Just curious, but am I the only one who hits the mute button on the TV remote every time certain commercials or heartbreaking pitches for money come on the air?
As I have mentioned before, except for cable news, local news/weather, and football, I don’t watch regular programming. In fact, for years I didn’t even own a television set. Which is how I happened to have accidentally melted one on the wood stove not long after I bought this house. Long story short, my brother-in-law Herve couldn’t stand visiting with no TV in the house so he brought me an old portable. It was obviously during the warm weather months, because with nowhere else to put it, someone placed it on the wood stove where we grew so accustomed to seeing it, we didn’t really see it anymore. Not, that is, until our first really cold morning just before Thanksgiving (I think it was 1989). I got a good roaring fire going to take the chill out of the air and my son Rick and I sat back to enjoy the ambiance. It wasn’t until the smell of something burning finally got my attention and I slowly glanced around the room to find the source, that I finally noticed the television, by then listing seriously to the right and firmly fused to the stove.
But I digress.
So I now have a TV and I do watch it, although unless it’s football I’m usually also knitting to give my hands something to do to keep me from fidgeting.
You might have figured out by now that I am not predisposed to being blissfully content when parked in front of what used to be called the “boob tube,” and am therefore sometimes easily annoyed by it. But what really rots my socks are the incessant commercial breaks that interrupt programming about every 15 minutes and run for way too long. For the most part, I manage to patiently sit through them ... that is, until certain ones trip my switch to the point where I really can’t stand seeing them one more time.
All it takes is the first opening note or two of the music that ushers in the ASPCA’s very long commercial, and my hand whips out to mute the sound. It’s not that I’m uncaring. It’s actually just the opposite. The heartbreaking sight of abused animals, “beaten, starved, left to freeze in the cold and the snow,” is enough to ruin my day, and although I’m not a pet person, if I had the money I would spend heaps of it to relieve the misery of all those poor suffering creatures. But with limited finances, my priority is the plight of cold, hungry people right here and now, and I don’t need anyone begging for what I’m not able to give and making me feel really crappy about it while they’re doing it.
I’ve also pretty much had it with the screaming motorcycles with legless riders. What’s with that whole thing anyway, and what does it have to do with whatever it is they’re selling? I can’t stand the noise, and ... I know it sounds stupid ... but I feel bad for the guys with no legs and can’t help wondering if it’s trick photography or if they have actually rounded up that many men who’d been horribly wounded.
What has really been driving me round the bend lately, though, are the ones for Medicare add-on plans. There is just no freakin’ end to them!
I was a good sport and let them ramble on, naively thinking that once the sign-up time passed in December they would go away, but I was apparently barking up the wrong commercial. The date for medical sign-ups came and went, but the add-on plans have just kept going.
The one that pushes me right over the edge, however, is the one with Joe Nameth. I see his face and hear his voice and I want to hurl. I once saw him being interviewed by a female sportscaster out on the field after a football game. He was obviously under the influence and trying to kiss the poor young woman as she politely tried to fend him off. That most likely has a lot to do with my aversion to the man, but as soon as I see his face, it’s “click” before I have to hear that voice again.
So tell me, is that normal or is it just me? Am I just a cranky old lady or are others out there as fed up as I am? (My children need not reply.)
Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland.