in the future, I've devised a (sort of) mathematical formula for myself that I can use to decide whether or not a show is worth watching at all, or if my time could be better spent cleaning the lint out of the dryer or reorganizing my utensil drawer. Here it is:
Multiply the number of hours the show runs by it's IMV (Intellectual/Moral Value). The number you get will determine it's 'worth' - the lower the number the more reason to turn off the TV and head for the laundry room. For instance, let's apply it to my unfortunate TV watching episode last night:

1.5 (hours) x .5 (Very little IMV) = .75. This indicates to me that the worth of my encounter with the Simpson sisters was equivalent to sitting in front of a blank screen, asleep, slack-jawed and drooling.

Now let's apply it to Discovery Health Channel's 'Woman With 120lb Tumor.':
1 (hour) x 4 = 4. Very high - anything 5 or above is reserved for those shows on Bravo and certain episodes of 'SpongeBob Square Pants.

As you can see it's an imperfect system, the higher the number of hours watched, the less sense the whole damn thing makes. For instance, 10 hours of watching 'Monster Garage' multiplied even only by 1 would get you a 10 in watchability, but I figure anyone watching 10 hours of ANYTHING probably can't multiply anyways, so this system would not be for you, you sad, sad person.

That said, I really need to go now and turn on MTV. I think it's the Ashlee episode where she fires her backup singer. Somebody help me.

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1 comment:

  1. M.,


    You need to send all this to Dr. Phil. He's the only one who might be able to help you. An emergency intervention is needed here.



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