Last night, I was going to finally go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have a problem with that: I tend to be sleepy all day, but come alive late at night and want to stay up and write, watch tv, read… really, just lose more sleep. I know I should go to bed. I know I need the sleep. I am chronically tired, generally getting somewhere between 5-6.5 hrs of sleep each night. It’s my own fault, and I know it. So, there I was ready to go to bed and glad to be doing it. I turned off Mad Men, and as I did, the tv switched to the show that was recording. I checked the DVR and saw “Doomsday Preppers” recording for the second time in one night. Earlier, when this had happened, I promptly questioned each of the kids: “Who’s recording this? It’s crazy stuff!” Honestly, I was sure it was Little Man, as he loves that combat kind of thing. It was surely him, that would want to see the insane stuff that people do, “prepping” for the end of the world, surviving the apocalypse. It had to be Little Man. It wasn’t. Nor was it China or Denmark. This has happened a few times recently, so I erased the earlier recording and decided that our DVR does in fact have a glitch.
There it was again, at 10:40, as I attempted to go to bed early: “Doomsday Preppers.” Smart Guy wandered out and said “I thought you were tired? Aren’t you coming to bed?” I am, but this is the weirdest thing! Our DVR is recording this bat crazy show for the second time today, and no one set it to record. “Uh, what is it?” He asked, as he brushed his teeth. Some silly show called “Doomsday Preppers, I answered, as I prepared to erase it again. “Wait! Don’t erase that; I’m recording it!” What! You? Seriously? Why would you record this? Seriously?! “It looks interesting,” he responded a bit more sheepishly, than initially. And that’s when I ran smack dab into my husband’s secret life, and then fell down a rabbit whole of craziness. Who knew that Mr. Sensible, Logic Man, Rational Rules… Smart Guy, is drawn to doomsday stuff? I was stunned. I sat there totally stupefied, even as I tried not to launch into a totally obnoxious break down of why I found this infinitely stupid. You do know that you set it up to record the entire series, not just an episode? I pushed a bit further. “Uh yeah. It’s the National Geographic Channel, so it should be interesting.” Right. No, it just shows that even National Geographic has lost its mind. Promise me, I’m serious, that you won’t let Little Man watch this with you! I really don’t want him getting all caught up in this stuff. “Yeah, Ok. I’m just curious…” Yeah, right I thought, keeping it to myself.
I saw about two minutes of the show, which was ending, enough to see a man with his wife and kids, their arsenal of guns and ammo, food supplies, a few livestock (little goats, chickens) and boarding a sail boat, as he said “The islands of the Pacific Northwest are the perfect place to survive…” What! Here? Where I live? It even looked like our harbor. My head was racing instantly; these people walk among us? I Googled the show right away and there’s a nice break down of the National Geographic series Doomsday Preppers. Pretty much what I thought. These are the folks who believe we are headed for an apocalyptic end to life as we know it, and are getting ready. I’ve heard isolated stories of people here and there in town, but honestly, it never occurred to me there was an entire show for it. That they really lived among us. When I question Smart Guy a little more about where he stands on all this, he admitted that he thinks we could prepare a little… What? What is preparing a little? “I think everyone should know how to shoot a gun…” blah blah blah… He lost me entirely. Seriously! Shoot a gun! We have never been shoot a gun people darlin’. Let me go down for the record here: if we get to a point where the end is nye, and we have to protect our property, from neighbors and people we would trust, pre-apocalypse, I’m lying down for the flesh eaters. Just take me zombie squads. I am not cut out for walking The Road with my surviving child, so that they can see a desecrated strip of beach, and live with the other 100 survivors. Not me. I don’t need to learn how to shoot a gun. Why don’t we just move to Florida first; it’s an easier approach. “Don’t be ridiculous… I’m just saying that things could reach a point where we need to look at things differently. I just think it’s worth thinking about these things. ” I stand by my head-in-the-sand approach. Well, I refer you back to my previous statement. Just shoot me first. (If guns are needed, the U.S. is the place to be. There are lots to choose from. Image from the internet)
As I argued the silliness of the Doomsday Preppers show, it ended and Smart Guy wandered off to bed, confident I’m sure that the show would give some advice worth considering. Alas, the rabbit hole was before me. As DP ended, Amish Out of Order came on. What? Do you see this!? I yelled. National Geographic also has Amish Out of Order! This is incredible! “I’m going to bed; I’m tired.” Sure, if it’s not about our survival, not of value. I was tired. I was going to bed. But who can sleep when there are formerly Amish kids trying to eke out a new life, and National Geographic is presenting it to you? I pulled up my blanket and was caught up in the drama unfolding. Not only were there kids who’d left their Amish communities and were trying to survive in the “English world” (we’re the English, folks), but (and this was the thing that kept me) there was a 17 year old girl working to join the Amish culture! Really. She was being asked to renounce her former life completely, as well as her English family, to live in the Amish way. Nice girl. Loved her family and was torn, but as the show ended (at 11:30) she was choosing the Amish. Oh my.
