Monday, June 22, 2009


I---and my wife---have started watching the game show The Wheel Of Fortune. In other words, I have officially become an old fart. All I need now is to eat supper on one of those cheap metal trays that prop up in all their insipidness in front of you. Here's my skit on watching the Wheel.

Martha: Ralph!
Martha: Ralph!
Ralph: (in the other room) What!
Martha: Ralph! Ralph!
Ralph: What! What! (mumbles---unintelligible)
M: The Wheel is on!
R: What! What deal?
M: The Wheel! The Wheel! Vanna, you know.
R: Oh! I'll be right there.
R: (comes into room) Did it just start?
M: Yes! Someone just won a trip to Rooba-Dooba!
R: Where the hell is that?
M: Don't know, but I want to go. Looks like a nice place.
R: You want to go. It could be in Newfoundland, for Christ's sake.
M: I doubt that , Ralph. They wouldn't send winners to Newfoundland.
R: Who won it? Which one?
M: The little ugly one there, on the left.
R: I wouldn't mind going to Rooba-Dooba with her. She ain't ugly.
M: Shhh, they're starting the next game. A phrase...hmmmm.

Actually the Wheel of Fortune is from medieval philosophy and refers to the changing fortunes of us all. The wheel turns at all times---slowly as well as quickly--- issuing in great luck on one end and bad on the other. At the top of your good fortune there is nowhere to go but down. Likewise, at the bottom of you bad luck there is nowhere to go but up(hopefully). It's the way of things. The depth and severity of your fall from good fortune is directly proportional to your arrogance when you reach the pinnacle of success. Don't you love it? Shakespeare mentions the Wheel many times in his plays.

But this Wheel of Fortune is an American game show. It is interesting, although I find it hard to understand the need for Vanna. She actually slows the game down because she has to shuffle along the board to "touch" the lighted panels. I was thinking the game would be much more exciting and faster if Vanna was on a bungee cord and would swing around the board kicking the lighted panels. I would like to see that. This is silly, I know, but she is quite obviously redundant and should have a more entertaining role.

I get a lot of the answers on this board before my wife. You see, I do many crossword puzzles every week, and the game is along the lines of this worthwhile past time. When I get the answer, my wife says, "Very good!! Very good!!!" She also looks at me in wonderment. I find this a bit disconcerting. It's as if it truly shocks her that I can get anything right.

I don't watch much TV---my wife neither. I really don't have anything against TV, but I think there are probably better things to do with your time. There are a couple of things I can say against TV though, from what I see. One is this: TV lies to you, constantly. Books on the other hand tell the truth, mainly. The other is this: TV simplifies even the most complex subjects, and draws a conclusion from this simplicity which it wants you to adhere to. People with no more than a high school education feel they know everything about Astrophysics because they saw an hour special on this topic on the Discovery Channel narrated by Kermit the Frog. Books on subjects like Astrophysics written for the layman explain the many aspects of this field in understanding terms, but the reader will realize his/her limitations. And commercials are extremely annoying. Extremely.

Books offer a pleasant, relaxing, intellectual, calming, sometimes exciting, break from this too-busy world. TV takes over your mind; books engage it.

Anyway, I'll buy an "e", Pat(Is it Pat?) Watch Vanna go---how old is she anyway?

Next: Trees and Hay

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