Reality me

If you listen to the entertainment news or watch basic cable these days, then you know about the explosion of reality shows. The success of the shows seems to be predicated on the idea that while you may hate taking out the garbage, you'll love seeing Ozzy do it.

Even though celebrity has eluded my clutches, I decided to investigate the phenomenon of reality television by creating my own show about my life. The online Christian Science Monitor, ever ready to support intrepid investigative journalism, agreed to send an entire production team to cover a day in my life. Although the footage has yet to be edited, I thought I'd give an advance crack at the highlights.

9 a.m. My day starts. I read the newspaper.

9:05 a.m. Still reading the newspaper.

9:07 a.m. Despite producer's pleas for more excitement and adventure, I am still reading the newspaper. That Ziggy.

9:45 a.m. Exercise. Despite producers' desire to present all aspects of my day, I draw the line at televising my hamstring stretches and gut crunches. This is family entertainment, after all.

10:15 a.m. Sit down to read a novel.

10:25 a.m. Still reading.

10:30 a.m. My team of handlers, eager for some more excitement, suggest that we go to a rodeo for some exciting visuals.

10:31 a.m. Log onto the Internet to try to find rodeos in the major metropolitan area.

10:45 a.m. No rodeos, although I discover that there are many web sites devoted to frantic speculation on upcoming "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episodes.

11 a.m. As long as I'm online, I figure I might as well surf the net a bit.

11:28 a.m. I am distracted by the sound of the producer tearing his hair out. Decide to do a good deed by agreeing to leave the apartment.

11:30 a.m. I head over to the grocery store. Producer attempts to sneak in adventurous food items for later kitchen extravaganza. He is overruled, and purchases of pasta and tuna fish proceed without further ado, though there is some excitement at the counter when I fail to produce exact change.

12 p.m. I check the stock market. Producer is distracted from net surfing by the sound of me tearing my hair out.

1 p.m. I agree to go for walk around city.

1:45 p.m. Some excitement when Jerry Seinfeld is spotted in Central Park. Excitement dims when we realize that it's not actually Jerry, but some guy who looks kind of like Jerry.

2:15 p.m. Inquisitive group of fourth-grade girls on school trip ask if I am someone famous. Tell them I am the man who invented glitter. Waves of joy buoy me for rest of day.

2:35 p.m. As producer is changing reels of film, I dive into reservoir and rescue drowning child. Grateful mother, better known to world as Madonna, refuses to be photographed.

3:15 p.m. I meet beautiful girl in the park and try to use pretend celebrity to impress her. I am sternly admonished by producer, telling me that the reality show must be used for good.

3:16 p.m. I suggest to producer that entire history of reality television seems against him on this point.

3:17 p.m. Producer acquiesces, but by this point beautiful girl has left with someone else filming a reality show in Central Park.

3:30 p.m. Resignedly return to apartment. Settle into easy chair. Pick up novel.

4:45 p.m. Look up, realize producer and camera crew have left in disgust.

5 p.m. Official day ends.

I think it'll be number one in the ratings before October.

Jeremy Dauber teaches Yiddish Literature at Columbia University in New York. He is also a playwright, theater director, screenwriter, and cultural critic. He is currently at work on his first novel.

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