Brown is the new black, Maria Shriver is the new American heroine and in our home, television documentaries are the new porn.
I was driving home from work late last night after working a successful three day Memorial weekend and topping it off with an extra 12-hour day on the Tuesday after. I was hot, hungry and exhausted. The weather has been unusually warm and humid outside with several heat warnings from the weather service and high 90 temperatures. Our store’s interior has a malfunctioning air conditioner and wearing a suit all day makes me sweat… a lot.
I called Daryl, as I always do, on my way home to see if he needed me to pick up anything at the grocery store. As always, he asked me how my day was and I blurted out “I’m sweating like a pig and I…” He cut me off with, “Well ACTUALLY, pigs DO have sweat glands you know, but they do not function like a human being. They can release water and heat through passive diffusion, but it is not enough for the pigs to rely on. So in order to combat heat, pigs have adapted by using behavioral thermoregulation, which is the act of cooling themselves in the mud. So in reality, pigs do not sweat.”
With confused trepidation I scoffed into the phone, “Well then, I’m sweating like a hog and I…” Daryl intellectually retorted “While hogs and pigs are both members of the porcine family, hogs do have a few sweat glands but they are not used to regulate body temperature either.”
Again, silence save the clicking sound of my blinking turn signal.
“Were you watching documentaries again while I was working?” I asked firmly. “Um… uh huh.” he replied as if caught with his hand down his pants.
In all fairness, Daryl IS a plethora of trivial information. He blows me away while watching Jeopardy on TV with the answers he pulls out of nowhere about obscure countries, cultures or cafeterias. I literally have to stare at him after he gives an answer to see what he has done with my REAL partner. While he continues to stun me with correct answers, his TRUE television diet consists of meaty shows like The Bachelorette (skin), Survivor (skin) and any other show where a man will remove his shirt for the ratings. He’ll DVR them too for later slow motion and stop action viewing. I don’t mean to make Daryl sound shallow, but he is.
I on the other hand am a man of amazing integrity, valor, depth and alas… the television documentary. I’ll choose a documentary in a manic minute over fluff and shirtless men anytime… unless L.L. Cool J is involved. Some of my favorite documentaries include anything about history, politics, religion or HBO’s Taxi Cab Confessions.
One evening last week while Daryl and I were trying to decide what to watch, as I perused the online guide I suggested a documentary on the Biography Channel about Walt Disney and a behind the scenes view on the animation history of Mickey Mouse. I adore Disney and I love animation. Daryl sighed, rolled his eyes and finally succumbed to my request only because he wanted to be nice and also there was nothing else on he wanted to see.
The program was about the animator of the Mickey Mouse character by a man named Ub Iwerks and his professional relationship over time with marketer Walt Disney. I watched it sporadically between Face Book updates, weeding out superfluous emails about electric wheelchairs, portable toilets and the Genie Bra while making comment responses on my blog. Daryl became mesmerized by Ub Iwerks. He was enthralled at how the animation process evolved from the early 20’s to the techniques of modern day Pixar. About halfway through the show, I mentioned that perhaps he’d want to switch to the Bachelorette to view the new men that Ashley Hebert would have to deal with this season. With no response, I repeated myself as Daryl shook his head no and continued his trance in “documentaryville.”
I had created an intellectual documentary monster.
As I walked in the door last night, stripping my damp shirt and wilting tie the TV was on a show called NCIS LA. Daryl NEVER watches a show with initials in it. The only initials he knows are LOL, OMG and WTF. I thought this was a tangent on serious TV over flesh and I was shocked. I thought maybe this was some sort of new fangled way to bring intellect into our daily conversations (God forbid) or perhaps our lifestyle was stepping up a notch since our white trash neighbors below us moved out over the weekend. I felt panic rising in my stomach and my heart began pounding in my chest to think that we were finally growing up when suddenly I saw that L.L. Cool J was one of the characters on this NCIS show, and all was well with the world.