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  • Sahar Abdulaziz

Mind-Numbing Boredom


The weather where I live has been exceptionally hot and muggy recently. Instead of tackling the mounting list of chores outside of the house, my husband and I spent the latter part of this past Sunday sitting in front of the boob tube watching ridiculous made-for-TV movies. There we sat. Watching the same regurgitated plots play themselves out over and over again, but with each ‘new’ show only a new cast of dismal actors to spew the same tired old lines.

Nevertheless, there we sat, staring at the television, becoming engrossed in the no-plot shows like two lethargic zombies. Occasionally having the unadulterated nerve to yell out even more ridiculous plot twists, and critiquing the killer’s uncanny ability to lure the pathetic ‘innocents’ to their waiting demise. Then, to add insult to injury, we’d get all puffed up with bragging rights when able to predict correctly the outcome, when, in fact, (if we're entirely honest), we had seen this scene play out a few dozen times before.

After a few wasted hours, we then switched over to the news. Surprisingly, this change didn’t make much of a difference. Same discouraging stories being spewed on each station with the same talking heads. And yet, we both continued to sit there, remote control in hand, toggling back and forth from channel to channel as if something new and exciting would pop up on the screen any moment if we just kept pressing that incessant button.

And then we made our BIGGEST misstep. Deciding that the news no longer held our waning interest, our lazy butts ironically decided on the home improvement channel. You know the one. Where everybody has an extra 50-100K to spend on a bathroom renovation or a BBQ pit. Or the shows where folks who are living in places that can only be described as less than ‘House Beautiful’ walk through other people’s homes, critiquing them with some of the most cutting and hurtful twaddle.

- Who cares if you don’t like the lime green bathroom with the subway tiles! Keep it to yourself lady!

- Did that guy just walk into somebody else’s shower with his shoes on? Who does that?

- I know that lady didn’t just talk about this designer kitchen, calling it ‘small and outdated’ when her kitchen is as big as a water closet and as modern as the early 70s would permit.

But we both continued to watch. And watch, and watch, growing angrier by the minute, and shocked with some of the comments these ungrateful, mean-spirited, entitled pompous people kept coming out with. Unable to get past the nerve these folks had to walk through someone else’s home feeling like they had the right to make fun of their style [or lack of].

Finally we turned off the TV and sat in blissful quiet. No longer engaged in the passive social voyeurism that had consumed us.

“Are you hungry?” I asked the hubby.

“No, but I could still eat anyway,” he replied. “You?”

I’m not hungry either, but I could go for a smoothie. Want one?”

“Sure. Nice and thick, like a dessert. You know how I like it.”

“Fine.”

“I want to be able to use a spoon instead of a straw,” he said.

“Okay.”

“In a large man’s cup. Not those small fancy glass things you use.”

Are you done?” I asked, hot and bothered.

He laughed.

“You know we wasted this whole day,” I told him, just as guilty, but wanting him to feel guiltier.

“Yeah, I know.” He didn’t look guilty.

Not generating the emotion I was digging for, I stood up to make the smoothies. When I got back to the room, I handed his too thick to be drunk smoothie over in his plastic mug. “What do you feel like doing?” I asked, bored out of my mind.

“Sci-fi?” he asked.

“Sure, but not if they are showing sharks. I hate watching sharks eat people. I mean, how many times can you watch a shark eat a person? And not for nothing, if you know some big gigantic man-eating shark just swallowed someone up, why the hell would you stay anywhere near? I don’t get people.” I declared. The Sage had spoken.

“Okay, so no sharks,” he said grabbing the remote.

“And no vampires. They give me the creeps.”

“Okay, he said, “No sharks or vampires. Anything else?”

No… well, yes. No, alligators. I despise alligators. They're just as bad as sharks in my opinion. Or snakes. God, I hate snakes.”

At this point, my husband just stared at me, putting down the remote control, nursing his smoothie.

“What?” I asked him.

“Nothing, “ he said smirking, shaking his head.

A few more silent minutes went by, minus the slurping sounds, both of us casually watching the other to see who would make the first move. Finally, he broke first. Grabbing the remote control, he said, “History channel?”

“Sure. I could go for some intelligent television,” I declared self-righteously.

Hubby flipped through the channels landing on the history channel.

“Oh, crap!” I snapped.

“What now?” he asked incredulously.

“Nothing . . .”

“You said, “Oh Crap”- Oh crap about what?”

“They’re discussing aliens from other planets.

I was hoping for something else; that’s all.”

“Here!” he said, handing over the remote. “Find something you want to watch then.”

Grabbing the remote, I flipped through the stations, landing back on the channel with the same stupid made-for-TV movies. Looking at my husband’s face for a sign, I shrugged and settled in.

“Do you think they know he’s the killer?” I asked. “He looks like a killer. I would know he’s a killer. Why don’t they ever know who the killer is? It’s so obvious. ”


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