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Daytime TV Programming Should Heal the Sickest Among Us

It’s no fun being sick.  Last week I was re-visited by a frequent, yet unwanted guest; a rather large and stubborn kidney stone which I have named “Favre,” after a certain habitual retiree who just won’t seem to go away.

This uric acid laden hitchhiker has been wandering around my urinary tract for months like a rogue elephant barreling through a tight tunnel which becomes narrower with every mammoth step. Recently my tiny, destructive pachyderm came to rest, resulting in a full work stoppage (Are you following me? I’m trying to be delicate here), a traffic jam of sorts, if you will.

When I was a child, staying home sick from school was a rare treat.  If you didn’t appear to be one step from the morgue, you had little to no chance of missing the bus. Mom could sniff out a fraudulent illness like a bloodhound chasing down a convict. My wife Janet is of a similar mind.  Rarely ill herself, Janet’s office is in our home and likes the atmosphere unspoiled by intruders, including those sharing the same roof.  When Janet is sick she is quick to point out that she does not lounge around my office popping pain medication and racing through the Direct TV menu.  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic, especially when she knows where the “good” medication is stowed.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of birthing a boulder, eradicating a kidney stone requires a great amount of fluids and an equal amount pain medication; therefore, one is limited to a small list of activities.  Sleep is always good, petting the dogs expends little energy, and of course there is television.  My mom, the librarian would lobby for reading to be added to the list, however, I tried reading under the influence once until I later realized that I had been staring at a paper towel for a half-an-hour. Not what you would call a “page turner.”

It is remarkable what you can learn laying in a recliner and surfing the satellites.  In less than two days I watched all six of the “Star Wars” films in chronological order and discovered that the real star of the series was R2D2, a small robot resembling an industrial sized Roomba.  Each time the rebel alliance is about to be quashed, it is a gloried vacuum cleaner who saves everyone’s bacon.  Appliances around the globe can hold their heads (parts, or whatever they hold) high when their brethren defeats the evil empire using a series of beeps, bleeps, dings and five dozen “D” batteries.

Aside from the movie channels, afternoon programming is a mixed bag of infomercials and short reality driven shows. Emerging from the “Where are they now?” file on channel 271 is Montel Williams hawking a emulsifier (a blender to us common folk) that reduces a Cantaloupe into soup in nearly the time it took me to quickly change the channel.  On channel 88 I found “Ninja Kitchen.” hoping to witness a black-clad warrior go all Jackie Chan on a plate of Sashimi, yet, alas it was a commercial for another blender.

While dashing through the channel guide I notice that singer Katy Perry is on no less than three channels simultaneously applying pimple cream to her otherwise lovely face.  Isn’t this kind of multi-channel consideration reserved for a presidential address or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?  Does Katy’s skin condition rate this kind of coverage? (No pun intended).

Dizzied by a combination of medicine and Katy’s allure, I landed on what I though was the safest port in this media driven storm; The Animal Planet Channel. Cute doggie commercials, Cesar Milan, “The Dog Whisperer,” taming a cranky Dachshund – surely this was the type of easy viewing that would bridge me to my next nap.  Adjusting myself comfortably in my lounger, I settled in ready to allow the furry show content to wash over me.  Following a few frightening promos for “When Animals Attack” and a sweet documentary entitled “I Shouldn’t be Alive,” the main feature title “Monster’s Inside Me,” blazed across the screen.  I felt Favre, move slightly in the middle of my back, as the show’s host described the invasive and damaging nature of the common internal parasite.  “Finally,” I thought “a program that both of us can enjoy.”

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