When the sun comes up every morning, the dahlia walls of our bedroom offer the warmest glow imaginable. Considering it’s about 20 degrees outside, any warmth is appreciated even if it is from the paint on the walls. One cannot help but awaken with a sunny attitude when enveloped by the warmth of the room.
Except when you have the flu. Then you’re just glad to be awake — sort of.
Greeting the morning as my achy, creaky body began moving, I thanked the good Lord for another day and became aware of the sounds of the house coming to life. From the next room, I heard the gentle sounds of Jim Cramer, the Mad Money guy screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” as he extolled the virtues of yet another stock as my dear husband made fervent notes of his guru’s every utterance.
Then it was off to the races as the television segued from Cramer to FOX Business Channel to FOX News Channel where we listened either to business talking heads or political talking heads. Being at home sick this past week, I just laid dozing on the sofa most mornings while Darrell downed his morning coffee and digested the business news for the day. Frankly, though, after about an hour, I had memorized the stock ticker and was ready to move on to bigger and better things – like reruns of Hogan’s Heroes.
Alas, it was not my lot in life to have possession of the remote until after 11 am, so my choice was to treat the television like a car full of kids — tune ‘em out unless there’s blood or stuff flying out the windows — or go get back in my sick bed. The latter doesn’t seem like a bad choice except that Darrell was so focused on the program, he couldn’t hear me if I were knocking down the bedroom wall. When you can’t talk, that out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach is probably not one’s best strategy, so I toughed it out on the sofa.
After a few days of this, I found myself rating the various anchors and their topics. How objective are they? Do they have a sense of humor?
Anybody worth their salt deftly employs humor to make a point. As any self-respecting Southerner is taught from infancy, a good story the listener will later recall is better than a three-hour presentation bereft of anything more interesting than a manuscript presented in PowerPoint.
My rating system started with Jim Cramer since his is the first lilting (Buy! Buy! Buy!) voice I hear every morning: Somewhat elevated voice pitch with intermittent fingernails screeching across a blackboard. Booyah.
At 9 am, we switched to FOX Business News and the effervescent Neil Cavuto: Alka Seltzer and syrup of cola with slightly oak-y highlights.
Of course, all the women are Barbie dolls with the exception of Dagen McDowell who doesn’t wear as much eye makeup as some of the others but, then, she is a financial analyst, so too much mascara wouldn’t really present the proper image: Oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, and a touch of saccharin.
And then there’s Glenn Beck. Holy Mackerel! I used to really enjoy him, but he’s become the Ann Coulter of talk shows. I’m not sure what his wife’s feeding him, but cutting back on the vinegar might not be a bad idea: Ear of cactus soaked in battery acid and a teaspoon of Kaopectate.
Wednesday evening, I got busted (after only two days!). My little game was discovered by the Commandant who was not amused by my lampooning of his broadcast heroes, so we switched to movies. In the past eight days, I’ve watched everything from the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail!” to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Rear Window” with “Judgment at Nuremberg” thrown in for fun.
You name it, we’ve watched it: “The Hunt for Red October” (Sean Connery is such a stud muffin), “Rat Race” (or “How Stupid Can a Group of People Be?”), “Double Jeopardy” (Ashley Judd in one of her best), and “While You Were Sleeping” (Sandra Bullock is always at her best).
Old movies are my chicken soup. They just warm the soul and heal the infirmity. That’s all I want to do when I’m sick — watch old movies and sleep. When you’ve got a yellow bedroom, going back to bed isn’t an option, so you may as well have some fun.
I’m just glad Darrell thought the movies were his idea.
Helen Person is a columnist for the Barrow Journal. E-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.