I’ve been watching a lot of tv lately. I blame this solely on Michael Jackson. I don’t usually watch much tv but I am unable to pull myself away from the tv when bad things happen. I love train wrecks, I am a rubber necker. I cause those back up on the highway when there is an accident. I can’t help but watch. I want to know what they did wrong so I don’t repeat their mistake and in the case of an Anna Nicole or Micheal Jackson I like to feel superior to them even though I am envious of their wealth and supposed ease in life. I like to make myself feel better by telling myself that I would never squander my good fortune on something as silly as prescription drugs. I’d squander it on shoes.

I’ve had enough, for now, of Micheal Jackson. The media is playing way too fair with him and so I can’t really get as snarky as I would like. It’s just not politically correct to criticize Micheal right now. It will happen, and I will surely watch, but apparently a lot of people want his body to be buried first. Fine, I’ll go along with it but when it is okay to ridicule him I’ll be in line. Actually I’m more inclined to ridicule his marriage and choice of a mother for his children but I’ll wait on that too. So far she hasn’t done much to warrant much attention except for dropping a few f-bombs and that doesn’t mean much to me since I use that word rather frequently. I don’t think saying “fuck” makes you a bad mother, abandoning your kids does. Unfortunately I can’t get much steam behind my making fun of Debbie Rowe. She doesn’t strike me as anything more than a surrogate mother. I can’t say that if offered $8 million I might not do the same. I wouldn’t have married him, and I wouldn’t have gone public, and the more I think about it I wouldn’t provide him with children even if I would have only been the womb and the kids were not mine. But for a normal couple I would certainly be tempted for $8 million. I wonder if he asked Angelina? She pops them out on a regular basis, and might not have missed one or two.

Anyway getting back to watching too much tv. I’ve noticed two commercials, or two kinds of commercials, seem to monopolize the airwaves these days, aside from the cremation commercials that seem to play a lot during the memorial. I have seen way too many furniture store commercials and home security commercials.

I never paid any attention to furniture store commercials. I know they are always having a sale around the holidays but since I have never bought any furniture I tune out when one comes on. My father was a hoarder and I have storage units full of furniture, not stuff I really like all that much but I have been conditioned to feel guilty if I so much as consider selling it and buying something I like. It’s been hard to tune them out while I have been watching so much tv lately, they are aired every other commercial, sometimes the same one twice in a row. Who buys that much furniture? I realize there are 6 billion people on this planet and there is potentially someone always buying furniture but it isn’t like eggs or milk which have to be replenished every week, unless you are a vegan and then some soy product. Furniture lasts for a long time and yet the companies who sell it seem to be under the impression that people buy furniture like they buy gas. I don’t know what air time costs but seems to me the furniture companies would be better off not airing commercials. People who need furniture will come eventually to buy it, when the old stuff breaks down. They just need to wait. And frankly they aren’t fooling anyone when they have a sale on a holiday and then announce the day after the holiday that due to popular demand the sale has been held over. Bullshit. No one came to the sale because most people spend their 4th of July drinking beer and sweating over a grill. I can’t remember the last holiday I spent shopping for an ottoman let alone talked about it with friends over a Bud.

The other commercial that plays all the time, at least in this area, is the home security company. These commercials have been on for decades but they have ramped up the terror in recent months. The two that stick out are nothing short of horror movies in 30 second clips. The first one shows a mom and her daughter playing in the back yard. A hooded burglar is peering through the gate. Presumably he thinks that they will be occupied in the backyard long enough for him to break in and steal all their valuables. He miscalculates as they walk in the back door as he is breaking in the front door. Luckily for this mother and child the mom set the security system when she entered the house through the back door. The burglar breaks in, setting off the alarm, and runs away. The security company calls right away and calms the hysterical mother until the authorities arrive.

I grew up with a security system. When I was 9 or 10 we went to the cabin for the weekend and returned to find that all our wicker porch furniture had been stolen. Dad called Honeywell the next day and a system was installed. The only time it ever went off was when we forgot the code upon entering or opened the door in the morning to let the dog out without turning it off. Dad paid about $75 a week because the dog had to pee. It was never set during the day since too many people were coming and going. Because so many people were in and out of the house everyday, and most couldn’t be bothered to keep track of a key, we never locked the doors. If there is a burglar out there casing homes for break ins wouldn’t it make sense that he would target the homes where no one was home? Most people work these days, moms aren’t usually home with their kids and even if there are some there are bound to be other homes nearby that are empty during the 9-5 work day.

The other one is even more unlikely. A woman is outside her front door with her boyfriend, some new guy she dumped her ex boyfriend with an anger management problem for, they share a good night kiss and the guy leaves after she enters the house. She is a smart woman, hell she has an abusive ex boyfriend who she was smart enough to dump, and sets the alarm as soon as she closes the door. The moment the alarm is set the door bursts open and the abusive ex storms through until he hears the alarm and he retreats into the bushes. All of this happens in seconds and one has to wonder where the current boyfriend is. He certainly didn’t have time to walk back to the car, put on his seat belt and start the engine before the ex shows up. Is he in on it? Why didn’t he see this happening and why didn’t he rush to her side? We will never know but we do know that some caring individual immediately calls this woman who might be smart enough to set the alarm and even smart enough to dump a loser boyfriend but she obviously isn’t smart enough to choose a new boyfriend who might run to her rescue when the old, crazy one shows up. Maybe chivalry really is dead.

What they don’t tell you in these commercials is that after the alarm goes off it takes a good 30 seconds for the system to call the shop and notify them that there is a problem. The security system assumes that the homeowner has set the alarm off them self by letting the dog out or running to the bathroom and forgetting the system was set. After the 30 seconds or so the system calls the agency and then they call to find out if everything is ok. If the homeowner does not answer the phone the agency then calls the back up numbers, usually family or friends. After they have exhausted that list they call the local police who might come out and check things out if they aren’t too busy. This may only take 3 or 4 minutes but anything can happen in those 3 or 4 minutes. Certainly if the abusive ex boyfriend was willing to risk breaking down her door he probably had no qualms about harming her, especially if he just watched her suck face with her new loser boyfriend.

A couple of weeks ago a man rang my doorbell. He was from one of these security agencies selling systems, with a nice discount and free installation. My dog, Stanley, got to the door first. I had to hold Stanley by the collar while I opened the door. The man just laughed and said “never mind” he apologized for ringing my bell and went on his way after all the other dogs in the neighborhood quieted down. He simply got back in his car rather than bothering with the rest of the block. I haven’t even considered having a security system as long as I have a dog. Not that I have much to protect but I do have wicker furniture on my porch.

Ironically the porch was not protected by the security system and even if we had one at the time the wicker furniture would have still been stolen, in which case it would have been nice if the furniture stores were having one of their held over by popular demand sales.

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