In some of these programs they grease the ropes and put muscle bound gladiators at each stop, and then we watch the poor contestants getting slammed into foam rubber bridge abutments and rolling tea cups which eventually launch them into trash compactors filled with India ink. The grand prize is a free trip to the chiropractor’s office.
Well, the other night at the end of a long day, I began one of my addictive behaviors, surfing. It would be my great pleasure to tell you that the surfing that I was doing was in Malibu or Maui, but, in fact, it was surfing through those hundreds of channels on the TV.
As a little side journey to this tale, I ran across a paper written by Sevita Hanspal entitled “Channel- Switching, A Challenge to Television Advertisers.” In this article, which appeared in the Delhi Business Review, she quoted another study about channel surfing that went something like this:
For this purpose, a sample of 200 people staying in Delhi was selected and the data was collected from them through personal interview with the help of a questionnaire. The sample was of . . . 46 males and 88 females. They were grouped into the following three age categories of 12- 20 years, 21-40 years, and above 40 years. Further, out of these 134 respondents, 26 percent had completed school, 39 percent were undergraduates, 26 percent were graduates, and 9 percent possessed postgraduate or professional qualifications.
Anyway, if you’re still with me, or better still, if you’re still with Sevita and you’re wondering what the findings revealed, it surprisingly revealed that about 50 percent of the Delhi television watchers liked to watch the advertisements.
Now, I have to wonder which 50 percent it was because, except for the Super Bowl, I figured that’s why channel surfing was invented; to avoid watching the commercials – but back to our show.
My finger tapped the flipper button and this time, it stopped on a television program that was about destructive addictions. So, I’m thinking Bungee jumping in a kilt; driving in a demolition derby without a car, jumping buses blindfolded on your motorcycle and the like, but no, this show is called “My Strange Addiction” and the word strange really doesn’t seem to effectively describe some of the behaviors profiled on this series.
Each half-hour episode features two adults who resort to extreme compulsions in an effort to soothe their emotional demons. Some of the addictions explored include sleeping with a turned-on blow dryer, eating bathroom cleanser, eating half a roll of toilet paper a day, extreme bodybuilding and extreme thumb sucking.
I hate to admit it, but that’s the kind of show that I could become addicted to in a very short amount of time. In fact, I know some people who would do really well on that program, but then, I’d have even fewer friends. (OK, just one fewer.) Heck, I knew a guy who loved to eat grade school paste and put his undershirt on backwards. I think that he put his undershirt on backwards because he thought it brought him good luck, but it might have just stuck to his pores. Enough said.
(Nick Jacobs, Windber, international director for SunStone Consulting, LLC is the author of the blog Healinghospitals.com.)