Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Leading Cause of Brain Crud

The voices in my head are singing Where's the Love Y'all, by the Black Eyed Peas.

What I'm reading: A Deadly Shade of Gold, by John D. MacDonald.

The Queen of Pain accused me this morning of suffering from Brain Crud, in response to my plea for sympathy on account of having the head and chest crud for eight weeks. Now, setting aside her complete and utter lack of sympathy, she has a point. I feel like I need to take one of those things the dentist uses to clean your teeth and scrape off all the nooks and crannies of my gray matter.

At first I thought it was just a holiday, family/mall/carb-overload hangover, but I now suspect it's something far more insidious. I have television poisoning.

I typically don't watch much TV--just a few favorite shows: Boston Legal (which won't be a problem anymore as its last episode aired before Christmas), Monk, The Closer, Saving Grace, and more recently, Leverage, the new Timothy Hutton series. But over the holidays, I fall into bad habits.

It starts with watching a few holiday movies on the Hallmark channel with my mother. Nothing gets you into the holiday spirit quite like heartwarming romantic holiday fluff. Then, there are all those bowl games, and playoff games. Left to my own devices I wouldn't watch much of that, but most of the family-and-friend pool like it, so we watch.

Before long, I have a customary place on the sofa that calls to me as soon as the dinner dishes are in the dishwasher. I start CHANNEL SURFING--looking for something to watch. I become far less discriminating, although, let me say right here that if I ever type the words, "I finally broke down and watched an episode of American Idol," somebody just call up the nervous hospital and have them send a padded wagon.

Disclaimer: I mean no slight, aspersion, or snark to anyone who enjoys "Reality TV." I just personally don't care for it at all. I'm convinced it's a vast Hollywood conspiracy to inflate profits. I like my escapism with a know, something that involves writers, some reasonably talented actors, and a set. I digress.

It's not the shows that are really the issue, though I typically spend my leisure hours with my first love, books. It's the commercials. Oh. Dear. Tara.

It's so bad, that when a decent commercial comes on, I actually remark on how well it was done. This happens about once a week. The prescription drug ads are awful, but the really, really bad commercials--the ones that cause the maximum buildup of Brain Crud are the ones that include the words, "But WAIT!" You know the ones I'm talking about... the ads for things like Mighty Putty, Hairagami, and those plastic clips you put on your bra straps that guarantee to make you a cup size bigger and improve your posture. I'm also sick of seeing celebrities try to convince us that they lost 40 pounds eating Nutri System, or Jenny Craig food, or by drinking a bunch of Acai Berry Juice. Please, those people have a team of personal trainers and a kitchen staff to help them get skinny.

Now that I've figured out what caused the brain crud, it's easy to fix. It's not difficult AT ALL to turn off the TV once you realize you've fallen victim. If only all my unhealthy habits were cured as easy as picking up a remote and pressing "Off."

Peace, out...


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