Friday, January 7, 2011

Here's The Story...

Boob tube.  That is what my dad called it when we were kids.  You know, TV.  I must admit that I spent my fair share of time in front of the big box as a child.  I could probably still recall perfectly the after school rerun line up that included Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch and Partridge Family.  Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeanie dotting the landscape as well.  And for the more cerebral crowd there was always old episodes of Carol Burnett.  Remember the one where she made the dress out of curtains and left the rod in?  Good stuff I tell ya.  I made my way through past episodes of M*A*S*H and Hogans Heros although I am pretty sure I did not understand half of the jokes!  And don't even get me started on Saturday morning cartoons complete with School House Rock. Rock is right! Those little gems were the bomb! Yeah, I spent a lot of time flopped in a bean bag chair in front of that towering talking monolith. Probably the only thing that saved me from a childhood of complete vegetation and a really bad back was that I lived in California.  You know that big state out west where the sun always shines.  My afternoon TV time, luckily, was often suppressed by a neighborhood game of tag or a boys against girls dirt clod fight. And yes, that is as bad as it sounds.

Evenings too, in the 70's were spent with the family around the TV.  Where do you think I learned the word "whoopee"? That's right...The Newlywed Game, cuz' Blair and Tootie never really delivered on that "Facts of Life" promise! Three's Company and the Love Boat were considered a bit racy but I am pretty sure they are on right after Barney now.  Times have changed. We had 4 channels then, one of those being the childhood nemesis...PBS, and one channel that only came in clearly if my little brother stood next to the television holding on to that danged rabbit's ear at just the right angle. (If you do not understand that reference you are too young.  Stop reading now so I can go renew my subscription to AARP.) Of course, he couldn't see the show, but whatever, I am the oldest.

My addiction lasted well into the 80's and one man is almost solely responsible for this.  His name is Thomas Magnum.  I do not even remember what came on before and after, but Thursday nights were spent waiting for that little wink at the end of the credits. When the Cosby Show took over the airwaves, I was forced to keep my loyalty to that hunky P.I. on a 13" black and white, alone in my room. Michael J. Fox, Bruce Willis, Kirk Cameron and Tony Danza kept me company through the rest of high school. Oooh, ooh and Simon & Simon!  That's who followed Mr. Selleck.  Boy, I wasted so much time.

So, the point of this whole tumble down Memory Road is that I think I have been watching too much TV lately.  I was able to break the habit in college.  There was only one television for the 250 girls in my dormitory, and I was too busy sewing my wild oats to watch it anyway.  I never really picked the habit back up. When my kids were little, even after cable television was invented,  we busied ourselves during the day and did not need the distraction.  Hubby and I had a few evening favorites after the kids were down, but mostly other things took priority.  After our only TV burst into flames one day, we did not replace it for a couple of years.  We have two TV's now.  With cable.  It is the Premium Nerd Package, so it only includes network stations and the History and Science Channels, so not much to choose from and quite frankly there is nothing worth watching anyway. I have noticed though that since my youngest started school I spend too much of my down time back in front of that boob tube. Wasting it on worthless crud...yes that means you Judge Marilyn Milian! And yes, Tom and Padma too (even though I cannot stay up late enough to see the new ones.) Although the family will still share our Wednesday evenings with those lovable misfits the Hecks. I think we are gonna save a few bucks too and dump the cable.  I am the only one who ever turns the thing on...

So there you have it my first New Year's resolution. Down with the Tube! Maybe I will even get more done.  Unless of course, they bring back Magnum.

Quote of the Day: "Time is free, but it is precious."
--Harvey Mackay author & speaker


  1. We actually still have rabbit ears-we get all the local channels in HD for free with them which makes me laugh because you have to pay extra for cable and even extra for HD!! We miss having discovery and the history channel, but we catch up with all of that online anyway. (Our TV is our computer monitor in the living room). I'm with you though-we need to watch less...

  2. We don't have cable. Well...we don't pay for it. When we moved to this house we only wanted internet service...that's the way the kids watched TV even when we did pay for it. Amazingly enough, we have some channels (I think because we have CABLE modem, some channels sneak through). My kids love TV, but they prefer TV with a purpose. No channel surfing or waiting around till the show you want is finally on...just find the show you want online, watch it and get on with your day. Hulu and Netflix are great for that. We went from paying the around $200/mo for our watching pleasure down to less than $50...$32 of which is our internet service. Makes me happy

  3. That was quite a stroll down TV's memory lane. We certainly MUST be close to the same age. :)

  4. You are much braver soul than me. I have always had a TV habit. I get it from my mother. It is always on in the background in our house, and my favorite gadget is my TiVo.

    I do draw the line on having a TV in the bedroom. I need to have a safe haven from the box and allow myself some reading time.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying don't give it up. By all means, do it. And then send me your will power.

  5. We don't have cable. We just use Hulu and that is only a couple of a nights a week, I was an addict, but I kind of love the free-ing-ness (I made up a word!) of very little TV. LOVE!

  6. Good for you! We don't have tv (just a tv for movies), and I am always grateful that we don't. I love not having tv.
    (from MMB)

  7. Although...I am not sure Mr. Magnum will look as good in those shorty shorts anymore. Did you watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King? Or Hart to Hart. I loved all your shows.
    If it wasn't for Glenn Beck I would totally cancel our service too. There is so much that you can watch online that it is almost a waste of money...almost.

  8. Time is precious :-) And think of all the extra things you'll have time for! I was surprised how much more creative I became when I reduced my TV watching - and I still watch an occasional favourite but am just as happy on my sewing machine LOL