Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lessons learned from 80's TV.

I've got a cold or a flu or something, and have been at home for a full weekend, plus two work days. After years of working in positions where there was no humanly possible way to take a sick day, it's pretty strange for me to be in a position where, at the first sight of a sneeze or sound of a cough, the boss is out at my desk sending me home. Remember getting sick when you were a kid? You would have a blast the first day or two. You'd eat popsicles and watch Sally Jesse Raphael all day long. However, soon enough, the charm wore off. Well, the same thing happens when you're an adult..... Fact of the matter is, shit is getting monotonous.

For example, did you know that channel two, the one that has all of the scrolling TV listings, only plays a total of three songs (in musak-form):
1) Bill Withers- Lovely Day
2) Junior Walker - What Does It Take (To Win Your Love For Me)
3) Dido - White Flag
Don't believe me? Flip to channel two right now. See?
Although some of these tracks, minus the Dido, are pretty decent when not in elevator-form, would it kill them to convert some Bobby Brown or Dre into musak? The Chronic has a total of sixteen tracks (yes, including intros, outros, and rap-skits), but there is some downright usable material on that album.

One of the things I've been doing to pass the time is watching 80's sitcoms. People faced different sets of problems on shows in the 80's, which is surely due to the lack of terrorist-paranoia and Friends-based spinoffs. I've been taking notes, and I feel like I've learned an awful lots over the past couple of days.
Somewhere over the past twenty years, we've complicated everything. Life's not so hard, so long as you're taking your cues from the right sources. Here are a couple of solutions to common day-to-day issues:

Conundrum #1: Getting busted by a significant other.
On an episode of The Hogan Family, the twins met up with Jesse Spano and Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell (side note- sitcom crossovers? An endangered species) on a Californian family vacation. Anyway, the nerd-twin, Mark, gets busted by his way-too-hot girlfriend, Kara, while slathering the ladies with tanning oil. Kara gets mad at Mark, as she had gotten on a plane to surprise him on his vacation. After stating to Kara that his grandpa has severe mental issues, a blatant lie, Kara feels bad and takes Mark back, and everything is great.
Lesson learned: Problems with significant others can always be fixed with wacky lies.

Conundrum #2: Parents are getting divorced.
Despite the national statistics done on the subject, according to 80's TV, 96% of all parents will try to get a divorce at some point. 'Try' being the key word here. So long as the couple has at least two children, there's pretty much no way in hell they're getting a divorce. Turns out, 80's TV kids are all a combination of marriage counselors and scheming geniuses. A few heart-to-hearts, combined with a wild plan, almost always ensures that a family will be back to whole within a thirty-minute span.
Lesson learned: Not to worry, parents will reconcile 98% of the time.

Conundrum #3: Curiosity about drugs.
At some point on an 80's sitcom, usually during exams, the eldest child will be offered some pills or a joint by some kid with a leather jacket. The character will reluctantly accept, and carry it around for a while. If the drug offered was a joint, then the parents will catch on prior to the kid smoking it, as toking on 80's American TV was pretty much taboo. However, if the kid has pills in their pocket (almost always 'uppers', aka caffeine pills), they will eventually decide to give into peer pressure, and the end result is usually one moody, irritable teenager. The parents intervene only after a family member gets snapped at, ending in a "we both know you're better than this" speech. The kid stays off the trucker-speed, and all is well.
Lesson learned: Parents will always find joints, and caffeine kills.

After all of these well-learned lessons, plus the plethora of fashion-tips I've picked up from The Cosby Kids and Kimmy Gibler, I'm pretty sure my life is on the right track from here on out.

~sarah p.

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