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Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2003 / 25 Adar I, 5763

Art Buchwald

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Consumer Reports

Yelling at the TV | Cromwell is my favorite inventor. He is the one who came up with the idea to put people on hold for 20 minutes and then cut them off before they get to speak to their party. The airline reservation people called him a modern-day Alexander Graham Bell.

So when he called me up the other day and told me to come over, I knew I would become a part of history.

Cromwell was in the cellar working on a large TV set.

"What do you think?"

"I think it is a nice television set."

"But this one is different. You can yell back at it."

"Wow. I've never seen a TV set that you could yell at."

"People have been dreaming of something like this for years. But no one knew how to do it. I came up with the idea to have two woofers, a digital receiver and an inverted thingamajig, which you don't plug into a wall. Who do you want to yell at?"

"How about Joe Millionaire?"

Cromwell hit his clicker. "Go," he said.

I screamed, "You may be a hunk, but you are a lying, cheating impersonator. And just because you chose a girl doesn't mean you're not going to lie and cheat and break her heart! Go away! I never want to see your face on TV again."

Evan Marriott, a.k.a. Joe Millionaire, didn't know where my voice was coming from, and later on I heard that the producers fired four technicians, because they had to blame somebody.

"Not bad," said. Cromwell. "But if you're going to yell at reality shows, you have to get more vitriol in your voice. Have you ever wanted to yell back at politicians?"

"Of course. Doesn't everybody?"

"Have you ever tried to yell at President Bush?"

"Yes, but so that people don't think I only yell at Republican presidents, I have always wanted to talk back to President Clinton, the first Bush, Reagan and Jimmy Carter."

Kissinger came on CNN with the Capital Gang.

Cromwell said, "That is a tape of the show. Do you want to practice yelling at Kissinger?"

I said, "I've been yelling at him on the TV set for 20 years. It hasn't done any good."

"Now you can yell back at him for real if he decides to bomb Cambodia again."

"Cromwell, you are going to change the viewing habits of every American. You are also making it possible for people to let the steam out so they don't have to yell at their wives and children anymore."

"Would you like to yell at Michael Jackson?"

I told him honestly, "I wouldn't waste my breath."

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Art Buchwald's latest book is "We'll Laugh again." To commnt on his column click here.

02/20/03: The fight for duct tape
02/14/03: Losing your identity
02/05/03: Whose reality is it?
01/17/03: Foreign Affairs for Dummies
01/15/03: No-news stories
01/13/03: The last pill
01/08/03: Come fly with me
12/20/02: Snooping for America
12/13/02: Give 'til it hurts
12/06/02: Pre-nursery is rough
11/20/02: The Princess and the butler
11/15/02: Preaching democracy
11/04/02: The blame game
10/30/02: The threat of golf
10/11/02: The wives of Hidden Valley
10/04/02: Will the real Saddam stand up?
10/01/02: To shred or not to shred
09/20/02: Plea-bargaining crime
09/17/02: Jack and Jane
09/12/02: Signing books is half the fun
09/10/02: To lose one's center
09/05/02: Moot court
08/29/02: I spy-you-spy
08/27/02: No smoking --- I love you
08/23/02: Ashes to ashes
08/14/02: Wall Street good news
08/09/02: Things in my attic
08/01/02: Damage control
08/01/02: Another icon
07/30/02: Draft all the lawyers
07/25/02: House for rent
07/23/02: Doin' time
07/19/02: The loophole game
07/16/02: Money as a game
07/11/02: Just desserts
07/02/02: So you want to win?
06/19/02: Homeland security parking
06/13/02: The Accused
06/11/02: Don't let them know
06/06/02: The FBI changes its ways
06/04/02: RED ALERT
05/28/02: Malice On Purpose: I'm scared!
05/23/02: Barbie Doll
05/21/02: Why Bermuda?
05/19/02: White collar prisons
05/15/02: Those in depression
05/09/02: Mother's Day in the market
05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
04/18/02: Conflict of Interest
04/15/02: The Sign That Couldn't
04/11/02: It's Cherry Blossom Time
04/08/02: The Young Audience
03/31/02: Safe Deposit for Sale
03/26/02: Au Revoir to Soft Money
03/21/02: Andersen Defense Fund?
03/19/02: Celebrity kickers
03/15/02: A Mickey Mouse solution
03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
03/07/02: The Way It Is
03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

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