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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twenty-Six-ty Minutes: Tick Tock

The glory of endlcss tournament basketball games has ended for the first time since it began. The buzzers that would be beaten this week have been. The tears have been shed by the fallen. The open-mouthed srcreams of the victors have been immortalized by ESPN.com. The fives have been highed. The sweat has dried.

The sun has set. The weekend opens its final act in dramatic fashion - the death knell of laziness and relaxation is heard off in the distance.

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick.


I'm Morley Safer.

I'm Steve Kroft.

I'm Leslie Stahl.

These stories and more...

Sixty Minutes - For whom the clock tolls - it tolls for thee.




The
Sixty Minutes ticking clock has a nearly Pavlovian response set in my mind, but instead of drooling, I panic. As soon as I hear that damned ticking or see that stopwatch second hand running around on the loose, my mind goes straight to SUNDAYNIGHTIT'SOVEROHSHIT.

Things that should be done that have not been done suddenly line up for roll call at the front on my mind. Laundry piles are transformed into mountains. Unpaid bills are littered in one room like the socks on the floor of another. Thoughts get faster. Actions get slower.
Have I eaten a vegetable this weekend? Do french fries count? I have had a lot fried foods in the last two days. Lots of oil. Why can I not bring myself to get an oil change? Getting quarters to do laundry should at least show intention toward accomplishment, if actual accomplishment proved impossible. Right? Right? Is there anything good on t.v. right now? This is stressing me out...

And the answer is Sixty Minutes is on. That is it. A show devoted to exposing the cold reality of the week at large through the tight-lipped, always skeptical, yet friendly and dignified interviews of America's most active-older newscasters. It is the end of the line.

I remember this association taking root most firmly in my childhood at my grandparent's house. Somehow the kids would always end up sitting on the couch - too full from Grandma's food, having already bowed out of the adult conversation of parents and grandparents, seeking refuge in soft cushions and t.v. Then the clock would begin ticking on the t.v., and a call of "Get the coats. Time to go," would reach us from the other room.
A round of hugs would begin, and soon we'd be crammed in the backseat, crossing over rivers and passing alongside a sleeping city, waiting for its minions to return to work the next day.

Man I hate Sunday night!

I
have tried outsmarting Sunday in the past, planning to see a movie or do some sort of fun activity to coax myself toward forgetting it's the end of free time, but it never quite works.
My old roommate and I used to have improvised church at home - Neil Diamond craft nights. We'd throw on Neil Diamond's greatest hits (several of which are more than mildly spiritual, by the way), and then do some sort of craft project. Again, maybe not a recognized religion, but he certainly has followers who track his whereabouts religiously. While I do not fall into that category of Neil Diamond fanatic like those who are far more devout, I can say I've achieved great moments of peace and clarity with Soolaimon as a soundtrack.

I have definitely only grown to love Neil Diamond more as I've aged, and he's an artist who has curried far more favor with those who may be older than me. My question is then, will I one day grow to love Sixty Minutes? Will I be looking forward to it as the good part of Sunday one of these days? I mean, I watched it tonight to see an Obama interview, and I definitely stuck around for the second story.

I suppose as someone who is essentially writing an Andy Rooney entry, but with less focus and charm, to end this week's blog posts I should really be a Sixty Minutes enthusiast without shame. I should be so lucky as to have something to look forward to each week on Sunday night. Maybe they'll switch the stopwatch to look like the clock they use on the show 24 by the time I'm older and my negative association will vanish. Or maybe Neil Diamond will take over when Andy Rooney retires, and I'll really feel that it's the best hour of the week.

The pessimism would be banished by the force of the songman's suggestion:
Day-a-a-a-ay, shall provide.

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