If I lived my life on TV

If I were to live my life as characters do on TV, I'd come into the house after a dramatic encounter with my sweetheart - and lean my back against the door as soon as I got inside. All of our encounters would be tense, so I'd do it every time.

If I lived a TV life, when I heard a knock on the door I'd say, ''The door is open'' instead of ''Come in.'' Never would I go to the door and open it the way I do in real life. When I parted from a friend I'd say ''Good day'' instead of ''Goodbye'' or ''So long'' or ''See you later.'' Oh no! Can't use any of those tired cliches; gotta say ''Good day.''

Of course if I lived in TV land I'd indulge in informal, everyday car chases, and this year my car would leap. It would leap over obstacles or chasms and then come down with hardly a jounce. Blow a tire? Bite your tongue? Not a chance in TV car chases.

If I were living a TV life, I'd find a parking place in front of whatever building I planned to enter - always, always. Then I'd jump out of the car and never put up the windows or take the key out of the ignition, much less lock the door. In fact, when I got in the car, I'd never have to hunt for the keys. There would be only one - TV people don't have key rings. They keep their keys separately, always ready in the palm of the hand, whether it's a car, a house, or a bank vault they're entering.

Have you seen those clever gloves with a pocket in the palm to hold a key? I have this theory that people who live TV lives have a key pocket in the flesh of the palms of their hands. Guess you could call that handy.

Oh, those great TV cars! They're never too hot from sitting in the sun; they never grind away on two or three false starts; one never has to reach across awkwardly to open the locked door on the other side; one never has to clear flotsam and jetsam away before sitting down. No one ever has to gas up the car, or pull to the side of the road and study a map, or leave the clunker with Mr. Good Screwdriver for a day or two. I wanna TV car!

If I lived a TV life, when Something Happened, I'd have a buddy to whom I could give a significant glance. This practice was perfected by Sergeant Friday and sidekick and has flourished mightily ever since. Cops or private eyes, working in tandem, are the best practitioners of this art, but, by George, if I were living a TV life, I'd get my significant glances in there.

If I lived on the Little Silver Screen, I'd look at the phone before I hung up after talking. One does not just put the receiver down casually and walk away. No way. One looks at the phone with - why, I do believe that is a significant glance. This time it's a thoughtful significant glance.

If I lived on TV and some dreadful task came my way, I'd brush back a wisp of hair from my forehead with the back of my hand. Not the fingers, dummy! In TV land, it's back of the hand for the weary wisp-pusher.

I very definitely want to associate with a Good Guy when I go to live in TV land. That's because the Good Guys are always stronger and smarter than the Bad Guys. The Bad Guys fall unconscious from a light tap on the jaw, while the Good Guys can continue to push forward after a fearful battering. And imagine being able to kick a door down! And have you noticed that Good Girls are judo experts? Good Guys and Girls are better drivers, too.

A truly great thing in the magic land of the Little Screen is that radios in cabs, police cars, and trucks all work perfectly. In real life, the radios in vehicles are hopelessly and nerve-rackingly alive with static. Blatty voices send messages to someone else, and you understand only enough to know it's trivial. On TV the message that comes through clearly in a modulated voice is always vitally important, and it's directed to you.

TV clothes are marvelous! I'd always be dressed in the latest style, and my clothes would never be creased or lack a button. What's more, I'd never have to wear the same dress twice.

Best thing about TV land is that there are no menial chores. Newspapers seldom appear, much less pile up, so there are no untidy heaps of papers in the TV living room. Don't mention books or magazines, for there is no such a thing. There are no pencils to sharpen, no plants with fallen leaves that must be picked up, no insects, no crumbs.

Please, please, can't I go live in TV land?

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