Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jockstraps and Jerkoffs

I'm off from work for the next couple of weeks which requires some retooling in my house. My wife, who vowed when we married to love me in sickness and health isn't too crazy about the addition of 'for three meals a day, everyday, for the next two weeks' as part of the deal. Sigrid has her household set up to suit herself and if I know what's good for me and I do (despite numerous historical instances proving the opposite), I should stay out of her way.

For my part, I'm taking a break at getting up before the chickens so that I can hit my desk, start on my day and then break away to hit the close-at-hand fitness center before returning to work aglow from the goodness I've inflicted on myself either on the indoor track or on a treadmill that's so complicated you need to have scored at least 1250 on the SATs to operate. All we are saying, or at least I am panting, is give cardio a chance.

I've decided to live healthy, even if it kills me and the irony of that isn't lost on me. Between the seven days a week calisthenics and the every day fitness center regimen, coupled with salads for every workday mid-day (as part of my "lawn clippings for lunch" dietary initiative) I may not live forever, but I'm well on the way to looking like I already have (and certainly feel it as well).

I've noticed when I'm on the treadmills the liquid plasma displays facing our gerbil wheels are all tuned to ESPN and Fox News (there are enough screens to carry the pattern all the way down the row). I like sports, I do. Tell me the scores, show me the important plays and move on. Don't camp out on the coach's front lawn and do mini-specials on the art of the foul shot, the split-finger curve ball or the 88 Red Draw Right. Not only do I not care, it's not important.

How Nixon and Chou En-Lai came to an agreement in Beijing in 1972 to help end the war in Vietnam, important. What Rex Ryan said to Mark Sanchez on third and long against the Steelers in the fourth quarter Sunday in the snow in Pittsburgh, not so much. I don't mind ESPN too much because I have headphones on and I'm listening to Slacker radio but keep the visuals flowing okay?

One screen to the right (literally as well as figuratively), no such luck. I have to assume it's a repeat (and that brings up a whole lot of questions), but Fox News Channel has Bill O'Reilly and when all you see is the visual without any audio clues, let me tell ya, he is spooky. His guests sit beside one another and talk at the same time, judging from their mouths, then hold up paddles with letters or numbers in answer to some schtick the Billmeister is doing.

And later on, there are other talking heads who pop up, like a now post-operative pre-frontal lobotomized Dennis Miller who jabbers so much that whatever service is paid to do subtitles gets so far behind we're often half way through the commercial break following his appearance and the captioning is still going on.

I'm not sure we wouldn't be better off with HGTV or the Cartoon Network-it's only filler when you come right down to it. Eye candy, really, with no nutritive value but I've looked around and have seen the dozen and a half of us on our wheels, fresh from hitting the water bottles maybe taking a nibble on the carrot, jogging along mouths open and slack-jawed, staring at the screens in some kind of a seance. The glow from the electric fire will not light the world, sorry.

But for these two weeks I'm home, I'll have to content myself with power walking around the neighborhood (I was hoping for a cool nickname like "Blue Flash", in honor of my hoodie (except it's not blue), but will settle for Grey Gimp, because of the sweatshirt (I guess)) or spending time in our unfinished basement on the cross-country skier I rescued from someone's pile of junk a couple of years back.

I gave some thought to setting up a TV down there to keep me company and then feared I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to drop it as I got to the head of the stairs. If I could get it to land on my son's old soccer ball or flatten my autographed life-size cardboard stand up of Michael Moore hawking his diet book, I might find myself on the big plasma screens with my choice of stations (maybe both!). Perhaps I should put up some paneling, just in case a satellite truck happens by.
-bill kenny

No comments: