On President’s Day a few years ago, I took the day off. Which meant I had a chance to partake in the ultimate television, daytime television, and daytime television commercials.
We were watching a game show, something to do with prices or bargains, or something that had a lot of name-brand products and services involved. “Hey, Billy, how would you like to take home this Sony brand AM-FM radio with headphones and three distinctly separate but equal knobs? All you have to do is guess how Much Kraft brand Macaroni and Cheese, with fun shaped dinosaur pasta, it takes to fill the trunk of this Dodge Hedgehog.” Dang, that one was tough. Did they mean cooked or boxed?
But, before we heard Billy’s answer, they cut to a commercial for laundry detergent. There was a couple sitting in a bedroom with heaps of laundry surrounding them. The man would take a small shirt from one basket and fold it carelessly before handing it to the woman, who would refold the shirt and put it in a different basket.
While they were folding the laundry, they were speaking right into the camera. The woman talked about the blessing of having triplets, and the man countered with the financial burden it brought. This led, quickly, to the relative value of laundry detergents, ultimately leading to the anecdotal proof that the bargain detergents were of less value than the name brand due to the enormous amount needed to clean clothes.
But, as any parent can tell you, having a new baby around is exhausting, having three must be hellish, and a person can get a little cranky. Finally, right before the end of the commercial, the woman had had enough (she lasted longer than my wife would have, maybe it was being on camera that provided the additional composure) and threw one of the shirts back in the man’s face, saying, “You call that folded? You might as well wad it up and throw it back in the laundry, you bastard!”
Which he did. Actually, it was more of a fastball pitch, with a windup, aimed at his wife’s head instead of in the laundry. He screamed, “They are babies! Nobody gives a bucket of poo about a few wrinkles!”
At this point, maternal instinct kicked in, and the woman, fearing that her babies were going out in public wrinkled and messy, swung a full diaper bag around her head several times, finally bringing it to bear on the back of the man’s head, knocking him into the changing table and opening a three-inch gash on his forehead.
To his credit, he got up quickly and grabbed a baby bottle, smashed it on the bassinet, and brandished the jagged edge menacingly toward the woman, who had grabbed a wastebasket lid for a shield and still looped the diaper bag in long, terrifying circles around her head—each pass making an ominous, electrifying whoosh sound.
Before they could move in for the last match, they both collapsed in a heap, exhausted and wanting nothing more than a nap.
I looked at my wife, and asked, “Did you see that?”
“It is all part of the ‘reality programming’ trend that is so popular these days. Things, sometimes, get a little strange,” she explained.
“Oh, I see.”
Originally published on https://tim-thingsastheyare.blogspot.com/2013/12/daytime-tv-another-troubling-development.html
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