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Monday, February 20, 2006

A TV-free week

November 17, 2004

I finally found someone who loves TV as much as I do: the Canadians. Our neighbors to the north apparently can’t live without this vice anymore than I can. (They also say “eh” a lot, but that’s another story.)

During a vacation last week to Niagara Falls, Ontario, I tried to refrain from watching television. So of course, every restaurant and tourist attraction we visited had televisions in every possible nook and cranny. Even the men’s urinals at one restaurant had TVs installed in them. (Don’t ask how I know. Just trust that I do.)

In the lounge at the hotel, I counted eight TVs in one room. And these were big-screen 42-inch-plasma TVs. I’m not sure, but I think someone set up all those televisions just to taunt me. But I was strong Tubers. I did the impossible. I went an entire week without watching one single show. No Desperate Housewives. No Seth Cohen. No Clark Kent.

I missed my weekly TV pals, but with all that spare time, I had my own adventure. I searched the city for Dudley Do-Right, bottled some Niagara Falls water to sell on eBay, learned some French, planted some flowers at the flowerless Floral Clock, did an entire rotation at the revolving restaurant atop the Skylon Tower, pondered politics, researched hydro power, harassed Starbucks employees for the hot chocolate recipe, studied the War of 1812, and sat through a musical dinner show of Oh Canada, Eh. I wasn’t bored once.

Sure, I wondered what Joey was doing and who would be appointed the new chief of staff on The West Wing, but I didn’t give in to my curiosity. And my TV drought wasn’t nearly as distressing as trying to calculate the exchange rate and convert my American cash to Canadian dollars.

Since I watched no television last week, this week’s column is a little light on the tube talk. But not to fear, I have a backup plan. As your TV gal, I’ve been sharing my opinions with you week after week. And frankly, I’m feeling a little lonely. I want to know what you think. What shows should I be watching? Who would you like to see back on TV? What do you want to read about in Tube Talk? So, send me your questions and comments in writing. I’ll share some of them in an upcoming column.

And don’t be afraid to ask those difficult questions either. I’m all about investigating complex TV mysteries. Whatever happened to Screech from Saved by the Bell? I’m on it. Why were the Smurfs always so happy? I’ve got the answer. What were the words to the Growing Pains theme song? You know I can sing the entire ditty.

So, turn off the tube and get writing. If David Letterman can have a reader mailbag, why can’t I? Send your questions and comments by e-mail jennifer@tube-talk.com.

Originally published 11/17/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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