Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Television Watch......

I have been spending lots of time in waiting rooms (doctor, hospital, clinic, Veteran’s Administration, radiation, chemo, dentist, dental surgeon… ) – lots of time. Almost every waiting room in Kansas has a television. In some chemo treatment rooms you can find one television per person – or sometimes two people share a television.
I have now finished my completely scientific empirical research on what people watch as they are waiting, waiting, waiting:

1. If given a chance to choose the channel (in a small waiting room or in a small chemo room) most people seem to select HGTV. Even men do this. Sometimes FoodTV, but more often than not, home renovation, gardening, home organization, or buying and selling home shows.
2. When lots of people are in a waiting room and there are two televisions, then one channel is always set on a news channel. The other television will be set to game shows (The Price is Right, Who Wants to be a Millionaire) or talk shows (Oprah, The View)
3. When there are lots of people in the waiting room and a trivia or game show is on – such as Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire or The Price is Right, everybody answers or chimes in with answers. I love trivia and I love that everyone pays attention and plays along. Thanks to a recent trip to the Eisenhower Home, Museum and Library (in Abilene, Kansas) I was able to actually confidently answer this question: Who was the only Five Star General elected as President? As a Canadian, my knowledge of US Presidents is weak – but on that day, during that game, in that waiting room, I was the man (I mean girl)……

Just so you know, participation with television in waiting rooms sometimes isn’t always pretty. While I have been in Kansas there have been two significant controversial courtroom stories. Final deliberations and a sentence of death for a man who killed a policeman in a meth house siege were on the news every day – lots of people in the waiting room contributed their opinions “string him up” “just kill him” “that’s what he deserves”. Then there is the ongoing trial of Dr. Tiller (a doctor who performs abortions in Wichita)…..the comments about his trial make my blood boil (don’t get me started)..... No fighting has broken out in these waiting rooms (yet)…

I must admit that the quality of the televisions is directly linked to the kind of waiting room - the VA? the crappiest smallest screen tv - private clinics? large flatscreens on the wall to die for.

Who knew day time television (and day time observation of day time television watching) would be so engrossing while you sit waiting for good news or for bad news?

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