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Texas Agriculture Archive

July 2, 2004

"If they ever find out who invented Reality TV, they oughta hawgtie 'at sucker, smother 'im in molasses, an' stick 'im in a fahr ant bed!" my husband proclaimed, after another dopey show surfaced to clutter up the program schedule. "Thur's gittin' to be so many Reality shows, it's unreal!"

This is one of those rare occasions when I totally agreed with Mel.

"You got people pickin' thur wives an' husbands, parents an' pets from a lineup...beggin', grovelin', bickerin' an' boo-hooin'," he continued. "Then thur's the Peepin' Tom shows, whur the contestants use hidden cameras to spy on people. Buncha snoops. An' then thur's the shows whur a group of bullies gangs up on one or two people an' ousts 'em from thur tribe, kiney lahk 'em high school clicks. Primetime, primeval peer pressure. It's th' pits."

"You're right," I said. "No matter what channel you switch to, it's nonstop nonsense."

"It's rilly skeery to thank this is whut reality has come to_desperation, voyeurism, an' rejection," Mel observed. "People crave attention so bad they'll do blame near anythang to git it. Lahk Mama used to say, `Some people ain't got no shame.'"

"It's scary alright," I said, "and scarier still to think there's enough of an audience out there interested in tuning in to these losers. Years ago they had similar shows, only the producers came up with angles to inspire participants instead of humiliating them. Remember `This is Your Life?' Anyhow, the popularity of these modern freak shows really says a lot about our culture."

"Ah can tell you raht now, Mama woulda warshed those foul-mouthed Osbournes' mouths out with soap," Mel insisted. "Ah jist plain don't understand thur appeal...an watchin' someone with a bizarre hairdo demean a person, an' then say `yore fahrd,' jist don't do it fer me neither. Futhermore, Joe millionaire must rilly be a misfit if he has to go on a TV program to git hisself a date..."

"Well, I think he's posing as a millionaire and is really a construction worker or something like that," I said.

"That's dumb," Mel replied. "Speakin' of dumb, eben Ah could come up with better plots an' scripts than the Hollywood people—'specially fer shows lahk 'at fear factory er whatever. If you ask me, 'em morons could at least make thurselves useful. If they got thur hearts set on eatin' some disgustin', revoltin' insects, Ah say we turn 'em aloose on some cornfields sos they can gobble up some cornear worms...er we could sic 'em on some boll weevils er Southern Pine beetles.

"If the object is to git the ol' adrenaline flowin', Ah know some fellars could use some hep breakin' saddle broncs an' roundin' up rogue bulls. An' if they want gory, they could git in on some dehornin' or pull a calf or two.

"An' tawk about extreme make-overs, 'bout the third round o' bein' drug through the cowlot hangin' on the end of a rope tied to a wily steer, they'd be quite a few thangs rearranged, if you know whut Ah mean. They'd look plenty differn't, alraht," Mel cackled. "Yep, with jist a li'l imagination, Ah could give 'em a taste o' reality shore nuff. Now that would be mahty entertainin'!"