“When I watch television, I well understand why Arabs fly jets into our skyscrapers…“ Me
At the age of 90, my mom divides her time between reading, doing puzzle books, and watching television. And even when she’s reading and working her puzzles, the television is always on in the background.
Mom doesn’t care what’s on television so much, she just enjoys having background noise and some company around that’s not named Roy. The only shows that are required watching each day are Dr. Phil, Wheel Of Fortune, and Jeopardy. Dr. Phil and Wheel do little for me, but I’ll admit I occasionally enjoy watching Jeopardy, Final Jeopardy in particular.
I spend most of my day working with clients in my fitness studio. When I’m not in sessions, I sit with mom on the sofa and make small talk while she watches Let’s Make A Deal, The Bold And The Beautiful, Judge Judy, and the like. I attempt to ignore the idiocy of such shows, but it’s hard to ignore a fat man in a bumblebee costume hoping Wayne Brady gives him the brand new Chevy Volt and not the donkey.
Sometimes it’s all too much for me.
When I hear Judge Judy condescending to the white trash in her faux courtroom, as though she’s actually making a difference in the world, I might ask my dog to snuff me out with a pillow later, after I fall asleep…
“Make sure you get a good seal around my nose and mouth, Stroodle, then press real hard. When daddy’s lungs quit moving in and out, you’ll know you did a good job…“
He looks at me quizzically, but I think deep down he gets it. Mom, I think, understands it’s a joke.
I haven’t owned a television myself since 2005. The television in the living room belongs to my mom. Certainly if one has a laptop or a smartphone today, they are in possession of some kind of television. I use my laptop to watch documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I watch lectures and interviews on YouTube, but I don’t consider that television, I consider it education light.
Before I ride my bike though, and when I return, I also spent time with my mom sitting and watching whatever she’s watching. Those are the bookends of my daily rides. Idiocy before I go out, idiocy when I return, and trying to make sense of any of it as I push my body through the hills and past the groves of this community.
I occasionally harken back to a moment from my childhood — my dad stood silently in the corner of the room as I was watching Gilligan’s Island after school one day…
“I’ve never seen such idiocy…!” He screamed.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid…!“
I still remember how insulted I was by that and how demeaning I thought it was. It sticks with me all these years later. Nobody wants to be called stupid by their father. In hindsight, I can see now that he wasn’t calling me stupid, he was calling television stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
There will come a day when mom is no longer around. I’ll give her television to a family member or to person in need. A part of me will miss it because it’s one of the few things we’ve been able to do together, especially during these stay-at-home times. What I won’t miss though, is the idiocy that beams out of it all day long. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
This is what I think about when I ride…Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 7
Mph Avg: 15.4
Seat Time: 13 hours 18 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this Chuck Prophet. Enjoy…