Sunday, June 14, 2009

trading addictive substances

We cancelled our cable service.

With firmness of purpose to stop numbing our brains, and I guess also a lapse in clear thinking, we unplugged the cable box and turned it in. This was a situation I am not wholly unfamiliar with; my family went for several years with monstrous gaps in TV pop culture exposure. It was a huge move for my husband - particularly when he found out his alma mater was playing key baseball games this week.

It was kind of the batteries from the remote control to leak acid in my car - this way an otherwise unpleasant event briefly took on an air of excitement. But that was it. We turned in the box and went home to stare at a blank TV.

We wandered aimlessly through routine weekend tasks and came back in to sit in front of the black screen. We ruminated on a few possible substitute contenders for our evenings then went to church and dinner. Then went to Best Buy and bought the entire band for Guitar Hero World Tour.

Crisis averted. I can bang on the drums and Nick can yodel. Actually, Nick is good at everything. I managed to find rhythm in "The Eye of the Tiger" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It", but Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" was an unqualified disaster. It lulled me into a false sense of accomplishment and then, bang!, out of nowhere came an orange cymbal or a blue drum...all the way on the other side of the drum set from where I was happily alternating between red, yellow, red, yellow, red, yellow.

At the very least, playing drums for Guitar Hero requires some practice in eye-hand coordination. It has to be a step up from vegetating in front of the TV with little mental stimulation. Then again, the TV never booed at me either.

I'll let the psychologists argue about whether it's better to rot your brain or destroy your self-esteem. We have no cable box and a full set of Guitar Hero drums so I have no choice.

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