Gregor likes to watch do-it-yourself TV channels. He used to believe this was reality TV at its best. No fluff, no stunts, just real people doing important stuff. Sure, the plot could be a little light from time to time. The drama was not always there. But the characters were so real, so believable. Gregor was hooked for many years.
Now, he’s not so sure.
Gregor has found some major inconsistencies in the DIY TV world. There are too many of these oddities to be coincidental. Gregor suspects something else is going on behind the scenes. He wonders about out-takes, fake people, phony scenes and re-dos. Is this reality TV or is Gregor being pimped in some subtle way?
Tool malfunction. On TV, tools don’t break. They never malfunction, act up, blow up, talk back, or just refuse to work. This doesn’t happen in Gregor’s life. His tools are always behaving badly. Gregor now believes some of these tools may not be real characters. They may be stunt monkeys or stand-ins.
Nothing gets lost. TV people never lose anything. All their stuff is just where they left it, always within reach. Nothing is ever misplaced, even for a moment. How come Gregor can’t live like this? He loses stuff all the time. Who puts the stuff in just the right place, each time, every time?
Nothing bites back. On TV, hammers don’t slam into thumbs, ladders don’t fall over, paint never spills, nothing is slippery, soggy, stained or wet. Lines are always straight, curves are always smooth and perfect. All implements are functional and pristine, always right for the job, always well mannered. Wood is gorgeous and unflawed, metal doesn’t have sharp edges, insulation never gets in your hair. Gregor is envious. Gregor doesn’t believe it.
Measurements are never wrong. Gregor understands the theory of “measure twice, cut once.” He tries to practice it, always. But it never works. On TV, they measure stuff just once and not very carefully. Voila! Everything always fits perfectly. Gregor doesn’t believe this for a minute. He knows there’s something very wrong going on behind the cameras. He thinks they’re hiding their mistakes, not showing us the reality of measuring. No one is that good.
TV people never swear. Maybe it’s because nothing ever goes wrong or maybe it’s because kids are watching. Either way, those TV people don’t get angry, don’t swear, and never throw their tools around. This runs counter to Gregor’s DIY experiences. They are far less sedate.
People don’t get sweaty. Those folks are always well-groomed and dry, even when they work outside. Gregor is never well-groomed or dry, even when he works inside. Why?
Everyone is good-looking. Gregor is not.
Everything is delivered to the door. How come these DIYers never go shopping? Everything they need is right there, johnny-on-the-spot, delivered right to their front stoops. Gregor lives in the boonies. Nobody delivers anything out there. Does that mean Gregor can never be a true DIYer? Where does all this stuff come from? Why are all those delivery guys so friendly? Gregor hasn’t met many friendly delivery people.
Everyone has muscles. It doesn’t matter if its a woman or man who heads up the DIY crew. They have muscles. They wear tight-fitting clothes and small shirt sleeves that show off their beef. Where are all the wimps? Can’t wimps be DIYers? Gregor likes wimps. Gregor is a wimp. He wants equal rights.
They’re never wrong. It doesn’t matter about the job, big or small, simple or complex. These DIYers never get it wrong, ever. They always know what to do and they know it immediately. Why is that? Gregor doesn’t buy it. Life is just not that simple.
Dirt and debris. This impediment just disappears from the show, without explanation. When they don’t need it anymore, the dirt and debris just vanishes. Sure, they sometimes show these DIYers knocking down walls or pulling up floor boards. But they never tell Gregor where all this stuff goes. Gregor can’t seem to get rid of his dirt and debris. He wants to know their secret.
Contractors are always reliable and capable. Well, not in Gregor’s world. Sorry.
Who pays for all this crap? Gregor never sees money changing hands. No one lurks around the back yard with a wad of cash. No one whips out a credit card or writes a check. No one sends a bill. What’s that all about? Gregor is forever paying for his DIY experiences, one way or another. How come he’s the only one who pays? Where are the deep pockets?
Why are the homeowners always so happy? The DIYers come in and completely re-do a bathroom, kitchen, whatever. They create a new backyard according to their own design. They change rooms, knock-out walls, spray and paint everywhere. The homeowners are always smiling, always saying “ooh” and “aah.” They do endless gagas over the DIYer, give hugs and offer a thousand thanks. How come? Gregor has seen more than a few home do-overs that turned out looking like complete doo-doo. Still, the homeowners were so happy. Were they on drugs? Did they know someone behind the scenes? Why didn’t they just say, “You did a lousy job!” or “That’s ugly!” No one is happy all the time, are they? Gregor senses a deep conspiracy.
No one has dirty hands, dirty clothes or dirty anything. This was the key for Gregor. They tried to fool him but they overlooked the most obvious tell-tale. Gregor knows that dirt and DIY are wedded partners in the real world. But, no, not on TV. This lack of dirty people finally convinced Gregor that he’s been pimped all these years. Nothing could be more obvious. Gregor no longer trusts clean people on any reality TV program. If they aren’t dirty, they can’t be real. Period.
Gregor is depressed and angry. His deep, personal connection to reality TV has been shattered, forever. What can he do now?
Gregor lives here.