Monday, July 7, 2008

News = Noise

When I was a kid I liked to watch the evening news. John Cameron Swazye was the top newscaster of the time and the Korean war was the leading news story. Over the years (many, many years) I've had a thing about watching the news. I'll watch one network for the evening news and another for the night news. And then there are all the 24/7s on satellite. How can a guy not get his fill? Still...

There is a problem though. When I was a young father with kids old enough to run, play, scream, wrestle and put themselves in front of the TV, it seemed always to happen at news time. My kids would be playing outside with the neighborhood kids, running and hollering and having good clean, and healthy fun. But, as the news came on they all had to run inside and continue their mayhem in front of me and my TV. Always frustrating, sometimes to the point of tearing my hair and gnashing my teeth in futile effort to clear the room of kids.

Today, Grandma and I were child-setting for our two younger grand daughters. They played all day QUIETLY around the house, or watched TV in the back of the house and were almost invisible. At 5:00 pm the local news came on and the girls came in from somewhere in the back to play horsey and piggy-back and squeal, and giggle and scream and thump around. I tried to shush them; to get them to leave the front and go to the back; to sit and read; to do anything quietly. I might as well have been trying to balance the National Budget. I could do neither. So, I sat watching bits and pieces of news stories and heard about every fifth word or so. The commercial breaks however, were both hear-able and watchable. Strange, that.

I've given this some critical thought. I conclude that there must be some as yet undiscovered mental ability of kids to subconsciously tell when the news is coming on and be drawn to it like a moth to a light. I may draw a lot of flak from other critical thinkers about this, but if any of them have kids they'll know I'm right. This may be another example of Murphy's Law, or at least a subsection and paragraph of Murphy.

On this occasion Grandma and I got away when their parents came home from work. I forgot to indicate we do the sitting at the parents house, not grandma's and mine. So, I got to see the 10 pm news without interruption or distraction. Doesn't fill the void, but better than nothing.

C U later. ._._.

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