the medium is the mess

“That’s CBS evening news for this Friday. I hope you all have a safe weekend. I’ll see you back here Monday night. Good night everyone!”

[We see our hero, sprawled on the couch, trying to balance a bowl of spaghetti on his chest while winding gobs of it onto his fork. Theme music swells from the television set. He reaches for the remote control.]

“Oh honey, let me get you a napkin!”

[Our hero looks up, wide-eyed.]

“Katie Couric?”

“I know I usually stay in the TV set and everything, but I couldn’t help noticing—you’re going to ruin that fleece if you don’t get that tomato sauce off it.”

[It is Katie Couric!]

“How…how did you get here?”

“Oh honey, you don’t think I could just stay in there and see you live like this? I really care about you! Here—”

[Katie Couric hands our hero a paper towel.]

“Wow, I—well, I didn’t know you could just step into my living room like that!”

“Yeah, I know. People think that television personalities are just characters on a screen. They don’t think we know what goes on outside, but we do.”

“I just—I didn’t know it worked that way.”

“I care about all my viewers. Every single one of them.”

“Yeah—wow. I guess that’s why you always sound so motherly and concerned, huh? Hey—what are you doing?!”

“I just thought you’d like me to put that in a glass for you. There you go sweetie.”

“Uh…thanks. So, like, you’ve been watching me all this time? You mean every time I turn on the television set you can see me too?”

“We’re not trying to pry honey. That’s just the way it is with live television. We just want to make sure you’re OK.”

“So all the other news anchors—”

“They can see you too.”

“Even the ones on PBS?” Maybe that’s why they look so tired…

“We all can. But we’re not trying to be invasive. I wouldn’t have said anything except you really have to be careful with tomato sauce, especially on the furniture. You know, you might want to eat this at the table first and then watch TV after.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Thanks.”

“I’m going to go along now honey. Just remember to use a little warm water and soap on that vest.”

“I will. See you.”

“Bye sweetie.”

[Katie Couric climbs back into the television, stepping around an entertainment news host. Our hero changes the channel, then gets up for seconds and another beer.]


11 Responses to “the medium is the mess”

  1. 1 Yam January 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    omg i commented before jen!
    i’m a big fan of the magical realism adapted for our modern age

  2. 2 alden January 19, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    I didn’t think of the term “magical realism” but I like it.

  3. 3 jenlinnan January 20, 2007 at 12:11 am

    I am suspicious. If Katie REALLY had your best interests at heart, she would have told you to use cold water, since warm water can set the stain. I think she’s attempting to sabotage your wardrobe.

  4. 4 Joseph Shoer January 20, 2007 at 4:57 am

    Lay off the psychedelics, will ya?

  5. 5 alden January 20, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Joe: It only gets worse if I do.

    Jen: BCE=Best Comment Ever. Your textile analysis is superb, and, for the record, I don’t know anything about clothes.

  6. 6 jenlinnan January 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm


    On a side note: you would know more about clothes if you more often wore/laundered them.

  7. 7 Lisa February 10, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I, for one, think it’s great that you’ve decided to make public your perfectly healthy albeit somewhat strange Katie Couric fantasy (she calls you “honey”?!)…though I have to admit that I’m beginning to worry that rural island life is making you a bit paranoid. I can’t help but notice that in addition to this somewhat disturbing bit of prose (I only say disturbing because something puts me off about the idea of a tv persona like Pee Wee Herman perhaps watching or interacting with his viewers) the banner above your blog now seems to indicate that “NATURE” is watching me–in the form of a panda with large puppy-dog eyes, it appears.

  8. 8 Mary Beth March 21, 2007 at 3:38 am

    I was just reading some old entries and comments, killing time instead of doing homework, and based on this entry I thought you might enjoy this recent Williams College press release. If only you’d taken a year off from college to sail boats and goof off in Ireland. (Oh wait…)

  9. 9 Mary Beth March 21, 2007 at 3:41 am

    So my HTML appears to have not worked. Here’s the press release:

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