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I’m ready for fall and the remote

Sunday, September 28, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:23 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This is my favorite season of the year. I’ve tired of summer, especially this past summer when the temperature soared to such heights that I holed up inside for days not wanting to venture out into the heat. I’m sick of my skin sticking to my clothing even indoors with the air conditioner going full blast. I want to see a utility bill under $200.

I’ve become bored with my clothes. I want to exchange the shorts and cotton-knit tops with sweaters and shoes that aren’t flip-flops.

I don’t want to clean the grill, and I fantasize about baking big juicy apple pies. (It’s a fantasy because I’ve never made a pie suitable to serve to others.)

I want to stop watching my husband mow the grass — now I want to watch him blow leaves.

Ah, autumn! The hot muggy days have finally given way to cool crisp mornings. I love the sight of school buses taking kids to institutions of learning.

I look forward to the leaves turning bright colors of yellow and orange.

Most of all I love autumn because the new television season begins. In the old days, the reruns would end and the new season began when it was still summer. Then someone got smart and decided to start the new shows in late September and early October. I’m tired of watching reruns. I swear the network ran the same “Law and Order” show three times over the summer. I’ve lost interest in “Emeril.” I’ve hit my credit limit on QVC, and I don’t want to watch any more reality television. I don’t care if “The Bachelor” finds happiness. I don’t want to watch eight people live together and start cat fights. I want my “Must See TV.”

I’ve waited four long months to find out if the president’s daughter, who was kidnapped in May, is dead or alive. I want to know if Amy will marry her man. Most of all, I need to find out if Meg and Sam will remain friends after the riots.

I must say that my husband is not as excited as I am about the new television season. Throughout the summer, HE was in charge of the remote. I could only watch shows that I had missed the previous season. For a while, I got away with saying “Oh, I missed this episode of ‘West Wing.’” Finally he wised up and said, “Just how many episodes did you miss last year?” Then he flipped the channel to Discovery or, worse, a documentary.

My husband HATES prime-time television. He says unlike the old days, when each episode has an ending, TV shows are just nighttime soaps.

He even bought a satellite dish hoping to lure me away from my favorites to watch soccer in Singapore or game shows from the 1970s.

Well, it didn’t work, and last week he had to hand over the channel changer to its rightful owner. Now he has been relegated to the kitchen to watch Monday night football. I do let him watch football on the “good TV” on weekends.

Now every night is like Christmas. After an early dinner (my shows begin at 7 p.m.) you can find me prone on my couch catching up with Nick on “The Guardian” and Carter and Kovac on “ER.” I’ve become housebound, refusing to go out for dinner or attend an evening function.

I know what you’re thinking. For Pete’s sake, just tape the shows and get a life. We have at least three VCRs, but I have horror stories about past attempts to tape. Once we put a cassette in the kitchen VCR. When we got home I went to take it out thinking I’d view my favorite show in bed. When I pushed the button something caught and it pulled all the tape from the cassette, tearing it as I tugged.

We’ve never been able to figure out how to program the fancy VCR in the sunroom. The one time my husband taped a program on our bedroom set was the worst. He spent almost an hour reading the manual. He did a couple practice runs, plopped in a brand new tape and we left. The show we were taping was the last in a series of three nights of a made-for-TV movie. When we got home I settled back to watch the finale. I loved fast forwarding through the commercials. This is great, I thought. Now I can finally go out at night and watch my shows at my leisure. Well, just as the story was peaking and all the pieces were being put in place the tape ended! Argh!!

“How can this be?” I yelled.

My husband had not put the tape on the proper speed so it ran out 15 minutes before the end of the movie.

So now we only use our VCRs to watch movie rentals, and then only on Saturdays. There’s nothing good on TV that night.

If you have a comment or think I need professional help, please e-mail me at jdh@socket.net


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