...a potent blend of Miss Manners and Batman

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Waiting Room TVs

Doctors, here is my prescription: Remove that television set from your waiting room!

The last thing I want to see in a doctor's office waiting area is a TV. The set is invariably tuned to either one of two horrors: something insipid, where I am forced to hear that month's flavor of daytime personality pretend to be surprised by what her interviewee has just revealed ("You're kidding!"), or something horrible on the news ("A father murders his own infant daughter while her horrified mother watches... stay tuned!"). Happily there is a solution, and it comes on the end of a key chain.

Of course, in theory, Voice of Society Man should really be going up to the waiting room receptionist to announce that no one is actually watching the TV and that furthermore, even if someone is, that person should really have thought ahead and brought a knitting project, a good read, or a book of sudoku puzzles. Better yet, that time could be used reflectively to ponder one's existence or the societal benefits of a utilitarian philosophy.

Voice of Society Man is keenly aware that speaking up against waiting room practices could have deleterious consequences. Complain about Oprah today and you might find yourself waiting even longer next week. This is one time when VoS Man must use Prudence.

This product first came to my attention in 2002 or so, perhaps in a copy of Discover magazine (or maybe it was Curmudgeon Digest). It cycles thru hundreds of frequencies until it turns off most TVs. The inventor, like many of us, was tired of knitting or reading or solving sudoku puzzles while trying to ignore the bruitish television in the waiting room.

Sometimes Voice of Society Man must rely on his Utility Belt...or in this case, his Utility Key Chain.

Now if only I could get hold of a device to disable car alarms!

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About Me

My pesky alter ego who will set you right if you break one of the unwritten rules of getting along