Jewish World Review August 30, 2004 / 13 Elul, 5764

David Grimes

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Even teens can tire of TV, IHOP | Actual news item: Two Michigan teenagers set a new world record by watching 52 consecutive hours of TV inside an International House of Pancakes restaurant.

Hour 1: This is going to be great! I can't believe my parents are letting me do this! My dad said, "Well, son, we'd rather you try to set a new world record in household chores or fruit and vegetable consumption, but I guess this is better than nothing." Whew! Just when you thought you had them figured out!

Hour 2: Let's see. It's 7 o'clock in the morning. What's on? "Good Morning America"? No. Too cheerful. Summer Olympics? No. I refuse to watch synchronized swimming before noon. A "Bonanza" rerun? Why not. But I have one question: If Ben Cartwright was such a kind, compassionate man, why did he name his middle son "Hoss"?

Hour 3: Getting kinda hungry. Let's see what's on the menu. Hmm. Seems to be heavily weighted in the direction of pancakes. Hence the name, perhaps. Better stick with something light; I've got a long way to go. How about the Breakfast Sampler? Two fried eggs, two bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two ham strips, hash browns and two buttermilk pancakes topped with blueberry syrup and whipped butter. To drink? Oh, better give me a Diet Coke. I'm trying to watch my weight.

Hour 4: Very full. But I've got a job to do. You don't set a continuous TV-viewing record by lying around on the floor like a beached whale. Where's the TV book? Hmm. Kind of slim pickings at this hour. Regis and Kelly? Hey, Reege, I hear they're having a lot of success with electroshock therapy these days. Might calm you down a little bit. Martha Stewart? Poor thing. Such a tragedy. She must be down to her last billion. A "Married with Children" rerun? Bring it on! Boy, they just don't make quality TV like this anymore.

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Hour 8: Feeling kind of groggy from watching all this TV. Better order a light, restorative snack. Hmm. How about a double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayonnaise and sautéed onions on a grilled bun with a side order of fries? Hold the pickle, please; I've got to maintain my edge.

Hour 26: This place is very weird. People come in at all hours of the day or night to drink 20 cups of coffee and stuff their faces with pancakes the size of manhole covers. And what's with all the syrups, anyway? There's a banana-flavored syrup and one made with boysenberries. What's a boysenberry? Is it code for poison berries? I think I'm hallucinating. It could be because I've just polished off three stacks of chocolate chip pancakes, or it could be because I've just watched 10 straight hours of "Green Acres" reruns. Is it my imagination or can Arnold the pig really talk? Screw the U.N.; the International House of Pancakes is always on our side. Vive la French Toast!

Hour 32: A breakthrough: The real purpose of TV is not to provide news or entertainment; the real purpose is to provide erection enhancement information. Scooby-Doo is G-d. MacGyver is a stupid show only if you are not eating cheese blintzes at the time. My clothes reek of pork sausage. I am a pork sausage. The voice of "The Nanny" can crack an egg. I am an egg. Do German pancakes go good with banana syrup? Some sleep would be a good thing.

Hour 52: Judge Judy has three heads. One of them belongs to Dr. Phil, one belongs to Clifford the Big Red Dog and one belongs to Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. If you take three shots of boysenberry syrup every hour, your eyes won't melt. I will never eat pork sausage again. Swedish pancakes with lingonberry butter, that's a different matter. A horse is a horse, of course, of course. Black gold. Texas tea. Wil-ma! Tha tha tha that's all folks!

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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


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