Thursday, September 16, 2004

Television Fridge

Sitting on the burgundy couch sipping a Beaujolais and watching television, my fiancĂ©e turns to me and swears that the End of the World is upon us – they (whoever they may be) make a refrigerator with an ice maker & water dispenser in one door, and a television set mounted in the other, apparently so that you, the consumer, can watch television without having to leave the cold comfort of your kitchen floor.

To be honest, I think that the signs of the Apocalypse are far more subtle than the inevitable television set/refrigerator hybrid (was anyone surprised by this development?) – for example. This very afternoon, driving home from a trip to the liquor store to pick up the aforementioned Beaujolais (in a fancy bottle, no less), I had to stop at a light on U.S. Route 40. Now, those of you familiar with Route 40 know of the countless panhandlers that stroll the median strips, seeking donations (firefighters are common, Vietnam Veterans (or not) more so). This afternoon a young man crushed the broken glass wearing a sandwich board sign that said:

Please Help

send me to


for American Idol

and I would have given him a dollar, if I hadn’t just blown my last Hamilton on booze.

Incidentally, writing “if I hadn’t just blown my last Reagan on booze” doesn’t have the same ring. This is the same kind of reactionary thought that brought us a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives to rename French Fries freedom fries; the same kind of reactionary thought that makes liberal intellectual snobs like me lose faith our elected (or not) leaders.

Speaking of leaders, lastly, I’ve been playing a lot of EA Sports NHL 2004 of late. The game is flawed, sure enough (passing is difficult, checking near impossible – I am a purist, I enjoy being able to obliterate anyone on the ice with anyone on the ice at any time. Call me sadistic. It’s a video game), but things get interesting once you get two or three seasons in. The artificial intelligence (or not) starts swapping players between teams, so Mark Messier winds up in Calgary, Rick DiPietro in Buffalo. At this late hour, with half a bottle of wine gone, it makes me sad that this may be the closest to NHL action we’ll see this season, and as stars shoot across the horizon, I find myself wishing that the players and owners would sit down and be non-reactionary, and understand that, in the end, they’ll all get their Hamiltons. Or their Reagans.