Off Campus

30 September 2004

Newtons Law of Motion in America

A body in motion remains in motion, while a body at rest remains at rest. At least that’s how the theory goes. Well, I sure wish Newton consulted this body. Just because I may be in motion (constantly busy) doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather be at rest (on my ass in front of the tube, or sleeping.) And if I am, I don’t want to feel guilty about it.

The conflict could be that all the new shows are starting and I don’t want to miss anything before it gets canceled. Yet, I seem to have this idea planted in my head that I need to spend all my time fixing up the homestead. Thanks, Paige Davis. By the way, what’s this 2 days work for a thousand dollars crap?

Gone are the days when I looked forward to the weekend (time to play and watch cartoons). Now weekends just bring on more work. For me this means catching up on everything I couldn’t get to all week, typically working on the house, and the obligatory trips to The Home Depot. I blame Paige Davis for this one too. We really all should go buy stock in that place.

Our collective childhood memories more likely involve dad swinging a baseball bat rather than a hammer. But how will out children remember our involvement in their free time? I sure would prefer my daughter remember me for being actively involved in her life than for being a tool-wielding noisy nuisance in the basement.

Mass media and Corporate America are always giving us suggestions on how to pare down, clean up, purge, save time, and do more with less. Here are some noble attempts that fall short:

Super Mega Wal-Mart. Sure, they may sell everything - clothes, cameras, computers, CDs, cookies, cereal and coffee, but they are just too big to be practical. Who has the time to actually walk from the front door to the various departments needed and still make it home in time for Survivor? The average Mega Wal-Mart has been rumored to have its own weather system, and many of the cashiers are actually shoppers who were just too tired to make it back to their cars and have therefore enrolled in the "Work Off Your Purchase While You Wait" program. The full-time employees don’t need to go to the gym; two trips around the store, once a week, is all it takes. This may be a great perk for those on the payroll, but not for the average American, who doesn’t think to bring an energy bar just to drop off their film and pick up a pint of Haagen Dazs.

Swiffer-type cleaning products. Apparently, Mom was full of hooey when she made us keep our rooms clean, make our beds and sweep and vacuum every week. Obviously, all we need to do to keep the floors baby-fresh is just pass a semi-moist dryer sheet across the floor and yesterday’s spills and pet hair is a thing of the past.
Coming soon: Swiffer moves boldly into the Personal Care field with
Swiffer Body Towelettes, Tooth Wipes, and Bottom Blotters.

Pre-Chewed Food. Credit or blame Eric Idle for this one. ‘nuff said.

TiVo. Pitch the blank tapes and forget about programming the VCR. The good folks at TiVo will gladly record your shows for you, and others they think you might enjoy. Great idea, but there isn’t so much that I need to see that a couple of bucks worth of blank tapes won’t take care of, outweighing Tivo’s lifetime monthly service charge. Plus, I can always rent, buy or borrow the entire season of 24, Alias or the West Wing to enjoy again later.

Anyway, if I had Tivo, I’d probably wind up with all the home improvement shows recorded, just to spite me, but ultimately inspiring me to get off the couch and take on yet another project. One that claims not to be too hard, and I’d only have to buy a couple new tools. Looks easy enough… maybe after another episode of Surprise! While You Were Out, Trading Spaces by Design on a Dime.