Thursday, January 2, 2014
Things I Don't Need
Happy New Year! How’s it working for you so far? I’m ticked because I’m not thin yet. I thought everything was supposed to magically change at the stroke of midnight. Maybe I should let the year get a few more miles on it before I start bitching.
There are a lot of things I’d like to have, get or achieve in the upcoming year, and just as many or more things I can do without. Here are a few of the things I don’t need, in no particular order. How’s that for a segue?
Chia Pets—You know it’s the Christmas season for sure when you start hearing, not “Silent Night” or “Deck the Halls,” but “Ch-ch-ch-Chia” coming out of your TV set. What exactly is chia, anyway? A house plant? An herb? Fungus? In my opinion, it’s just one more thing on the coffee table I have to water and dust. I’m not that good with house plants. I’ll bet I could kill a Chia Pet if I really put my mind to it. I’ve seen ads for Chia herb gardens, which at least might have some usefulness. Herbs smell nice and you can use them in cooking. Then again, I have no sense of smell and I’m not much of a cook, so I’m right back where I started. Maybe I’ll try growing green beans or some other small vegetable in an indoor pot this year. Or mint for tea. I like to grow things I can eat.
That said, I once bought a Chia Pet, but not for myself. I bought Chia Obama the year it came out and sent it to my brother as a Christmas present. My brother is a conservative Republican. Hey. This is what siblings are for.
Electric can openers—I’m sure they’re easy to use, but I never bothered to get one. I have an ancient manual can opener from back in the Iron Age, the kind you have to pound into the lid with the heel of your hand and risk impaling yourself on when it slips. Luckily for me, more and more cans these days come with pull tabs, so can openers in general aren’t vital to existence any more.
Why didn’t I ever go electric? Didn’t want to spend the money, I guess. The old manual version’s a pain in the hand sometimes, but it gets the job done. Plus if the electricity goes off, I can still get into that can of tuna I keep in the cupboard for emergencies. I also buy cereals that can be eaten dry, in case an ice storm strands me in the house and I run out of milk (which nearly happened one year). Always plan ahead.
Ditto for electric toothbrushes. They’re supposed to do a more thorough job of cleaning, but again, I can’t be bothered. Anyway, having electrical appliances so close to a sink doesn’t strike me as a bright idea. I prefer Oral B with the kid-sized head because it fits my mouth better. I don’t floss even though I know I should. Possible resolution?
Over half the channels on my cable TV system—pretty much everybody I talk to makes this same complaint. Out of 80 channels, I’d say I watch maybe five or six on a regular basis, and five or so others if a good movie’s on. The rest I just scroll past. Who needs the Golf Channel, anyway? Or QVC or any of the shopping channels, which specialize in trying to sell us all sorts of things we don’t need. It would be so much easier, and cheaper, if we could pick and choose the channels we want, but the cable companies say they can’t offer that, for whatever reason. I’m wondering if I ought to drop cable and subscribe to Netflix, where I can watch the shows and movies I want whenever I feel like it, for a fraction of the cost of cable. If enough people did that, I’ll bet cable would start offering channels a la cart. Hey, everybody! I’ve got a plan …
I definitely don’t need yet another reality TV show that focuses on rich, attractive women shrieking, throwing temper tantrums, and in general behaving like a bunch of two-year-olds. These shows focus on the worst, most demeaning stereotypes of female behavior and serve it up as entertainment. Watch the billionaire businesswoman in the designer dress and gold jewelry bitch-slap her bestie and screech at her husband. See? We the unwashed masses are so much better people than the rich and pretty. One of these days the ladies are going to go from catfight to brawl and somebody’s going to pull a gun out of her Gucci clutch purse, probably on the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" show. Bet that’d bring in the ratings!
I probably hate these shows so much because I used to work in offices. Same shit, different economic level. Nasty co-workers are why I’m in no rush to look for employment, and don’t plan to until I absolutely have to. My best job ever was a work-from-home typing job. No co-workers, no bosses, no office politics, just me and the stereo and my flying fingers and a paycheck that put groceries on the table. At least it did until it went to India. I didn’t need NAFTA either, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
What I do need for 2014 is gas and grocery money, so with a lot of luck and a lot more effort I’ll be putting out more and I hope better books and trying to convince you good people that you need to read them. Please? I’ll send you a Chia Pet.