It's become my mania.
And, for the past two years, I've intentionally hidden my tawdry little secret from the world. I practice it only in the sanctity of my man cave.
To date, the reality of my foible's existence has been known only to a few Carnett Insiders. But I choose now — at long last — to announce it to the world.
So, I've put on my big-boy trousers and I'm coming clean!
Over the past two years I've cultivated an addiction —- but it's not entirely my fault. I have four grandchildren in North Carolina to blame. They made me do it! You see, they introduced me to "Duck Dynasty."
And I can't get enough of it!
"Duck Dynasty" is an A&E; TV show that portrays the lives of the Robertson family of West Monroe, La. The guys all sport flowing locks and ginormous beards. The ladies, almost without exception, are lovely.
Everyone on the program speaks with a Southern accent (lotsa "y'alls," "caint's" and "I'm fixin' ta's"). The term "redneck," I must admit, is bandied about a bit.
But these aren't bumpkins!
They all work for the family-owned duck-call business, Duck Commander, and are rich as can be. They genuinely love one another, are uproariously funny, and close every episode around the family dinner table saying grace.
Though every character is shut-my-mouth lovable, my favorite is family patriarch Phil Robertson. Mr. Phil, a curmudgeon like myself, started the family's duck-call empire decades ago in a dilapidated shed.
You've got to understand that I'm a simple guy. This time of year I watch cable news programs, Angels' baseball, the Fox Soccer Channel, and the classic movies channel. In the fall, I drop Angels' baseball for college football. In the winter and spring I plug in college basketball.
My life was cyclic until two years ago. That's when I added "Duck Dynasty" to my lineup.
Have you seen the show? It's a hoot!
I can report with absolute honesty that I've never watched a TV "reality program" in my life. Ever! But, if "Duck Dynasty" is officially labeled a reality program — and, personally, I don't think it should be because it's way too clever and entertaining — then, OK, brand me a liar.
This show isn't reality; it's much more delicious than that. It's comic genius.
Two years ago, while spending time with the grandkids in North Carolina, I was introduced to the series. In fact, during my stay I watched the show's entire first season — 15 episodes — howling with the grandkids.
I've since viewed all 41 shows from its three seasons … multiple times. It's the only program that I've ever viewed that — when I'm having a bad day — I'll switch on just to get happy.
And, it has "legs." Whether you're watching an episode for the first time — or the fifth — it's still hilarious.
Phil's my favorite "character" for a number of reasons. He's an old duffer like myself. He was starting quarterback many years ago at Louisiana Tech University ahead of second-stringer, and future Hall of Famer, Terry Bradshaw. And, he turned down an NFL contract to hunt ducks — and to insure that he'd never again be chased by large, fast men intent upon doing him bodily harm.
By the way, he has a wry sense of humor, has been a Christian since a conversion experience in the mid-1970s, speaks at churches throughout the nation, and possesses a master's degree in education.
He's author of a new book, "Happy, Happy, Happy," which I bought the day it was released last spring and read cover-to-cover in two days. Some of it is mirthful, but much is deeply reflective. Phil pulls no punches as he describes his life on Planet Earth.
Coincidentally, Mr. Duck Commander will be sharing his story this weekend at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. He and his eldest son, Alan, will speak Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Lots of "Duck Dynasty" fans will be there. And I'll be among 'em!
JIM CARNETT lives in Costa Mesa. His column runs Wednesdays.