by Roger White
So I’m curled up in bed on a drizzly, dreary Wednesday, nursing a bit of a cold (and when I say nursing, I mean I’m milking the most out of this sniffle so I can stay home—don’t try to deny that you know what I mean). I’m all set. Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, The Big Valley—the whole lineup waits for me. I’ve got my rainbow-colored goldfish crackers, ice-cold Dr. Pepper in a glass with the bendy straw so I can drink it in bed, and—my favorite—Girl Scout lemonade cookies. Man, I got it made.
But about midway through the second or third TV show, I start feeling bad—not sick bad, like I’m pretending to be. No, I start feeling like some sort of no-account loser. A vague and nebulous guilt nags at me, as if I should be creating something or fixing something or learning to sell real estate or toning my abs. And I realize the culprit is my very own pal—the television. No!
Unfortunately, yes. TV advertisers assume, and maybe rightfully so, that the vast majority of folks who stay home during the daytime are unemployed, uninspired, unhappy underachievers. Have you watched the ads on daytime television lately? Talk about a real buzzkill. Shee.
From the time I watched Barney Fife try to arrest the governor of North Carolina for parking next to a fire hydrant to the time Lee Majors rescued his ma Barbara Stanwyck from evil rustlers, I’ll bet you I saw 37 commercials, all of them for one of the following:
- How to be a culinary arts professional by attending Chicken Cordon Bleu Academy
- How to be a medical assistant professional in just six weeks by taking online classes from OuibedoxUniversity
- How to sue your employer for asbestos exposure if you suffer from: a. difficulty breathing; b. dizziness; c. chronic coughing; or d. death
- How to make $100,000 in six months by convincing people who stay home during the daytime to send you $39.99 for your program—a program that basically says to tell people they can make $100,000 in six months by sending you $39.99 for your program—are you following this?
- How to lift your butt as only the Brazilians can
- How to: lose your muffin top, achieve six-pack abs, boost your testosterone, add inches to your man parts, add inches to your woman parts, take inches off your woman parts, buy the correct bra, perform better in the bedroom (what, standup comedy?), or remove unsightly skin tags (ew)
- How to remain in your home, travel the world, have money in the bank, finance your kids’ college, and retire in splendor—all with a reverse mortgage
I still don’t quite get the whole reverse mortgage thing. There must be something to it because they have former congressmen—heck, even Henry Winkler—hawking them. I reckon if a reverse mortgage is good enough for the Fonz, then maybe I should look into it. If it’s what it sounds like, I presume that in a reverse mortgage, the bank pays me a monthly mortgage payment, and then all the upper management people at Citibank Mortgage come and live in my house. Does this mean we have to move out, or can we just let all these guys sleep on the sofa bed until they get tired of the whole reverse mortgage deal?
And why a Brazilian butt lift? I’d like to see a good Norwegian butt lift now and then.
Man. I was going to stay home again on Thursday, but this is all too depressing. But ya know, I have been coughing and suffering some dizziness today. I might just call that law firm. I thought I caught a whiff of asbestos in the old cubie lately. Worth a shot, no?
Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.