Bill’s Briefs: Making TV choices. The horror of it allBill's Briefs, Bottom Highlights, Online Only Thursday, January 17th, 2013
BY BILL HANSON
For seniors and those who will be
Why do responsible TV networks go against public sanity and schedule two momentous events at the same time? I mean, of course, the debacle last Sunday night: the British snobs opposite Honey Boo-Boo’s return.
Naturally, as a staunch supporter of good manners and gentility, I loathe Mama and Sugar Bear replacing Ozzie and Harriet (ask a senior) as models of American parenting, but my friends insisted I watch it.
Complications arose when my visiting Japanese partner pled for his choice. As we began to watch, I tried to explain the intricate family connections, but it was like untangling the convoluted relationships of Wuthering Heights of shuddering high school memory.
Sadly, the vast cultural differences combined with the silly clothes, weird speech patterns and crazy accents were all too foreign for him. He begged for release; so we switched over to Honey Boo Boo.
It was soon evident he couldn’t understand anything they said either, but it provided a laugh or two. Furthermore, he learned some quaint American customs. Particularly noteworthy concerned the gay uncle cramming his head into a giant pumpkin and being unable to pull it out. Then, midst great hilarity, he broke open the orange giant by bending over and smashing it (and his head) on the concrete floor to escape. I explained it was an old religious custom, the origin being lost in the mists of time.
My partner is looking forward to learning more about America next week. As for the Brits and their butlers, having yet to master the art of recording programs, I’m counting on the kindness of strangers to enlighten me.
Gambling for fun and failure
As the years and pounds pile on, the opportunities for fun and excitement diminish; the extent usually depending on one’s health, mobility and finances. For many of us in the San Diego area, a great temptation to get our fun juices flowing is offered by the several nearby casinos.
It is hard to resist the advertisements touting the chance to rake in huge wads of cash, surround oneself with chic and sophisticated fellow-players and, of course, partake of their sumptuous buffet. Many might quibble over the preciseness of those adjectives, but they are good enough to lure hoards of seniors who gladly offer up their pension checks.
I, like you, have won a time or three; and I, like you, can’t seem to recall the number of times or amounts I lost. Not to be a kill-joy, but this is my point; too often too many ignore the possibility of gambling’s unpleasant consequences. For some they are merely inconveniences; for others they are serious problems.
I spent my college summers working at a race track and I have never forgotten seeing people at closing time selling their sport coats, watches and rings or thumbing a ride home, not having even the $2 bus fare.
I am not saying don’t go; casinos are fun. I am just advising you to have a definite, written-in-stone amount you plan to spend, that means lose. When you realize the price of the afternoon’s entertainment is too high, stay home. Otherwise, go and enjoy. If you win or break-even, that’s a bonus with no regrets.
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