ALL ABOARD: What this country needs is a pickle sandwich break
By JIM FREEMAN
South Whidbey Record Columnist
September 30, 2008 · Updated 4:15 PM
After watching last week’s debate between two of the six candidates for commander in chief on my low-definition, no-intensity analog antenna-driven 12-inch Sony TV, I finally realized why I was so uncomfortable.
There were no commercials.
If ever we needed commercial interruption, that first debate coverage oozed the need.
I would have even tolerated those gut-wrenching slimy green ginkgo Geico ads just to take a break from looking at the two candidates squirm.
Maybe they too had to hit the head.
TV commercials were probably invented for folks like me who care not to sit still for extended periods, like dad and I had to do in 1974.
My law school graduation ceremony lasted almost three hours, half of which was then San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson’s political address. Thank goodness the ceremony was outdoors so dad could walk around Balboa Park taking pictures of birds.
Dad always liked an aisle seat to facilitate ingress and egress.
Sitting outdoors on a Sunday in San Diego, listening to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett on a Dodger broadcast wasn’t so bad. I had Vinny in one ear and our mayor in the other.
Sitting still watching that first debate was impossible for me.
I never knew when to leave the room.
I didn’t want to tip my hand to my girlfriend about who I’m voting for or against by leaving the room during one or the other’s remarks.
It was tough.
An extended period for me is defined as “that period of time during which restlessness, uneasiness or boredom prevail.”
Life as a television viewer was much easier for me in the ’50s, before televised debates existed.
Back then, we had no extended periods. We were kids.
There was no uneasiness. There was no boredom.
Life was an adventure of cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers or jumping off the garage roof with mom’s pillowcase as my Superboy cape.
It seldom worked unless there was a strong wind.
As a kid raised on Cheerios, Franco-American and black-and-white TV, I never felt uneasy unless mom made me brush my teeth before “The Range Rider” was over.
Remember “The Range Rider” with Jock Mahoney? Jock Mahoney was a stuntman and cowboy star.
Unlike the gun-toteing cowboys, the Range Rider relied on fast horses and flying tackles.
Sidekick Dick West, played by Dick Jones, had a horse named Lucky. Back then, getting lucky meant finding your horse.
The Range Rider’s horse was Rawhide. This nomenclature worked well for the merchandising tie-ins to sell us young cowboy wannabes our much unneeded buckskin shirts that my folks wisely refused to buy.
Wasn’t a Roy Rogers lunch pail enough?
I think I’ll go look for that lunch pail during the next extended period of televised political uneasiness.
Like these debates, it could take awhile.
And who knows, if I find my old pail, maybe one of mom’s pickle sandwiches will still be in there.
That would sure clear the lunch hall.