Friday, June 01, 2007

Day for Night

In Diary of a Mad Housewife, the heroine reads Proust when she is sick. I had a colleague once who said that she didn't mind being sick because then she caught up on all her theory reading--Foucault, Derrida, and all that.

Theory reading and Proust.. Are they kidding?

The weightiest material I've been able to manage this week is the New York Times online and some blogs. Even that reading fails, though, when you're up and feverish at night. At those moments, television is your best friend.

Since I am usually asleep within seconds, I did not know what insomniacs must have known for years about television in the middle of the night: that dreams of perfection and wealth can be yours if only you follow the instructions of those who have shows at 2:30 a.m. Here is some of what I learned:
  • People have become rich! rich! rich! (which apparently involves lying around on boats with a cool drink) in real estate with no money down. You can't lose!
  • A kindly man will show you how to turn on your computer and open up Word if only you get his series of DVDs.
  • You can buy your own tiny plastic helicopter that really flies and send it careering around your house via remote control, to the probable consternation of your cats and definite danger to the eyes of anyone in its path.
  • Extremely buff people get that way by using a series of increasingly bizarre contraptions and videotapes at home. This is especially true for a blonde woman who due to cosmetic surgery can no longer move any muscles in her face.

    I don't take Nyquil unless I'm desperate because it inspires Hunter S. Thompson-esque dreams and leaves me exhausted the next day, but I'm beginning to wonder if lying there and watching tv when you have a fever doesn't have much the same effect.

    Sisyphus said...


    What about the people who are ready to bring you the good news of their true religion (which may or may not involve aliens) but will evidently involve you losing the ability to blink?

    And Cleo the Caribbean psychic? Is she still on the airwaves?

    I'd be kinda tempted by the miniature helicopter though.

    undine said...

    I didn't see any true religion ones, although the aliens idea sounds pretty interesting. I was sort of wishing for those old Chariots of the Gods episodes with Leonard Nimoy telling us that aliens built the pyramids, but no such luck.

    I didn't see Miss Cleo, either. I think her spirit guide failed her a few years back and she got hauled off to the penitentiary for fraud, IIRC.

    About the helicopter: me, too! I think the real audience is 8-year-old boys or their equivalent in man-years, but it looked like a fun toy--er, "accurate model"--to me.

    jb said...

    Oh, I miss Miss Cleo! I hadn't thought about her in years.

    My favorites, I must confess, are the ads for various "chat-lines." I love the way those terribly young actresses vamp and overact--does anyone stick out her chest and inhale while talking on the phone?

    undine said...

    I didn't see any of those chat line ones, but those poor young things must think that this is their chance to step up to the big time if they're overacting like that. "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."