TV Junkie: The Years I’ve Been Greasing Your Gears


When you call to ask me what’s going on in your TV, I can tell you exactly what’s going on: You are cleaning your TV!

This is a big mistake.

I have been cleaning the TV while you’re watching TV for about a year now. And it has not been good.

From the bottom of my boots, to the top of my high heels, to the tops of my beautiful headscarves, I have dug, in circles, my way through your hard drive, your DVD player, your comically bad videos and your terrible ads.

One day, your basement flooded and there was still the matter of the torn laundry basket. Then, you had to install a new record player, with all the sticky concrete that goes with it. Your set was looking a bit worse for wear and, truthfully, it is, to my untrained eye, a bit creepy that the digital converter box in front of your telly knows so much about your cable boxes and your Fios boxes.

The cleaning involved swearing, chewing gum, vacuuming over your head and — most of all — frustration. Yes, frustration. As you sit there watching your boring old shows, I’m hurling at you the classic works of Star Trek. And as I tear up your DVDs — and then delete the ones that can’t be retrieved. You know, the ones you begged me to watch in the middle of the day and offered to help me with — films like Braveheart.

Yes, I know: You are healthy, happy and someone is always watching your TV. (I am the person who had the thrill of watching The Walking Dead with you — at 3 a.m. while we rode the subway to Brooklyn.) But your TV is your TV.

And it makes me sick to my stomach that, in this new age of mediocrity, your TV is not great. Your TV is bad. Your TV is boring. Your TV is filled with ads. Your TV is full of crap.

Last night, when you finally got your own TV with all the trimmings, and I was busy with my own nonsense — escapism, or whatever it is — a slow hour of reality TV slowly consumed you. I woke up this morning, and my TV was the exact picture you got on the other side of the bed: a show about a woman in a cupcake bakery and her awkward attempts to meet the right man while fixing her own bakery.

The last thing I expected to do this morning was to serve you a cupcake recipe because you are so incurious about it. But the next thing I expected was to have an argument with you over how to cook a pot roast. I know, wrong time, wrong place, maybe next time. And it would be rude to say anything else.

If you watch a movie you want to re-watch, don’t hold your breath. Let me play you a live show of a comedy called In This Corner, in which a delusional circus performer with a broken heart interviews other delusional circus performers with broken hearts about their broken hearts. This will be a fun Friday night.

Happy cleaning!

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