Last night I wanted to watch “When we left earth”. It’s a documentary about early American space exploration, which is a passion of mine. My wife, on the other hand, was watching the women’s Olympic Gymnastic trials featuring the balance beam and floor exercise and a bunch of little girls in tight clothing. Since my wife was a gymnast in High School, this show is particularly important to her. Since I am a rocket geek I was equally attracted to my program, however, with bouncing women in tights I am willing to share. Due to my desire for ice cream it fell upon my wife to operate the remote control. (I left the room and she stole the remote and wouldn’t give it back). She claimed that the show we would concentrate on would be my rocket geek show. So, on each commercial my wife would click back to the Olympic trials. Then periodically jump back to my show. Then back to gymnastics. So far so good, then the unthinkable stated to happen. The two stations were beginning to sync up their commercials. Then she would change channels to avoid the really irritating commercials. I started to loose track of which commercial on which channel we were trying to avoid. This was distracting to say the least.
Something else was distracting me and keeping me from enjoying my show. I am embarrassed to admit it, but the Olympic trials were making me feel like a dirty old man. One moment I was watching the mighty Saturn 5 take to the sky, and the next was a close up of some gymnasts’ ass. The camera operators at the Olympic trials were obviously guys. I started to catch myself thinking, Hhhmmm nice ass, then the camera would pan up and, oh my god that girl must be 12! This is just wrong. My wife sensed my thoughts and tried to consol me by saying that one of the gymnasts was 21. (Look all you want at that one) I later found that this was shockingly old in gymnastics. As shocking as an 80 year old linebacker on a football team, or to find a rail thin, athletic, MLB pitcher that doesn’t chew.
I feel much better now.
After a few bounces and jumps by the little girls in their painted-on gym suits, they would break for a commercial.
Click, back to NASA. Everyone in mission control was smoking, and then cut to a commercial for Nicorette gum.
Click, a commercial for Bender ball. Does the robot from Futurama know about this? Click, a commercial for cars that are so green that they get almost as good fuel economy as my ‘67 bus.
Click, a twisted commercial where an elephant is married to a centipede and they have a pig for a son. Apparently the centipede has smelly feet, so an air freshener is needed.
Click, an ad for a new birth control pill that can also clear acne, stop mood swings, and treats PMDD. It also looks like it makes women instantly happy, and to display an irritable desire to play with balloons.
The contrast between these programs, and their commercials was beginning to take their toll on my brain. A combination of fatigue and a desperate desire to flee was building in my semi conscience brain. Then our cat, phoebe, jumped on my lap, it was almost more than I could bear. I had to get up before I fell asleep.
I went to my shop to putter around. I felt completely defeated by the television. I don’t blame my wife; she simply switched channels as soon as an irritating commercial started. I blame the commercials. The apparent demographics for the audience of a NASA documentary likes to drink beer, and has hemorrhoids, while the Olympic trials were obviously geared more towards housewives, particularly out of shape housewives with smelly homes and heavy periods.
How can it be that a wonderful documentary can be undermined so effectively by the simple desire to avoid irritating commercials? It’s partially my fault, I didn’t think of recording the documentary. I guess I will wait for the DVD to come out. My wife on the other hand should watch her show, it’s much more interesting to her than space, and she can relive her years as a gymnast. Once the tryouts are done they are gone forever.
If it weren’t for the fact that this kind of thing happens so infrequently I would have bought a TiVo long ago.