Laverne's View

TV Or Not TV – That Is The Question

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I love television. Highly intelligent people say things like, “Television is boring, predictable, and a waste of life. I’ve got better things to do with my time, like develop a theorem, learn conversational Hieroglyphics, dye Easter eggs for the annual Presidential Easter egg hunt.”

Truth be known, I look forward every evening to giving my brain a well deserved rest from the mental aerobics I put it through daily.

I admit it…I’ve been watching the same soap opera for fifty four years. I got hooked when, as a new mother, I discovered that I couldn’t leave my breast propped up on a pillow for my infant son to nurse from while I went about my household chores. Don’t think I didn’t try. My girlfriends, who were also new mothers, were all propping their baby’s bottles, which granted them free time for frivolous tasks, like laundry, cooking, and cigarette breaks. Me? I had no choice but to be right there with my breast and my son at every feeding.

The joy of nursing was awesome, but after the first hundred feedings, I felt the need to search for added stimulation in the form of As the World Turns, which aired weekdays at 2:00 PM, the exact time that Dr. Benjamin Spock had instructed me to feed my son, and Lord knows I did everything Dr. Spock told me to do back then –  a mistake that took many years to reveal itself.

One afternoon, Baby Joe, who was now eight months old and with four sharp teeth, decided he wanted to see the faces of the soap opera characters he’d been listening to over the months. Like a puppy with a death grip on a rag, Joe’s head did a 180 toward the TV screen, with my highly sensitive body part between his teeth. My pain was so enormous, and my shriek was so piercing that Joe, in shock and probably traumatized for life, released his hold, and screamed. The next day I switched to the bottle. His was formula. Mine was Merlot, and  we watched our soap together.

I also enjoy Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I don’t know why I bother with Jeopardy. I don’t think I’ve correctly answered more than five questions in five years. I start out watching the show with tremendous hope, only to be repeatedly shot down and forced to face my stupidity.

Wheel of Fortune makes up for what I don’t know on Jeopardy. I’m pretty good at it. I usually watch this show with Mighty Marc, who shouts out answers to the contestants, and when they ignore him, his shouts escalate to derogatory insults. I repeatedly explain that he shouldn’t take it personally when contestants don’t listen to him because I’m pretty sure they can’t hear him, but by then he’s moved on to unflattering comments about Vanna White’s body and theories about what she probably had to do for Merv Griffin to land a job that requires nothing more than wearing evening gowns, turning over letters, and clapping. All this wrath, just because the contestants ignore his suggestions.

One thing that amazes me is every contestant selected for the show has a wonderful, handsome, husband, or gifted, beautiful, wife, and amazing, brilliant, children.

“I’ve been married to the same wonderful man for 28 years. Greg is a rocket scientist, who gave up working to stay home with our four amazing children so I could pursue my dream of being a cashier in Wal-Mart.”

I mean how would it sound if, when Pat Sajak asked a contestant to tell us a little something about themselves, they told the truth?

“I’m married for 20 miserable years to a homely b*tch I won in a poker game. Her pet name for me is Butt Head. We have three kids, all of whom live at home. Bruce, our oldest, was just released from an eight year stint in Attica. Deborah, our middle child, is back from nine months at Our Lady of the Not So Saintly Home for Unwed Mothers, and Skeeter runs a meth lab in our basement.  If I win today, Pat, I’m going to Disneyland. Alone.”

Life is good in my Land of Make Believe.  

Editor's Note: Laverne H. Bardy is a syndicated humor columnist. Visit her at She's the author of “How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?” Her articles appear regularly on She blogs for the and is also a columnist for,, and Copyright, Laverne H. Bardy, published with permission. 








Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at, as well as and

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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