I’ll admit it. When I was a kid, I wasn’t hooked on phonics. I was hooked on cartoons. Like the Flintstones. And Tom & Jerry. And Looney Tunes. And Jeopardy, which I’m aware is not a cartoon, but I loved it. As I grew older, other shows came and went. I didn’t grow up in front of the television, but it was available. And, tv still is part of my life, though it doesn’t play a very important role. While I enjoy my random shows as much as the next person (Unless the next person is thoroughly obsessed with their programs, I can’t compete with that.), I’m not one who has to sit in silence to watch. Not that I’m one to prattle on about nothing and everything during shows, I’m just not upset about a little conversation now and then when the tv is on.
So with my tv history and habits being now somewhat known, there is a group of people whom exist, that I admit I will never understand. They walk among us in broad daylight, shameless of their disease. It’s an affliction I have no doubt you’ve witnessed. You may even have a close friend or loved one who suffers from this illness. As of yet, studies haven’t been able to prove whether or not this sickness is contagious, or what causes it. And so far, there is no known cure as most who are infected don’t acknowledge this disorder, or their need for a cure.
What hellish disease am I speaking of? What ailment can afflict so many, unbeknownst to the sufferers themselves? It’s the incurable Television Viewing Zombie Syndrome. You probably haven’t heard of it, as these people never seek help. And when a close friend of the diseased addresses the issue, they are most certainly met with denial. While I’m sure many could benefit from a ZA group (Zombies Anonymous), they most likely wont recognize their own need to attend. They’re too busy sitting on their couches watching television. Completely unresponsive.
Over the last few years, I’ve spent a significant amount of time with various people who fit into this category. Normal, living and breathing human beings. Kind, caring, family oriented people. People who are active in their communities and some even in churches. People who love life and try to live it to the fullest extent. Until… Until that dreadful moment when the power button on a remote is pressed. It’s as if, upon engaging the power button to the television, they are simultaneously pressing the pause button to their own lives. They enter a trance, and there is no removing them from it, except to take a sledgehammer to the screen. (Or turn the tv off, if you prefer to live a less-dramatic life.)
The symptoms are awful:
They can’t hear conversations or questions.
They don’t speak.
They can’t see anything going on in their surroundings
They don’t notice how many hours have passed.
Or if they’re hungry.
If it’s day or night.
They can’t recognize if it’s summer or winter, or if frostbite has set in.
They’d never notice if their house was suddenly surrounded by ninjas.
Sometimes they don’t even notice what they’re watching. They could be watching another Popeil infomercial and not care. Or the golf network. Or even worse, some show that Oprah sneezed her blessing on. The tv is on, that’s all that counts.
It’s tragic really. Many children have been orphaned by this epidemic, living in homes still inhabited by the shells of their zombie-like parents. Many spouses wonder what happened to the person they married and if the infected would even notice their absence. Multitudes live alone, unaware of the outside world and all its glory. All because a power button was pressed. Because a television came to life. Because the triggered symptoms of TVZS are still incurable.
So, how do we help these people? Do we remove the batteries from their remotes and hope that there isn’t a great tv viewing zombie uprising? Could it be possible, even after all these hours lost in front of the small screen, they could revert back to the lovable people they were previously? Should we fear that, if more people succumb to this disease it might bring about opportunities for modern-day vikings, pillaging and plundering homes of the zombies? Should I end this nonsense? I think so.
Have any zombies in your life? Ever been to a Zombies Anonymous meeting?