Monday, September 22, 2008

The Switch

While Kris and I were in Reno this past week helping my mom get ready for the new windows to be installed in her house, I found "The Switch". This ridiculous device was introduced into our household around 1989. A suggestion from Dr. James Dobson himself as a way of curbing your children's exposure to mind-altering and soul-damning propoganda on television.

I don't remember any conversation introducing this new invention that was going to change our lives and keep our hearts and minds pure. What I do remember is having to knock on my parent's door in the wee hours of the morning to ask if I could watch Saturday morning cartoons. If my mom happened to be in a gracious mood and I was granted permission it would be to watch Looney Tunes and ONLY Looney Tunes. Temptation was great, however and on several reckless occasions I managed to stray to neighboring channels and glimpse the vulgarity of Fraggle Rock or Scooby Doo.

We didn't even have cable and for the longest time I was under the impression that the moment the clock struck midnight every channel, even PBS, was filled with violence, profanity and sex. This simply had to be the reason to monitor our exposure to the "boob tube". My brother on the other hand rebeled and after failing to jimmy open "The Switch" he simply went out and bought his own TV. My parent's weren't sure how to approach this and thought it wise to just pray more diligently for his soul now that it was lost to the filth of The Simpsons.

How I envied anyone who could flip on the television whenever they felt so inclined. I was left out of any and all conversations regarding Full House, Who's the Boss, and Family Ties as my parents considered any show lacking in spiritual enrichment as the work of Satan. I was instead resigned to watch The History of the Civil War which showed one battlefield after the other while a somber narrator relayed the horror of Gettysburg over quivering violins. As if grainy photos of corpses strewn over a hillside was more enriching than the hollow laughter of a studio audience. Whenever I would go to a friend's house the only thing I would want to do is watch all the contraband I could squeeze into those precious hours. I would stay up all night mesmerized by "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The NeverEnding Story", exhilarated by my daring.

The company that created this stupid contraption, Positive Impact Marketing, no longer exists, THANK GOD and I was unable to find "The Switch" for purchase anywhere online. I'm almost tempted to have it bronzed and mounted for posterity, a relic from my deprived and sheltered youth.

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