The Television

The first thing you should do when you wake up is turn on the TV. If you forget, try to remember to turn it on Look at me!and flip around before you embark on any project. What if there’s something good on? You’d hate to miss it.

TV is an indispensable tool of time wasting. Any true American citizen knows the simple joys of eating in front of the television, but why stop there? It is designed to capture your attention and hold it for a truly obscene amount of time. That’s why I suggest doing as many things as you can in front of it. Need to take a nap? Make sure the TV’s on. Reading the mail? No need to shut it off. Have you ever considered installing a TV in the bathroom?

I would strongly recommend against using any kind of guide to navigate your viewing. The grid format provides an easy overlook of the day’s programming, which could show you right away that there’s nothing on. This may discourage your attempts to lose yourself and end in giving up on the TV altogether. It is a far better use of your time to flip through the channels systematically (making 7 or 8 laps to check back on the channels that were showing commercials), because by the time that you’ve determined that nothing’s on, more than likely a new lineup is starting.

Tivo or some other digital recording device can be useful if handled correctly, but there are dangers. If you have only a few things being recorded, a DVR can be a time-waster’s worst enemy. Imagine having your few meager shows lined up, waiting for you to view them one after another, with all the fat trimmed off, in a quick, orderly fashion. The horror! The proper technique is to overload your subscriptions, recording everything that you have a passing interest in. The idea is to have more content coming in each day than you could ever possibly watch, allowing you to use the whole day up.

If for some reason you must pull yourself away from the TV, never under any circumstances should you turn it off. Just mute the sound, or better yet, turn it down to a barely audible whisper. You should make sure that a television is visible from most locations in your house, and that it is tuned to something that flashes and sweeps across the screen wildly, such as “World’s Most Explosive Helicopter Crashes 4” or “Caught on Video: Wildest Zoo Fires.” These simple steps increase the chance that something will catch your attention later and launch your small space-out into a 5 hour stare-athon.

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