Monday, December 10, 2012

The Vegetable Family

Unfortunately I refer not to actual vegetables such as the crunchy crucifers that scrub the interior of our intestines clean or propel slap-happy antioxidants throughout our systems to fight disease.

Nor do I cite the brightly hued carriers of beta-carotene crowed about by Dr. Oz in his quest to get us to slim down and live longer. 

Why he cares, I’ll never understand.

Sadly, I am not speaking of positive habits so much as the lack of human initiative (and by that, I mean any sort of movement) that took place in my home immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids were home, no one had any pressing engagements (and by that, I mean showering ) and there was a working TV and comfy couch within staggering distance of the left-overs.

The boys, having recently been involved in the excitement of a presidential campaign, wanted to keep the momentum flowing by watching the fabled television series from several years ago, “The West Wing.” And I just wanted to sit near the boys….so through the magic of the digital age we were able to create a scenario that pleased us all: unlimited episodes of the show as well as cozy seating for Ma Barker and her boys.
The real Ma Barker.
Wow, she was mean.

We were immediately sucked into the snappy dialogue, good character development and tightly paced drama of fictional characters running  America.  And, soon, we hazily observed that bright daylight had a habit of slipping into shades of dusk, then night then –  What? Is it that late? – three in the morning. 

Exercising only our “clicker muscles” we cared neither about time nor place as our very own Black Friday referred not to retail but to the loss of brain cells and progressive dimming of our futures as we emulated cooked vegetables in the flickering light of 60 inches of high def.

For the first several hours we sustained ourselves with half empty bottles of water that were strewn about but within reach, sipping judiciously so as not to disrupt our cocoons for the exertion of bathroom visits. 

Secretly, I couldn't
care less what you people

Haphazardly abandoned bags of chips and pretzels nourished us once stomachs started to growl and Dr. Oz himself, would have been proud of how overjoyed we were to discover a nearly full Tupperware of baby carrots wedged under the recliner. We ate only one or two every few hours since none among us had any intention of leaving the couch, the reassuring banter and patriotic idealism of the cast nor the fact that every problem was wrapped up to our satisfaction every sixty minutes.

We also all agreed that Martin Sheen must be our next president.
Call me "Mr. President."

As the food dwindled and the hours became what may actually have been days, we dozed fitfully only to be awakened by gnawing hunger and were forced to search between couch cushions for sustenance. Charlie found two fun size Snickers from Halloween and I, a few linty m&ms in the pocket of my sweat pants that we divided with the precision of prisoners in the gulag. But later, after another season or two of a benevolent president with a great head of hair, we were reduced to licking each others elbows for salt and swapping stories (between episodes) of memorable meals from our past. 

There was a sleeve of Ritz crackers across the room but if it was beyond the reach of our fingers, it might as well have been on Mars.

We tried to get the cats to fetch things from the fridge upstairs but they had problems of their own since no one had refilled their dishes since this TV orgy had begun.
What? No rice ball?!?

I have no idea where Seth was during all this but at some point, he entered the room surrounded by a pool of light and accompanied by what I believe to have been celestial music, yelling something mean and confusing about both unfit parenting and elder abuse.

I have little memory of the confrontation and ensuing redemption but it involved calzone with sausage for all and Diet Coke administered to my withered lips through an eye dropper.

In conclusion, I would do it again in a heartbeat. After all, isn’t spending time with one’s family what holidays are for? Christmas is almost here and we have always wanted to catch up on “Breaking Bad” in its entirety…

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