In the 1979 movie, "Being There", Chance, the gardener told Eve, the wealthy widow that he likes to watch. I confess that I, too like to watch.
Played by Shirley Maclaine, Eve was inquiring about Chance's sexual preferences. Chance, played by Peter Sellers didn't get the reference and was merely saying that he likes to watch, as in watch TV. Misinterpreting his answer, Eve goes on to pleasure herself as Chance sits at the end of the bed watching TV.
Hopefully, I would not sit at the end of my bed watching TV while a comely, willing, teddy-clad partner writhed in erotic fantasy just an arms length away. Short of that, I seem to find myself a captive audience to just about anything on TV.
I missed the transition from radio to TV, just as I missed the transition from ice boxes to refrigerators. As far back as I can remember, we always had a TV and we always had a refrigerator.
Of course, the refrigerator looked nothing like the one we now have in our kitchen and the only kind of picture available on TV was black and white. In those days, most TV's were adorned with "rabbit ears", a primitive form of TV antenna. Few people had made the leap to antennas mounted on the rooftop, usually strapped to the chimney.
The first national color broadcast (the 1954 Tournament of Roses Parade) occurred on January 1, 1954. I didn't actually see any color programs until about 1959 or 1960, and only then because we had a rich relative with a color TV.
It was a cousin on my mother's side and we couldn't visit him very often because he was an active member of the Mafia.
I remember sitting in Cousin Bill's den-yes, he also had a den-watching what was then a 10-minute news cast in "Living Color" on NBC. The sight of that peacock fanning out its multi-colored plumage was beyond miraculous.
The only thing cooler than the image on TV was the clicker. It actually clicked back then and it only allowed you to scan the channels up and down and adjust the volume. There were only a few channels back then, but what a rush.
Since then, I've kept up with broadcast innovations as best as I could. Sometimes it just goes too fast. I had one of the first plasma TVs to fall off a truck, but I still don't have a 3D TV. Maybe one day, if Sons of Anarchy, 24 or Californication ever come out in 3D.
There's probably only a few hours a day when there isn't at least one TV playing in my house. I go to sleep with the TV set to "Sleep" and the first thing I do in the morning is to turn on the news.
I watch news shows relentlessly, but-and this may surprise you-almost never sports. I've seen every Law and Order and every Law and Order: SVU multiple times. I was never a fan of the Criminal Intent version, that guy Bobbie creeps me out.
The only way I can explain this seeming addiction to the "tube" is the way ducklings imprint on their mother at the moment they emerge from their eggs. The TV is my parent. It's my home planet. It doesn't matter what else is going on in my life, with a remote control in my hand I am the master of my universe.
I especially like watching Chicago-based shows, like "Chicago PD" and "Chicago Fire". Other shows, past and present based in Chicago include, "Mike and Molly", "Good Times", "Chicago Hope" and "Early Edition".
If there was a "Chicago Streets and San", I'd probably watch that, too.
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