I fell asleep ten minutes into
Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein last night.
This was by no means a
reflection of apathy or disinterest on my part: I'm as emotionally
invested in world events these days as the next guy. It was more like a
"reflection" of my desperate need for eight solid hours of sleep. Between getting
up forty minutes early to wrestle with the new contact lenses, every
single morning this week -- and then staying up two or three or seven
hours past my bedtime every single night -- I have felt myself heading
into serious Sleep Deprivation Territory. (Pretty
soon I'm going to start calling the Tots by each others' names and
dozing off in the middle of Saturday Night Yahtzee.) So I purposely
took a big healthy slug of knock-'em-out cold medicine, midway through
the evening last night, and by 9 p.m. I was already drooling into my
pillow. The last thing I remember, just before I floated away on the
big fluffy cloud of Phenylpropanolamine Hydrochloride and
Chlorphenamine (Chlorpheniramine) Maleate, was hearing Dan Rather
asking Saddam how many cosmetic facial surgeries he's had.
"Two," said the Iraqi dictator,
through his interpreter. "But only on my nose, and only so I could hit
the high notes better."
I'll catch the rest of
the interview tomorrow on 'Entertainment Tonight,' I told
myself, as I slid down the chute into unconciousness. And then I was
out like the proverbial dim bulb.
* * * * * *
My thirst for pseudo-reality TV
may have finally been slaked.
I'm especially burned out on
the pseudo-romance variety of pseudo-reality TV. When Trista
inexplicably chose the maudlin, mealy-mouthed Ryan to be her
lifemate/soulmate/Bad Poet Laureate a couple of weeks ago, instead
of going for Charlie, who was clearly the better man in 99.997% of the
ways that count (except for the part about not actually
being in love with her), I turned to David in
disgust and said, "That's it. I've had enough."
And I pointed the remote at the
TV and clicked the *Off* button.
No more contrived scenarios. No
more manipulative editing or phony-baloney 'selection processes.' No
more watching happy weeping couples vowing eternal love beneath a
blizzard of confetti and rose petals ... only to tune in to the
inevitable "Aftermath" show, the following week, just in time to see
them throwing plates of spaghetti at each other.
In short: no more Plug-and-Play
romance for this reality TV addict. She's had her
I'm chalking it up to overload.
For a brief period, earlier this month, I was gorging on no less than
five reality shows within the same week: "Joe Millionaire" on Monday
night, "American Idol" on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, "The
Bachelorette" (also on Wednesday night, but following "American Idol"
so there was no annoying overlap), and "Survivor: Amazon" on Thursday
night. (And no, I don't watch any of the other reality shows, on any of
the other networks. I generally prefer the goal to either be romance or
personal glory ... not vomiting or "hotness" or the resuscitation of
some has-been/quasi-celebrity's career.) At first I'll admit that it
was sort of cool and exciting and fun, having all of this overlapping
made-for-TV noise and nonsense going on, all at once. But almost
immediately I started to feel overload ... like a wall socket with one
too many electrical plugs stuck into it.
Trista choosing Ryan was the
frayed Mixmaster cord that shorted out the entire works, as far as I
"I'm not going to watch this
stuff anymore," I harrumphed to David, as we watched Charlie riding away in
the back of the limousine, alone. I don't think he believed me.
just cranky because YOU didn't get to pick the winner," he said, and
there is probably more than a molecule of truth to that.
But so far
I've stuck to my guns. Or at least, I've stuck to 99.997% of my
guns. I'll admit that I'm still watching "Survivor: Amazon." I'm giving
it a couple of weeks to either become too interesting or too awful to
ignore. (And then I'll end up watching it all the way through to the
end REGARDLESS ... but at least I will have
pretended to think about it.) But I did manage to quit "American Idol
2" cold turkey. There was a distressing sameness to AI2, this time
around, that I found hard to stomach. How many times can you hear
"Kiss From A Rose" without wanting to put a bicycle pump through your
television screen? I ask you? And as for the pseudo-romance stuff, I
blew off both the "Millionaire" and the "Bachelorette" aftermath shows
without so much as a backward glance. (Mainly because I was terrified
that Ryan might attempt to spout some more of his icky poetry ... or
Evan might attempt to walk and chew gum at the same time.) I'm even
avoiding the after-the-aftermath specials: frankly, I have zero
interest in hearing why
work out. And when "The Bachelor" returns in a few weeks -- as it will,
as inevitably and inexorably as the Honey BBQ Wings return to KFC every
Memorial Day weekend -- I might actually try to find something else to
do with my Wednesday nights.
Like reading. Or calling The Tots. Or
talking to David. Or working on my poor, miserable, neglected little
Unless, of course, they decide
to make CHARLIE the new Bachelor. Then you won't
see hide nor hair of me for another eleven weeks.
* * * * * *
In the meantime, I suppose
it's just as well that I missed the Dan Rather interview last night.
I needed the sleep, for one
thing. I've felt about a bazillion times better today than I've felt
all week: I actually managed to get through a whole day without
snapping at co-workers or barking at clients or sneaking into the Dirt
Company kitchen and mainlining caffeine at 3:00 in the afternoon. For
another thing, if I really want to know how the interview went -- and I
probably do -- I can always turn on the news/look at the front page of
the Oakland Tribune/dial up Yahoo! News and get a complete,
blow-by-blow transcript of the entire conversation.
Or I can just wait another week
and catch the "Saddam Hussein Interview: The Footage You Were
Never Meant to See" special on FOX.