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July 24, 2013

The Couch Potato: Looking for some arresting entertainment, we called ‘COPS’

NEW CASTLE — Most of the time, television is an individual experience. We all watch our shows with passion, dedication and perseverance.

Even the little French Fries that run around the Couch Potato house are constantly asking, “Daddy, can we watch one of our shows?”

Sometimes, though, television is a communal experience that can be shared with friends and loved ones. Last week, I wrote about watching classic sitcoms with my mom and the joy that we shared together in doing that. This week, the experience is different but the joy has been the same.

For this installment, The Couch Potato comes to you from Myrtle Beach as we share a house with two other families. We each made the 700-mile, 11-hour trek through Appalachia in the middle of the night carrying our two French Fries, while our friends each carried one French Fry of their own. It was a long trip, to say the least.

We arrived early Saturday morning to find that we could not get into our place until 2 p.m., so the beach and a tent served as a temporary sleeping place for us parents. Obviously, we took shifts to keep the little ones safe.

Once we finally did get into our beach house, we settled in, got some real rest and hung out at the pool for the rest of the day. Nighttime came and the French Fries all went to sleep.

Since there are six adults here, we gathered around the television that first night and my buddy started flipping through the channels. Now there is no greater pressure than picking a show for five other people. It’s nearly impossible to gauge the interests, likes and dislikes of that many eclectic folks. I hate being put in that situation and I usually just resort to some sort of sporting event and let conversation take over the room.

My friend went a different route, though, and he finally settled on “COPS,” which is a show that he and his wife regularly watch. Now we have all seen “COPS” at some point in our lives, but it’s not what you would call “appointment television” for most people.

We were all so tired and at least partially delirious that something about the show resonated with us all. My other friend particularly enjoyed a police takedown of a suspected prostitute in Las Vegas. I marveled at the detailed uniform crest of the Toledo Police Department. My remote controlling friend’s wife was impressed with the coordinated outfit of the driver of an unregistered vehicle — which just happened to carry three on-probation occupants and several different items of drug paraphernalia.

All of us were enthralled when a house call began with a motorized wheelchair homeowner scurrying away from police while running over the beer can that he dropped as he fled. That is classic comedy right there.

After the second episode it was pretty late and we all headed for bed. We had laughed for about an hour straight as each person added their own commentary, jokes and diatribes to go along with the action on screen. We all went to bed exhausted but in a good mood.

One thing now is clear — even if the sun never comes out, we know that we’re all going to have a good time together on this vacation.

Sometimes the television, and good friends, is all you need.

 

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