Lousy Reception

“You’re evil and you want to rule the world!”

That’s the second thing Shop Boy said to Mary as she attempted to rouse him, face down, from the cot at 3:15 a.m.

It’s a line from a crazy Japanese cartoon I saw once long ago that was dubbed into English — a Speed Racer-type deal. Anyway, the line is spoken so rapid-fire in the dubbing, with the cartoon characters lips all out of sync … call me goofy, but I laugh demonically every time I think about it.

(By the way, the first thing Shop Boy said to Mary upon regaining consciousness, one eye open and the cot’s fabric pattern imprinted on his forehead: “Who are you, and why have you brought me here?” I’m surprised she didn’t just throw a sheet of paper over me and leave me there until morning. Oh, wait. It was morning. But you know what I mean.)

See, Shop Boy doesn’t watch a whole lot of TV. But the stuff I tend to watch tends to stick. Bulls “getting all up in the business” of the cowboys trying to ride them. Nature shows like the one where the rogue male lion, having chased off her mate, brings the female into heat by devouring her cubs. (Swear to god.) Then he mounts her (cue the British accent), “with the scent of her babies still on his lips.”

Then there’s baseball, of course. The NFL …

And Beavis and Butt-head.

Mary tries to give me a hard time about my shows. But she should talk: The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Orange County, NYC or Wherever … Project Runway. Top Chef. Yeesh! Point the camera and watch people be idiots toward one another to earn themselves more camera time. Why not The Real Housewives of Hampden? (That’s our shop’s neighborhood — and we’ve got some real beauts. For instance, the two ladies who scream the same obscene insults at each other over and over for a half-hour — rhymes with “itch” and “ore” — then just walk away, are perfect.) House. Burn Notice. The Closer, and Every Other Stinking Police Procedural Out There. She’s a total junkie.

Shop Boy likes to kid a real-life co-worker who doesn’t even own a TV — and hasn’t for years — about everything she’s missing.

You know, like the second half of every pharmaceutical ad that by law has to warn you of the potentially dangerous side effects: basically, that the company’s drug could do to you exactly what you’re trying to prevent or cure.

A sleep drug that causes edginess. A depression drug that can cause suicidal feelings. A heart medicine that may cause a dangerous elevation in blood pressure. The four-hour woody.

This is great stuff. And my co-worker had absolutely no idea.

Of course, she’s also been spared The Real Housewives, but still. No TV? That’s just nutty.

Which is what Shop Boy was trying to explain to Mary when we started talking about the new space.

Oh, haven’t I mentioned that? The furniture company ladies are moving out to, um, fancier digs. Shop Boy doesn’t know why. The space they’re leaving behind is awesome — and, come December, all ours at last.

(Wait. Didn’t we just expand across the hall? Yes I know, Shop Boy is evil and he wants to rule the world. Ha-hahahahahahaahaha!)

The studio is actually three offices and a central space, once the headquarters of DI, a company that installs custom sound systems for college auditoriums and other big industrial projects. And Mary has promised the glassed-in sound booth as Shop Boy’s office … and command center. (Translation: That’s where I’ll take commands from her.)

All we need now’s a TV. Look, we’ve got beer in the fridge. How could we skip the second half of the guyness? Am I right?

We are at the shop working all the time. What’s so wrong about sneaking a peek at the baseball playoffs or the football game while Mary is doing her thing? I mean, Shop Boy just gets underfoot while all those thinky parts of printing are going on. You know, she grabs the calculator, Shop Boy grabs the remote. Two brains, each operating at full capacity.

All we have to do is expand the office’s cable Internet connection to include basic TV stuff. It’s not like I’m asking for more than a few channels: Versus (bullriding/bass fishing), Golf (um, golf, golf, golf and golf), ESPN2 (junk mostly … guys chasing balls of every sort every which a way), ESPN (ahhhh …) and Animal Planet (baby’s blood cologne).

Well, Mary’s internal cable service must be out. Because she ain’t hearing a word of it. She did humor Shop Boy slightly by checking on whether just a few channels can be installed before she summarily dismissed the notion.

Then she summarily dismissed the notion.

I think she’s hung up on the potentially dangerous side effects.

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