Amazing! Life Without Television

Recently I visited the home of an old college buddy, and to my amazement discovered he doesn’t own a television. He hasn’t watched one in almost ten years. He says television inhibited communication and creativity in his family. Frankly, I’m amazed his family has maintained at least a semblance of normality without the vital information transmitted by commercials.

How have they survived socially? They have no way of knowing about the mouthwash that kills germs that cause bad breath, the dishwashing liquid that prevents dreaded dishpan hands, or the laundry detergent that protects us from the unforgivable ring around the collar.

How have they managed at home? What do they do when they spill something if they don’t know about the quicker picker-upper? What do they do when they need an antacid that consumes exactly 47 times its weight in excess stomach acid? How can they ever know if their headaches are of the Excedrin or the non-Excedrin type?

Yet, somehow, this family has survived—I daresay, flourished. I met my friend’s children, and as far as I could tell, their teeth weren’t falling out—even without the toothpaste most recommended by the American Dental Association. They seemed well groomed without the shampoo that controls problem dandruff.

During my entire visit I could detect just a single flaw in my friend’s armor. We were laughing about a practical joke we once played, and wouldn’t you know it, his dentures popped right out. What a terrible embarrassment! How could his wife stay with a person whose dentures pop out during a belly laugh? It never would have happened if he owned a television.

Strange thing, though. He picked up his dentures, rinsed them off, put them back in, and—to my astonishment—life ...

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