Now that the NBA season has come to a glorious and proper end, the Curmudgeonly Professor seeks to provide guidance to those wondering what to do with all the spare time they now have. Nights are a vacuum, a blank stare. After flipping through 500 channels, the only possible alternatives to the NBA to watch on TV are old Perry Mason reruns, I Love Lucy (which is still far superior to anything now on TV), and Ice Road hauling in the frozen north, just waiting for the ice to crack and swallow a mega-ton semi trailer. I checked through the latest issue of Newsweek, checking the Conventional Wisdom column to see if our Leader had earned his first up arrow or even a sideways one, but no, that was not about to happen. I asked my wife if she wanted to play Name That Tune, a game which I invented years ago which is played by drumming out rhythms to songs and guessing what the song is. She went along with this fun and entertaining game once, about 35 years ago, and has refused to play it ever since, despite being offered a million dollars if she guessed the correct song. I asked her as she decided to go to bed, as I do every night, if she didn't want to spend a little quality time with her dear husband, to which her answer was the same one she gave every night.
I checked my blogs to see which of my sisters were currently waiting eagerly for my latest posts so they could comment on them, but that took only a few seconds. I finished the crossword puzzles from USA Today and The New York Times with the help of three crossword dictionaries, two atlases, Google, some help from my wife, who is a better puzzle finisher than I am, and some absolutely brilliant deductions. I was asked again by my wife when I intended to move my accumulation of mail, books, newspapers, and other valuable items off the kitchen counter, which scarcely leaves room for us to eat, but just enough, so I figured it wasn't a critical matter. We bought a new doorbell the other day at Lowe's, which I found displayed prominently on the kitchen counter, presumably as a reminder that I should prioritize this project and in the true manner of a Steve Covey Disciple, Do First Things First. What an annoying idea. I wish I could write a book with such an obvious premise that any mother with a bunch of ornery kids could have written ten times over and rack up millions of dollars in sales.
I asked my wife if she knew sixty years ago what she knew now, would she have still married me. I cannot even get her to discuss this matter. I think she thinks it's too late anyway, so she might as well tough it out. I am asked whether I intend to buy a new pair of loafers for doing outside chores to replace the battered ones that are now 28 years old, verifiable by carbon dating, and which my grandson, Tyler Nielson, has indicated that he wishes to be the recipient thereof when I get tired of them. Anything that can be postponed indefinitely, should be postponed indefinitely. Hey, maybe that's the title of my bestseller book; I can just see it now listed on "The New York Times Hard Cover Best Sellers of the Week." I could subscribe to ten more magazines and buy several hundred new books, a new telephoto lens for my Sony Alpha, and a package of $5-apiece razor blades with my royalties.
Then my dear wife brings up an egregious topic: "We are going to have to clean out the garage one of these days." What does she mean "we"? After all, I am a Doctor of Philosophy. Do Doctors of Philosophy need to do anything except engage in creative intellectual pursuits? She has been bringing up this topic for about three or four years.
By now the evening is winding down and it's time for the 10:00 o'clock news, the latest display of drive-by shootings, robberies, traffic fatalities, fires, building collapses, sound bites from politicians, all neatly packaged into about 20 minutes out of 30, with 10 minutes, at least, of commercials, cranked up to triple the volume of the news so you will learn to love Honest Jake's Used Car Lot. No matter that Honest Jake is now loaded with SUV's, tractor trailers, Hummers, and other gargantuan vehicular monstrosities, and that no one wants to buy them, so the TV ads have to be triply obnoxious and loud. Then, if I am lucky, I will have exactly two minutes and twenty-six seconds for the sports news of the day, time for two baseball scores, a couple of irrelevant jokes, and the ultimate "We'll be right back." Be right back for what? The program is over.
Then we have Leno coming out and touching palms and fingers to spread germs with those who have surged forward to be near him for a second, and Letterman marching out in his white socks, which we are told in the media he will not discuss in any manner, shape or form, and in fact, gets irritated if anyone does ask about them. On Monday nights we have Leno's headlines, which may or may not be funny, and, at exactly, 10:45, we have Letterman's Great Moments in Presidential Speeches, immortalizing the spoken words of JFK, FDR, HST, and GWB. That's pretty much it, folks, so to speak, unless an occasional guest worth listening to for a few minutes is on one of the two programs.
Thus ends another scintillating evening in the post-NBA era.