I scanned the channel guide and saw that there were more episodes of Doomsday Preppers in line, then more Amish, and late night was reserved for “Locked Up Abroad,” season SIX! That’s right people, not only do Americans get locked up abroad (and according the clip, it doesn’t look pretty), there’s enough of it that we’re on season six! The clip was scary, for sure. Think Midnight Express (ignore the silly announcer), a movie that convinced me, long ago, that I would never, ever, ever do anything wrong in a foreign country. I scanned ahead and found Rare Anatomy (images). I’m sure you can figure that one out on your own, and no doubt there may be some logic behind watching this? The scientific chances of certain anatomical bad things happening, but I can’t imagine wanting to watch babies with spina bifida in the morning. The images from Google were enough for this gal, but there is a book set too, for those who can’t get enough of the show.
<– Image from Dramagroup.org logo.
So, this rabbit hole was dark and deep people. Who can stop there? My curiosity was totally peaked, and I had to know more. What else are people watching, that I’ve been missing? I’ve seen the magazine covers that announce various teens who are now having breast implants. Not just any teens, but Teen Mom! I’d heard of it, but never seen it. But when I looked it up, there were amazing episode titles like: “Mission: Tattoo entire back,” “Jo sings his rap song,’Life of a Teen Dad’,” “Leah and Corey agree to counseling.” Seriously! Eventually, I watched two episodes of the catch up on the season. I’m sorry, but I am probably gonna sound a tad sanctimonious here, a bit old fashioned, and even a little (hard to even admit it…) conservative, BUT: when I went to school, getting pregnant was not a ticket to Reality fame and fortune. It didn’t buy you a nose job or new breasts. You didn’t put it out there for the world to sit and stare at. It was a world of pain and difficulty. It was for me, birth control like no other. I felt sorry for the few girls I saw go through it and I knew I didn’t want to go that route. It was a quiet thing, that was not easy or shiny. This show may show the hard stuff, but what lots of young people also see is that these teens often end up famous and on magazines, and their situations are glamorized. With one mom probably headed to prison, and others in crazy relationships with young children, I think producers should make some effort to show that this is not fun and games, and there are very young kids involved. That folks, is not my idea of reality. (I am now stepping off my box top)
More checking produced Swamp People, following the lives of Cajun people, living on the bayou. Could be interesting. I don’t believe in swamp creatures, and they do sometimes, but I do love the bayou…. and for competition, Redneck Wars brings Hillbilly Hand Fishing. Scary, but Little Man already knew about this one! (Good Lord! When did my family start this slide downward?) While he assures me that he doesn’t really watch it, it has some “cool stuff.” Pretty self-explanatory: “real men” catch fish with their hands. Yep, they stick their hands down into murky, brown water and pull out big ass fish, that they then can eat. Hmm, I might have to turn Smart Guy on to that one. Something tells me that IF the apocalypse does come, he may know how to shoot, but we’ll starve. Fishing could come in handy. And, since the world will be destroyed, fishing with your hands seems sensible suddenly.
Needless to say, I did not get to bed early. In fact, I lie awake thinking of giant catfish grabbing my arms, twisted anatomy, Turkish prisons, and the Amish. Actually, it was the Amish that helped me sleep. They are simple, true folk. Soothing. I spent time in Pennsylvania as a teen and always admired their simple way of life. It can be said for sure, that none of them are sitting up at night watching any of this stuff, and that was reassuring. I fell down a twisted rabbit hole for an hour or so, and a little while this morning as I continued to look up this stuff… but I landed right back here in my comfy chair, computer before me. It’s a 13″ window to the entire world, capable of showing me things that not even my TV did. But in the end, I’ll use it to type. I’ll keep on writing and leave the Doomsday to my stalwart husband, and hand fishing to my son. I will have my head buried in the sand, and throw myself on the pyre if any of this comes to fruition. It was enough to just look down that hole, and see how very strange our world can be.