A Cautionary Tale In Television Viewing Habits

Let me let all of our readers in on a little secret. I’m a pretty quiet, private guy. I really don’t like to talk a lot about myself all that much, since frankly my life isn’t all that interesting. But still, I got asked to do this blog and I thought to myself, “Hell, I get paid to write for a living (no, seriously, I do…), so why not do what I get paid to do as a full-time job as a part-time job, and for free?”

When I could not think of a single good reason, I decided to give it a go.

So here I am now trying to figure out what the hell to write about. Should I do something topical? Should I prattle on and on about myself in spite of my mundane existence? Should I be harshly critical of Bill O’Reilly?

And then it hit me: I should do something topical!

So I thought and I thought and I thought and finally I just visited Fark, picked the first relevant article I could find, and decided to pore through it Fire Joe Morgan style.

My thought process was twofold: First, most of the work is already done for me since it’s mainly a copy & paste thing with my sarcastic and/or insightful remarks peppered about someone else’s hard work. And secondly, since I’m essentially live blogging the process of me reading an article, I might be more inclined to just let it all hang out, so to speak, rather than going back and meticulously editing my thoughts so as to uphold my respectable image. In short, I’m not likely to care enough to remain in my shell.

With all of that said, the article I found came from ABC.com and was an early entry into the surefire onslaught of Sex and the City pieces that will be written prior to the film’s catastrophic release a week from Friday. Here’s hoping that it’ll be a doozy…

You can only watch Samantha Jones bed so many gorgeous guys before wondering if 4-inch heels and sky-high confidence would allow you to do the same.

Tell me about it!

At least that’s what happened to “Lisa”

I went to middle school and college with a girl named Lisa who fits the bill. Well, except for the confidence part.

(not her real name).

Oh.

She got hooked on “Sex and the City” when she was a 14-year-old growing up on Long Island, N.Y. It was the same year she lost her virginity. She soon graduated to ordering cosmopolitans at bars she snuck into and cheating on her boyfriend with up to seven other guys — in one week.

“When you’re that age you try to emulate people on TV. Carrie smoked, so I smoked, Samantha looked at hooking up with random people as not a big deal, so that’s what I did too,” said Lisa, now 22. “It wasn’t ‘Sex and the City’s’ fault. I love the show, but I think it made it a little easier to justify my behavior.”

It’s a twisted version of monkey see, monkey do.

Wow. A pain I know all too well.

Back when I was a tyke, I’d often watch the popular game show Wheel of Fortune and, as so many others do, play along at home. Eventually, I got so good at the game that I stopped playing along with the contestants and began to examine and predict move-for-move, word-for-word the behavior of host Pat Sajak. Yeah, a little obsessive compulsive, I know. (Still, ill-fated daytime edition host Bob Goen might’ve learned a thing or two from this guy.)

Before long, my fascination with the show evolved into me hosting private games of Wheel of Fortune in my backyard on weekends – I built a wheel and everything. While some people develop gambling addictions and have to start pawning items to pay off their debts, I simply became addicted to giving away fabulous prizes.

But once I’d distributed all the old bikes and weed whackers (seriously, how many did we need?) our utility shed once held to a virtual who’s who of elite local Wheel Watchers, several family members, including my reclusive half-brother Otis (you’re sure to hear more about him in future posts! What a character!), consulted with each other about an intervention.

I’d be lying if I said I remembered exactly what happened when said intervention took place. The Big O (that’s the aforementioned O-Dog, by the way) was in charge of the whole thing and was always a big fan of A Clockwork Orange, so you and I both can only imagine what took place that fateful autumnal equinox. When I came to, though, the wheel that I had worked so hard to construct had been replaced by an above-ground swimming pool, and my dry-erase board was missing.

What I can tell you about that intervention, and this is the 100 percent, honest-to-God truth, is that I am approaching my seven year anniversary of living a healthy life completely free of Wheel of Fortune. It hasn’t been easy – I still break out in cold sweats whenever I see Pat Sajak guest hosting Larry King Live, which I adopted as my new favorite television show at the turn of the century – but I am proud that I’ve made it this far. And I’m still a fairly skilled Hangman player.

But I digress. This is supposed to be about “Lisa.”

Lisa remembers re-enacting one particular Samantha scene in her own life: Season 3, episode 39, in which the bachelorette-for-life scrunches her face up at her latest suitor and tells him she doesn’t like the way he & tastes.

“That was something that happened to me. I used her exact words: ‘You have funky spunk,'” she said. “I knew from watching the show that it had to do with something he was eating,” so she took a cue from the script and took an ax to a certain item in his diet.

But the worst was yet to come. (How’s that for context? I’m a writer!) In a particularly shameful moment of emulation of the series, Lisa waited until the wedding of a close family friend to announce — tongue in cheek, or so she says — that she had breast cancer. (“Nobody picked up on the reference,” Lisa wistfully recalled.)

Later, she fucked the ring bearer.

Lisa left her “Samantha” ways behind at 19, when she moved to Utah, became a Mormon, married a man within the church and gave birth to two children.

Hey, good for her.

There’s more, but Lisa’s part is done and the article turns into senseless television bashing from the overeducated, of which I will have no part.

So, yeah. I hope you’ve got a better idea of what makes me tick. Personally, I think it went pretty well.

PS: Bill O’Reilly sucks.

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