What the television…


…has to say can’t be said any other way.

The tablecloth is sticky and there are only two menus for the four of us. I make my selection and pass off the menu. I glance up at the television and see a beautiful young woman being helped into her prosthetic legs by a military doctor. She looks young enough to have been wondering who her prom date would be only a couple of years ago. Before the camera cuts away, the young woman smiles at something one of the doctors says. She is a “CNN Hero.” A commercial begins.

Dr. Robert Jarvik invented the mechanical heart. Now he hawks the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. He pleads with the viewer to give it a try. “You just need a simple blood test… don’t wait.” His eyes are wet. He looks hungry.

A doughy father informs his children that he has enrolled the family in a new cell-phone plan that will allow them to talk as much and send as many text messages as they want. “We do that already,” the kids reply with obvious contempt. “Yes, but now your mother can quit her second job.” Enter the mother, stage right, dressed as an enormous plush taco. She throws her keys on the counter. For we are a self-sacrificing people.

News breaks feature the Boston Pops dustup. The take-home lesson seems to be always wear an undershirt to the symphony hall.

comfort near at hand