An enlightening experience after moving into a new apartment. I was primarily concerned with an internet connection for work, so only asked the cable company to turn that on until I could get a digital box for “the works”. Watching TV was not foremost on my mind. Who has time? Well, it turned out I did. Even without the box for premium channels, the tuner detected a dozen or so stations. Unwittingly I had the networks and and assortment of other local channels. Much of the prime time programming was, in fact, high definition. I didn’t need “Honey Boo Boo”, “Jersey Shore” and the like in my life . I went back to watching news at 6pm instead of 24/7.
It reminded me of the days of analog television, when a choice between “M*A*S*H”/”One Day at a Time” (CBS), “Police Woman” (NBC) and and “Eight is Enough (ABC) on a Tuesday night in 1977 seemed like too many options. We didn’t even have VCRs… if you missed it, you missed it. No one then entertained the possibility of watching “Star Wars” repeat on a s-f channel… and choosing NOT to watch it! I was wonderfully close to rediscovering the pleasure of books.
Now that I have Comedy Central, BBC America,. etc, . again wonder how I lived without. Television doesn’t have to be a vast wasteland.
Beginning Saturday knew it was going to be a good weekend encountering an Andrew Lloyd Webber cat with others in costume at the Indian Creek MARTA station, outside the I-285 perimeter. If the vibe could extend that far from downtown, imagine what it was like at the parade. At the next stop a 6 year old Supergirl joined the train and things improved all the way to Peachtree Center. There, before reaching street level, a long escalator carried the throng to daylight. When the escalator broke the crowd stopped moving for a moment and, just when it looked like impending disaster, that people might be trampled, a chant began. “Up! ! Up! UP!”, as the tide began ascending again.
My point isn’t to detail every moment of my labor day weekend, but to belabor that a good time can be had for next to nothing. If I had paid for admission to the convention would have felt pressured to maximize the investment, attending as many sessions as possible, and not experienced the pleasure of simple people watching from the vantage of one of the cast of thousands. The costumes were incredible. I believe my favorite was a female Grinch with her Santa, whose green skin appeared in no way artificial. A teenage group of Hogwartz graduates, with authentic looking robes, also stands out in memory.
The rest of the weekend was spent at the Decatur Book Festival, where small, intimate (and free) sessions with poets and authors were preferable to the crowded, expensive hotel venues. I discovered n a small auditorium I never knew existed within the Decatur library, and also made it inside the legendary Eddie’s Attic, where Billy Pilgrim, a favorite band, had their origins. The only time I opened my wallet was to scan a MARTA card and buy lunch at McDonald’s. Gotta eat.
While not false advertising, exactly, it is cruel preying on male ineptness simply shopping for shampoo. I consider myself a more savvy consumer than most. Purchasing the wrong item was a three step affirmation. A lesser man might have made his selection after the first or second step in the thought process:
- Spot familiar brand. “Suave” = cheap! Good.
- Notice new bottle color. “REFRESHING” = blue! Good.
- Identify with large print. “MEN” = me! Good.
It wasn’t until using the product that I noticed nowhere on the deceptive bottle did it say “shampoo“. Instead the label reads in small, insignificant print, “body wash“. Like any self respecting male, am too proud to return a $1.67 bottle of body wash. Also too stubborn to let them get away with this! I’ll continue to use body wash on my hair. No, it doesn’t lather up the same and, no, it doesn’t leave any kind of bounce or shine or any of those special things genuine shampoo does. I’m going to use every last drop before buying their brand again. And I WILL buy their product again. Because it will still be the cheapest.
This experience causes me to wonder whether anyone purchases body wash intentionally, the first time.