Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Right Deal

I planned on a two hour wait time while my truck was getting serviced this morning.  The Tacoma I drive is getting on in years and has reached the age when there are really no surprises, just unplanned for expenses.  That's why I spent almost 3 hours in the waiting room today.
I can do waiting time.  I read, check email, read some more, do a crossword puzzle and finally get some alone time to just think.  Sitting there with a dozen other people, all of whom drive newer vehicles, I'm sure, I make a little time to check out who is waiting along with me.  Today it was a few retired folks, and a tech wiz, who was plugged in to a few devices, and a couple of folks whose loud phone conversations informed everyone in the room that they had just returned from Canada or that they had no idea how much money was in their checking account.  Ordinary stuff.

And then there was that TV that flashed constantly while no one in particular watched.  With no volume on, most folks just ignored the high definition images constantly pulsating through the room.
After a bit, I noticed what the TV had to offer between 9:00 and 12:00.  Sure, soap operas and game shows, but with the sound off, they can appear very differently.  I spent a total of 10 minutes watching two 5 minute segments of two game shows...soundless.  No questions to answer, just estimate the price of an object or choose between this or that.  You know the shows, both hosted by former comedians who must be laughing to the bank at these steady gigs.  What comes across, more than anything, is that lots of 20-40 somethings come absolutely unglued at the prospect of winning consumer goods.  I took the role of an anthropologist, pretending I was from another universe and was examining data about this strange civilization.  These people, who would eventually assume the role of contestants, would adorn themselves in bizarre attire.  Not really costumes, but rather a blend of home-made outfits composed of inexpensive material and fuzzy, fluorescent, colors.  To this bunch add the svelte models with extended arms,  exhibiting the items up for grabs.  They wore tight-fitting frocks, mostly of primary colors.  They kept their least while on the air.
All this needed no sound to figure out what's going on.  This day, October 21st 2015 is supposedly called Back to the Future Day, in light of the movie that predicted what life in 2015 would be like.  They were right about a few things.  The people in these TV programs seem to value automobiles above all else.  They pause to touch them or stroke their smooth fenders, tops, curvy lines.  If they win, they convulse.  What must they have been fed before they entered the TV studio?  I wonder if their gaudy outfits will survive?

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