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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Two and a Half Hours of Hell (Not My Hell, But Still!)

Well, that was weird. I’m just shell-shocked now.

It all has to do with procrastination. I am an expert procrastinator. World-class, baby. And not just with icky, distasteful, or boring things. No way, dude. I procrastinate about everything. Just today, I put off blogging until the last minute, and completely zoned out on working on my fledgeling comedy routine. That’s over and above the stuff from work that I planned to do today. And this is nothing new. I’m an equal opportunity putter-offer.

So it may come as no surprise that I never watched the end of 24, my very most favoritest show. And not just the last episode, either. Any old procrastinating fool can miss an episode. No, folks, I spaced on the final three shows. I recorded them all — this was in my pre-TiVo days — and just let the tape sit, collecting dust, for what, four months? Six? Since the last season ended, whenever that was.

But now, the show’s starting up again, ready to go into its third season. And my wife and I didn’t want to miss any storylines.

(Yes, I dragged her down with me. She wasn’t allowed to watch the taped episodes unless I could watch, too. Of course, onve we got the TiVo, she wasn’t able to watch, permission be damned. Hell, it took me twenty minutes to find the magic combination of TV settings and remote controls that would magically get us the picture from the VCR. Thank goodness we don’t have to do that often.)

So, we decided to catch up, all in one night. And god-damn, was that intense! Holy shit! If it wasn’t somebody getting shot or stabbed or crashing their car, it was planes ready to drop bombs all over the place, or politicos sniping and sneering at each other. Damn.

It was tough to watch the whole thing at once, too. We taped episodes during the season sometimes. And — predictably — we would often watch the taped show on the night before, or the evening of, the next episode. So we’d had some experience with back-to-back heart-pounding shows. But three in a row? That’s madness! Madness, I tell you!

Or at least ‘stressness’. I’d forgotten how easily I get sucked into that show, and scheme and race and seethe with the actors on screen. It’s the only show I’ve never missed — or at least taped — in the past two years. So I had to catch up before the show begins again next Tuesday. But now I’m all jittery. Three hours of 24 is like a frigging caffeine enema — I won’t get to sleep until three in the morning. My heart is still all pitter-pattery.

But the good news is that the wife and I are ready to get jiggy with the new season now. And with TiVo to help out, we won’t even have to worry about remembering to record it. It’ll show up automagically every week, whether we’re paying attention or not. Which is good, because we’re often not. Ain’t technology grand?

What I’m afraid of, though, is that our little TiVo friend will do nothing but feed our disease. With the show guaranteed to go on tape every week, we’ll have no pressure to watch the thing when it’s actually aired. I can see us relying on the ‘miracle box’ to record everything, and just watching when we ‘get to it’. Which, we’ve shown, can be weeks, or even months, later.

I’ve even done the math. The TiVo will hold thirty-five hours of shows. 24 has — duh — twenty-four hours’ worth of episodes per season. So it’s entirely possible that we won’t watch a single episode during the broadcast season. We may just let them accumulate, show after show, week after week, until we have the whole damned thing on tape.

At which point… well, we’ll drag our feet, most likely. We’re not terribly adept at learning from our mistakes, I’m afraid. So you may hear this same sort of thing this time next year, only we’ll be doing a freaking marathon of 24-watching — all the episodes, not just three. Eighteen hours or more of suspense, intrigue, and gunshot wounds, once the commercials are filtered out. We’ll just wake up one Saturday and do the whole. Frigging. Thing. Eek.

I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Two-plus hours of this stuff was harrowing enough. But every cliffhanger, every car chase, and every backstabbing, two-timing double-cross? Holy edge of your seat, Batman! I’ll have to pop some Valium or something just to cope. Drink beer all the way through it, or slurp Nyquil to even out the heart-pounding fury. Jeez, what an ordeal.

I can hardly wait. Woo!

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Two and a Half Hours of Hell (Not My Hell, But Still!)”

  1. belle says:

    After the first season ended Fox had a special “24 hours of 24” where they ran all the episodes back to back, in real time. Yeah, I stayed up for 24 hours and watched. And afterwards I died. I’m writing this from the great beyond. I don’t recommend you try this.

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