Late-Night Channel Surfing

by ANDREW HICKS

Late one night, you’ll realize your wife is asleep, Child #1 is asleep, and Child #2 has finally settled into a restful slumber. You’ll go pee, you’ll clean up the kitchen a little, and you’ll realize you’ve got a moment that can be just about you. The things you enjoy. The things you treasure. Like TV.

So you channel surf, and this is what you find at 1:16 am:

Channel 2 (ABC affiliate): An older, larger fellow is sitting next to his wife giving an infomercial testimonial about a vaccuum penis pump. Time spent watching: 38 seconds.

Channel 3 (CBS affiliate): Commercial for local nursing home gives way to Mario Lopez interviewing Randy Jackson on Extra. Randy says a nice word about new judge Steven Tyler. Time spent: 23 seconds.

Channel 4 (public access): Local woman preaches about Satan wanting to mess with your life because he knows his own days are numbered. Time spent: 19 seconds.

Channel 5 (local advertising): Informercial for Joan Rivers beauty products. Yes, now people can spend good money to look beautiful like Joan Rivers. Time spent: 3.5 seconds.

 

 

Channel 6 (CW affiliate): Rerun of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” You pause long enough to ponder what it would’ve been like if the guy who played Worf had gotten the “Reading Rainbow” hosting gig instead of Lavar Burton. Of course, Worf would have done the popular kids show with that full, crazy triceratops head makeup. Time spent: 11 seconds.

Channel 7 (Fox affiliate): Commercial during syndicated rerun of “Entourage.” Time spent: 2 seconds.

Channel 8 (PBS affiliate): You just missed an “American Masters” episode devoted to Jeff Bridges. The channel surfing would likely have ended here had you arrived in time. Time spent: 2 seconds.

Channel 9 (WGN): Another syndicated rerun of “Entourage.” You haven’t had Showtime for four years now, so you’re only just now getting to see edited episodes of this show. It’s not bad, but it’s almost over. Time spent: 13 seconds.

Channel 10 (NBC affiliate): “Poker After Dark,” which always makes you wonder, Do we really need a “Previously, on Poker After Dark” recap montage in order to understand the current episode? Time spent: 9 seconds.

Channel 11 (HSN): You’re interrupted by a text from an unknown 618 number asking, “You at work man?” Spend the next two minutes texting this person explanations of why you are not at work and why you are not Jess. Because of this, you leave the TV on Home Shopping Network’s $300 offer for coin collectors. You see a 50-cent piece in the package and, yep, that’s a quarter. Shiny, too. Act now. Only 73 left. Time spent: 3 minutes.

Channel 12 (PBS affiliate): Another “American Masters” show, this one about The Doors. The Jim Morrison in their reenactments looks like a Geico caveman. Time spent: 28 seconds.

Channel 13 (QVC): OMG. Flannel sheets for sale from Liz Claiborne. Time spent: 1.5 seconds.

Channel 15 (CSPAN): Gov. Jan Brewer is speaking at the memorial service for shooting victims in Tucson, Ariz. You realize it’s too soon to crack a joke. Surf on. Time spent: 7 seconds.

Channel 16 (TV Guide): You quickly review the shows you’ve surfed by so far. Yup, they all sucked. Time spent: 39 seconds.

Channel 17 (Weather): 6 degrees outside right now but clear. Time spent: 4 seconds.

Channel 18 (Government Access): Also tells you it’s 6 degrees outside, but to the tune of a rollicking horn section. Time spent: 3 seconds.

Channel 19 (My49): Spike Lee favorite Bill Nunn is playing a karate master on “Everybody Hates Chris.” Wait, never mind. That guy doesn’t look a thing like Bill Nunn. You like Bill Nunn, though. He was the seventh lead in the first Sister Act. Time spent: 14 seconds.

Channel 22 (Local Educational): Cheaply produced tourist bait video touting the academic merits of the Cahokia Mounds. Time spent: 17 seconds.

Channel 24 (VH1): Mark McGrath hosting “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.” Time spent: 1 second.

Channel 25 (Nick at Nite): Every time you see the Nick at Nite logo, you mourn the channel that heaped genuine classic TV on adolescent Andrew. “Dick Van Dyke,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Bob Newhart,” “Get Smart,” “Bewitched,” not a 2004 Damon Wayans sitcom about his wife and kids. Time spent: 1 second.

You look at the clock. It’s 1:45. Someone will be waking you up for some reason sometime in the next 4 hours, guaranteed. You decide to go to sleep. Just as soon you edit and post the blog you just wrote about aimless channel surfing.

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