Monday, March 12, 2007

This Old Spouse

I got into a quasi pseudo argument with one of my students before class today. She was stating that the program “Ultimate Home Makeover” was a good thing and how she cried and cried when a family that she knew of received not only a new house but also had their mortgage paid off. I took the position that this show was *not* in the business of helping people out, as they project, but rather to make money off of advertising revenues. I stated that they tug on people’s heartstrings in a deliberate attempt at manipulation. Furthermore, these people have to pay taxes on all monies and construction work received that exceeds $10,000. I have heard of some folks who had to sell their new “dream house” because they could not afford the taxes. Naturally, all the little girls jumped to their friends’ defense, ignoring the Vulcanian logic I was using. We were all smiling as we argued- it was a friendly thing. They were all using the expletive, “Mr. Houtchens!!!!!!!!” every time I said something that ruffled their feathers.

Now I have to admit, I had a rather callous attitude, having never seen the show myself. (I leave watching TV to those whose intelligence is apt to make a good fit.) However, I despise manipulation in all forms (except, of course, when I am doing the manipulating; for example, to get a student to behave.) Well, today after school I started thinking. What if I hosted a reality TV show where marital problems were solved with power tools?

[country music into]

With your host, Glennie Bob Houtchens!

Welcome to This Old Spouse. Today, we are visiting the Samples family. Billy Joe, I understand you are having a problem with your spouse.

Samples: Yessiree, I am ! She spends WAY too much money on junk. Fancy new clothes; expensive, restaurant-type foods; crappie little knick knacks that are overpriced…. By the time I get to the checking account, I don’t even have enough money to buy worms to go fishin’!

Glennie Bob: That is a problem… and I have just the solution! Lets start with all these porcelain dolls here sittin’ on the mantelpiece. Ya just rip out your handy portable Binco 2100 rotary saw and…VEEERRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!

[Glass and shredded doll clothing goes flying everywhere. A woman, evidently Mrs. Samples, is shrieking behind the noise of the saw, running around in circles in and out of frame.]

Glennie Bob: Now for the food we have to have some special equipment. This here is the Binco 9300 500 Horsepower Mega Kill Log Splitter! We’ll just mosey up here to the refrigerator. All set? FIRE IN THE HOLE !!!!!!!!!!

[WHAM! The refrigerator is reduced in a split second to so much scrap metal, or, in the case of this family, a new lawn ornament]

[Billie Joe has a smile spread from ear to ear; a look of great contentment and satisfaction is on his face]

Glennie Bob: Now for the wardrobe, what ya need is the Binco 3400 Diesel Powered Sandblaster! Let’s crank her up! VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV!!!!!!!

[In seconds the wardrobe is reduced to tatters and shreds.]

Samples: Thank you, Glennie Bob!

Glennie Bob: This will show your spouse that you are not a pansyfied, yogurt sucking, tofu nibbling wimp! Until next time, this is Glennie Bob Houtchens, for This Old Spouse.

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