Monday, August 28

Things I saw on TV recently

• Yesterday in my mom's hospital room, we watched a FOX News special on higher education costs. The venerable Newt Gingrich (who my dad said would be the next president if he decided to run) was hosting the special. It seems that college costs have increased something like 500 percent in the past 50 years, faster than inflation and pretty much everything else.

The show's premise was interesting enough, until we were introduced to a young woman who had accrued $80,000 in debt so she could go to some fancy-shmancy university where her counselors had assured her she'd fit in just beautifully. You can almost sympathize with her until she starts crying and recounting how hard it was for her to go to the mall with friends to shop for dresses for her formal and have to look at nothing but the clearance racks.

"You just wonder if there will ever be a time when you can afford to buy the name brands!" she confides tearily to the camera (I'm paraphrasing), at which point every person in my mother's hospital room — myself included — instantly scoffs and decides that someone so shallow should have to suffer through repaying debt if for no other reason than to learn a lesson about the futility of name brands.

• Last night I was flipping through the channels before bed and I happened to catch someone saying "Memphis" on A&E, and anytime I see something about Memphis or Nashville (unless it involves CMT) on the telly, I hang around for a sec to see what it's about. The show last night was "The First 48 Hours," a show that follows police during the first two days after they begin a homicide investigation.

The Memphis case the show followed was the murder of 28-year-old Mario Hampton, shot while sitting in his car in a liquor store parking lot in Whitehaven. Wounded and dying, Mario drove across traffic and through a fence at a nearby apartment complex, slamming into a building and dying there in his car. Sergeant Caroline Mason and her team look for clues to find a suspect, and are eventually led to Adrian Todd, a 22-year-old, who initially denies killing Mario, but who changes his story once Sgt. Mason drops the good cop routine and starts shit-talking like a pro and intimidating the hell out of Adrian.

It made me cry when Adrian confessed what had really happened, and when he became visibly shaken by the weight of what he had done. Mario had apparently cut Adrian off in traffic or something petty, and when Adrian saw Mario pull into the liquor store lot, he drove up beside him, got out, put a gun in his face, and said, "Hey, you remember me?" Adrian said he thought Mario was reaching for a gun, so he shot him. Crying, he says he didn't mean to kill him; he just wanted to scare him.

I don't know. That's just sad. Everything about it — needless and sad.

• Immobilized by the local spectacle of needless violence, I sat through another A&E show called "Intervention," which is pretty self-explanatory. Last night's walking wreck was Cristy, a 25-year-old meth addict and alcoholic (click here to watch a clip) who lives for free in a guest house owned by her dad, the chief enabler. She spends her days drinking vodka straight from the bottle, smoking crystal meth, breaking things in her house, and plucking her eyebrows, apparently. She works as a stripper.

She is a nightmare who thinks she's a god. She says so. And her entire family, which has so far tiptoed around her problems, decides to get with an interventionist and make Cristy either go to a treatment program or go to jail, since there's a warrant out for her arrest. Cristy finally agrees to go to treatment, but she lasts barely over a month and the facility tells her to stop acting like a jackass or leave. She leaves, goes back to her old ways, and the family tells her she has to go back to treatment or choose jail. She chooses jail, so she gets arrested and the judge tells her she can go to a two-year treatment program or do 90 days in jail.

She chooses jail. The end.

• My love for infomercials has been documented before. So I want to take a minute to tell you about my latest favorite infomercial: The Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.

Oh my God, this is the best infomercial ever. The host of the show is a woman with an abnormally large mouth, with a meticulously coiffed soccer-mom 'do and way too much enthusiasm about the weight-loss powers juice possesses. Jack LaLanne, the elderly bodybuilder guy, and his wife Elaine talk over each other the entire time, trying to be louder than big-mouth host lady, and they talk about juice and juicing and it's just hilarious and awesome.

And the product is awesome too. It's this white plastic monstrosity into which you can feed entire apples and cucumbers and bananas and whatnot, and it will belch up pulpy rivers of colorful juice for you to consume, and the assumption is that you can feed anything into the machine and you'll get a glass of great-tasting juice, but just imagine how horrible most of those concoctions actually are.

Pure comedy gold.

6 Comments:

Blogger jag said...

I can't pass the Magic Bullet infomercial without watching the whole thing. Every Sunday morning...hooked.

Mon Aug 28, 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Dude, totally. I love how you have to chop up everything into small portions before you can use the Bullet, which is roughly the size of a coffee mug.

But you can make your own SALSA!

Love it.

Mon Aug 28, 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger John H said...

Jack LaLanne was an old dude when I was a kid..he really is an amazing specimen, as well as rating a 9.5 on the unintentional comedy scale.

Mon Aug 28, 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

Funny. All I do is pluck my eyebrows (and toes, if you're asking) and break things in Pete's house. Sounds like I'm halfway there.

Mon Aug 28, 10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, saw the 48 hours show where Adrian Todd confessed. I agree, it was very sad, and what a waste of two young men who minutes before were just living life. Now one is dead, and one will be incarcerated for his productive years.

Sat Oct 06, 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous chandi38114 said...

WELL I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT THAT ADRIAN TODD WOULD BE CAPABLE OF MURDER. I USED TO BE HIS GIRL IN 2003 AND PART OF THE REASON FOR US BRAKING UP WAS BECAUSE HE WAS SUCH A JERK.... BUT A KILLER. WOW!!! POOR MARIO HE WAS A SWEET GUY TO ME. HE DID NOT DESERVE TO NE TAKEN AWAY SO SOON. EVERYTHING WAS COOL IN THE DAYS OF LIVING IN THE BENT TREE APTS.. WHAT HAPPENED?

Wed Dec 05, 08:51:00 PM  

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