Channel surfing enough to wipe out a TV viewer
Updated: August 8, 2012 3:03PM
The family is fed and post-dinner, the dishes soak in sudsy warm water in the kitchen.
I grab a glass of ice water and pad into the bedroom, intent on watching the news.
Any stress I had is amplified listening to the grim anchor, from the jobless stats to the worst drought since the Dust Bowl to Middle East tensions.
Turning it to the History Channel is no better.
Julius Caesar’s about to sentence several pirates to a horrifying death.
Finally I settle on a “Brady Bunch” rerun in which Carol misplaces Greg’s baseball glove.
An oafish mall cop tries to find it and winds up questioning Mayhem, the Allstate guy.
Meanwhile, Alice the maid is fighting off TMZ cameramen while Jan plays 45 records with Chaz Bono.
About that time, I drift off into a pleasant nap.
Now, I don’t know about you, but usually at this juncture, the TV volume shifts from the program, e.g., the Bradys or a nature show where a stream gurgles gently, to the commercial, which was recorded inside the air shaft above a boiler shop.
I don’t know who can explain this phenomenon of TV recordings.
A show is modulated, civilized, versus the infomercial, which blares louder than a jet aircraft taking off in the neighbor’s yard.
“Order today for clear skin tomorrow!” shouts the male voiceover.
Stunned, my eyes fly open.
My heart is pounding, my face is sweaty.
I have a vague sense of dread.
What subliminal message was imparted to my brain while I was out?
Did I order this stuff in my sleep?
And is Chaz Bono coming here to our house?
I glance at the TV.
The commercial contrasts the toothy smiles of several models who tilt their heads as the “BEFORE” photo is displayed, usually of a sulking teen or a cave troll.
Of course, my idea of infomercial heaven is Debby Boone, who promotes the Lifestyle Lift.
I imagine myself sitting across from her on the couch.
Debby would beam: “Honestly, Whatever-Your-Name-Is, you don’t look a day over 18.”
Laughing, I would toss my thinning tresses back.
“They even carded me at 7-Eleven, Debby.”