Monday, February 19, 2007

Where's the Damn Remote ?

Sometimes there are stories with just too many metaphors to choose from. Such is the case of the late Mr Vincenzo Ricardo of Hampton Bay, Long Island who was found fead this weekend, after over a year of sitting in front of his blaring television set. Ricardo had not been seen by his neighbors since 2005, so no one is quite sure how long he sat in front of the set. Not reported by the Daily News, Newsday or the Associated Press is exactly which channel Ricardo was tuned into when he ceased broadcasting himself, some time ago.

The bod was reported as mumified from the dry air in the house. The Long Island Power Authority apparently was keeping the old A.C. humming for all of this time. There is some speculation that he paid his bill by automatic withdrawal. The morgue assistant handling the job reported the body fairly well intact. You could still see his face and hair reported Jeff Bachus.Indeed, Mr Ricardo (no relation to the Ricky and Lucy) would be watching "Live with Regis and Kelly" this very minute if some neighborhood pipes had not burst, forcing an investigation. Apparently the mail had not piled up.

Next door neighbor Tony DaSilva was incensed. "Where's his family ? " DaSilva demanded ? Well, his wife was dead, we know that. "I can't believe that no one was around for him" DaSilva added.
This is what they refer to in creative writing classes as irony. Here is the God Damned next door neighbor who has not seen an old man (who also was blind) since 2005 and he is upset that "no one was around" ? Define "around". Surely "around" includes "next door". If I was Tony DaSilva I would not be popping off to the press. I would be doing my best mummy immitation in front of my TV set, in hopes that some reporter did not ask me why I had not checked on my old blind next door neighbor since 2005."It's a sad way to go, to be alone." neighbor of the year DaSilva also said. Well Tony, it's a sad way to live. maybe you'll check on your next neighbor every year or so.

Now that the sanctimonious part of my essay is out of the way, we can concentrate on the television issue itself. Can you imagine any man having to sit in front of a T.V. set for over a year and being unable to switch channels? It would be my luck that the power off button would be hit for me at the same time I was surfing past one of those damn Community Access Channels. Think about that. It also strikes me that no one could ever buy a house where someone had died in this manner. The Poltergeist would be flitting around for all eternity, constantly changing your channels. You'd never get any sleep. You'd never get to watch what you wanted to watch. Just imagine if the poltergeist was a fan of VH-1 and you had to watch that rap guy with the giant clocks hanging around his neck. There's a guy that needs to be mummified. As soon as possible.

I think that finally, we do have to consider the possibility that television itself killed Mr Ricardo. I can't even type that name without saying to myself, " Honey, I'm going down to the club". See what I mean? Does a day ever go by where you don't say, "this is just like that Seinfeld where...."?
Even though Ricardo sat in front of his TV for over a year, he did not see all that much more television than the regular family. I bet that in many home the TV is on, in one room or another, 16 or 18 hours a day. I imagine that death in front of a TV set is a fairly normal way to go in this country. Most people don't have Ricardo's problem because someone else at the house will eventually want to change the channel and notice that it is hard to pry the remote away.

I guess there is no hard evidence that television kills. Life expectancy post television is much higher than pre television. It grows more painful to watch every year, but mortality rates have not gone up because of the extra pain. In fact, the worse it gets, the more we seem to watch. All of us out there, from 7:00 p.m. until at least after Letterman reads the top ten list. Mummified ourselves, except for our right hands which point and click, point and click, poin t click......point and......


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