they catch bad guys, don’t they?

I have a television in my bedroom. I borrowed it from my sister, who upgraded. I used to bring the kitchen TV upstairs when my husband was out of town; I liked the company. But it was heavy, and I got tired of carrying it up and down the stairs. Besides, I have my own room, and it can have its own TV.

Back when we were twenty-something, Marty and I had a little black and white TV in our bedroom on 27th Street in Remington. I don’t remember what we watched—LA Law and NYPD Blue, probably—but I do remember that our roommate, an unemployed used car salesman, used to take that TV from our room while we were at work so that he could stay in his room all day, freebasing cocaine and peeing in a one-gallon apple cider jug. Imagine the day I came home and searched the house for that little TV only to find it illuminating the tighty whities of our roommate, a giant bottle of urine next to his bed. He muttered an apology, but he still stole it every day, even rummaging through my things when I hid it from him.

When we moved, we got a bigger TV, and the little one went in the den. (The roommate did not come with us.)

I never used to watch the tube a lot, though I confess to having a thing for the various incarnations of The People’s Court. Winter nights for the past fifteen years have always been capped with an hour-long soak in the tub with a good book. But since I put my sister’s TV in my bedroom, I’ve all but stopped reading and bathing. Instead, I get in bed and watch the cop shows—CSI, Law and Order, Without a Trace, Cold Case. If it’s got a bad guy and airs between nine and eleven, it’s on in my bedroom.

My husband hates it. He wants to be the only bad guy in my bedroom. Instead, he comes in to say his passive-aggressive goodnight before filling the adjacent room with hurricane-force snores.

You’d think that all these shootings and robberies and rapes and murders would keep me up nights, but I actually sleep a little better. In the past few weeks, in fact, something odd has happened. I can’t seem to stay awake for the ends of the shows. I’ve been falling asleep at quarter of ten and quarter of eleven, just before they catch the bad guys. I’ve seen magicians die, their killers disappear. I’ve seen kids get lost but never found. I’ve seen cops almost get their man. Then it’s all blank, and I wake up in time for the next show’s theme song.

You’d think this would have some kind of effect on me—that I would have begun to lose my faith in law enforcement or that I’d be worried all the time. Nuh-uh. The fact that TV shows no longer resolve has not made a

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  1. Kim Hosey November 13, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    Nice one!

    I hate doing that. I really struggle to make it through the show sometimes.

    I favor CSI (in all its incarnations), Cold Case and Without a Trace. Between my own apartment and the marital one, we stayed with my mom, and we’d have a ritual of drinks and cop shows.

    I assume you do occasionally read. And bathe.

  2. marie November 13, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    i’m a huge tv junkie. it’s ridiculous, really. i’m also a fan of the cop shows. the original CSI only, Law and Order SVU and my new fave, The Mentalist (you should check it out). i truly believe that cop shows make us smarter.

    but, i am also one of ‘those’ people who enjoys reality shows. a lot of them. there’s something about watching people who aren’t actors, whose words aren’t scripted, that draws me in.

    get yourself a Kindle … you’ll always be reading. will your book be availabe on Kindle? HOPE SO!

  3. Anonymous November 13, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    You don’t bathe?


  4. ODG November 13, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    Over here in the land of the morning calm, there are four TV stations out of the sixty I can get that feature (mostly) English. I don’t really watch them all that much; it is more for background noise then anything. Nice to hear an English voice, helps me from getting lonely.

    No TV in the bedroom for me… well, when I have an actual bedroom.

  5. Richard Gilbert November 14, 2008 at 5:22 am #

    I really like this. Have to say, though, that CSI Vegas puts ’em all in the shade.


  6. Linda in Toronto November 14, 2008 at 5:23 am #

    The FIRST 48. I plan my schedule around it. Anything forensics, police, or supernatural, and I’m there.

    Of course if I can stay awake past 10pm then that’s a miracle in itself!

  7. Cybergabi November 14, 2008 at 5:23 am #

    TV is the best sleeping pill. I can’t watch TV anymore because I always fall asleep. Apart from that, it doesn’t interest me anyway.

    Maybe you could just buy a timer that turns it off BEFORE the next show’s jingle wakes you up again. Then you could do without the chems.

  8. YNL November 20, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

    Oh my God! You lived with my old boyfriend Don?

  9. Decrepit Telephone November 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    First 48. Love. Period. CSI, Law and Order and that horrid show, Cold Case and the fake cop shows are for wussies. 😉


  10. Rachel November 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    Today is one of my slow days. I clicked over to your actual blog from my reader because I thought it had cut off the end of your post. Yeah. It took me about 5 minutes to get it.

    I love all those crime shows, too. My faves are Cold Case, NCIS, & Criminal Minds. And even if you don't see the end, you DO know they are going to catch them. 🙂

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