Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hugging the Sofa

I stare with squinted eyes, trying to focus, trying to make sure that the two cards in my hand really are spades, and that at least one of them is an ace.

It can be difficult at times to think clearly and make the right play, especially when it is late, and doubly especially when you've lost count of the glasses of scotch you've enjoyed that evening. Inevitably, at this point in the game, you and/or everyone else at the table go all-in. Cards are burned, flopped and turned. Rivers come. Curses are sworn. Brightly colored chips move in a circuit around the table.

Once home, usually late, I may smell of sweat, or smoke, or booze. Likely, I will smell of all three, and may choose for the benefit of all to sleep on the sofa, the futon or the floor.

Eventually, however, the morning comes, the sun pops up, and the girl pops out of bed. If this happens to be the groggy morning after a poker game, then it is probably Sunday. And if it is Sunday, and as long as I'm already in the living room, I might as well let the missus sleep in, and entertain my daughter myself.

Now, as many of you may guess, I'm not what you would call a "morning person," less so with a hangover. So, naturally, and frequently, "morning entertainment" takes the form of me snoozing intermittently on the sofa, between taking sips of tepid water, and pushing the DVR "play" button to unleash yet another mind-numbing children's television program.

Not, however, Elmo. We've tried Elmo. I cannot abide the falsetto-voiced red shag puppet.

No, the choices are essentially down two two.

First, Dora.

Second, Blues Clues.

The choice is essentially mine, as she will willingly watch either. So, here is my dilemma...

When one is hung well over, following a bender, a cigar and unfortunate poker losses, the light of a candle and the buzz of a mosquito can prove to be unbearable at 7:00 in the morning. Dora, therefore, with the high-octave bilingual stage-voice projection, flashing colors and constant flurry of Nintendo-like activity is simply torturous.

Dora, however, is longer than Blues Clues, which means the chance to catch approximately 6 more minutes of precious sleep between episodes.

Sleep, that is, if I can shut out the multi-cultural din.

Then there is Steve (or Joe) and their dog, Blue. Short soft strains of lap steel guitar, soft muffled murmurs and squeaks from the animated cast, and the soft-spoken boyish host, all make the show very easy to sleep through. Problem is, Blues Clues episodes are short. Too short! No sooner have I fallen into REM, than I am awoken by a demanding daughter wishing to watch more...

On the balance, I think I have to go with Blue and Steve. Dora just hurts way too much at that time of day. And while I have to rouse myself to enough consciousness to flip the channel more frequently, at least Blue won't make my headache any worse.


  1. Anonymous12:14 AM

    Whose that skinny effeminate guy with Blue?
    What happened to the other guy? I liked the other guy - or is that the American version?

  2. Oosje8:02 AM

    Wear ear plugs, your eye patch and teach the child how to use the remote control thing. After all... She is SMART and pretty!

  3. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Buy the DVDs - the longer the better...

    The 90 minute Tots TV video was a great babysitter, uh I mean educational activity, when I had to stay up after a night shift

  4. Mrs. G&T10:52 AM

    The skinny, effeminate 12-year-old guy is Steve, the original host who did most of the shows. He left a few years ago because he was going bald and didn't want to do so on children's TV. He shaved what was left of his hair and started a band. See his myspace profile.

    The "other guy" is Joe, Steve's "younger brother" who came to take care of Blue when Steve "went to college".

    The Monkey doesn't have a host preference. I believe that Mr. G&T has a crush on Steve.

    I don't think there is a non-American version... I think a bloody Yank had this idea all by himself.

  5. mojo jojo10:58 AM

    In the Age of Technology, you can't cut and paste a longer TV set for your tot? She's old enough ... time for PowerPuff.

  6. We in Britain had Kevin, a black guy with a London accent if I remember correctly. However Im talking about 10 years ago when my girls were the age to watch it

    Kevin was cool

  7. Anonymous12:08 PM

    1. You're a dumbass.
    2. Get a frickin' DVD of it already.
    3. Sprout. Channel 119 on Comcast.
    4. Noggin Channel 120 on Comcast.
    5. PSB. Channel 10 on Comcast.
    6. Get the idea yet?
    7. You're a dumbass.

  8. Thomas the Tank Engine videos last longer and are more entertaining between snoozes.

  9. The Cure for Insomnia is 87 hours long and might have the added bonus effect of putting the tot to sleep too.


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