Some time back, Castilo Urf! was having trouble with its high speed internet connection if you can imagine that. We went almost two weeks without the internet (I found that it’s difficult to validate your existence these days when you can’t get online) and then Comcast, in its infinite wisdom, sent us a letter explaining that their rates are going up, but if we agreed to get the most basic cable package, along with their internet service, then our bill would actually go down by $2. We haven’t had cable television since before C was born over nine years ago, and I wasn’t really looking to get it, but who can deny the savings of eight bits every month? Not us! So last Friday Mr. Comcast came out and bestowed the most basic cable package ever considered upon us. And it is basic. In addition to the network channels that we had before, though with much better reception now, we have our choice of a local library channel, a handful of channels that seem to broadcast nothing but old men in their pulpits breathing fire and brimstone and asking for donations, more home shopping channels than I knew existed, TLC, which runs continuous programming about midgets and clothing, and the All-Ultimate Fighting All The Time channel, among others. I’m not sure how we’ve made it this long without all of this brain candy.
Last night I was walking through the living room, heading to bed around 11:30 and C was up watching Vision Quest on ESPN Classic. I don’t like him staying up so late at night, and he doesn’t during the school year, but the fact is I can’t outlast him. Once I’m asleep then he has free rein to sneak the car out, drink, look at porn on the internet or watch Vision Quest on ESPN Classic. We’ve told him before that we don’t have a problem with him staying up late as long as, after a certain time, he reads instead of watching TV. I can’t remember what that particular time was right now, I can’t seem to stay up that late.
The fact that he was watching Vision Quest, though, could actually be a help to me. At his age he’s curious, he has questions about himself and life in general and his watching this movie could save me that awkward conversation where I have to explain bad 1980s cinema, jocks with mohawks and hand size relativity to him. And there are certain things that he would probably be more comfortable learning about on his own, like high school wrestling and Linda Fiorentino. What I can’t explain to him, what I can’t quite grasp myself, is why Vision Quest was on ESPN Classic. And why anyone would want to watch a reality show about how to dress a midget.