the twisted gardens of the mind

10 things that tv makes seem much easier

10. jumping a car

this one seems obvious, unless you’ve actually done it for real. in an actual car, without stunt modifications or whatever, it is a much more terrifying experience than you would think. at the moment wheels leave pavement, all bets are off. one-eighth of a second later, when you bounce the bottom of your car off the road, leaving a chunk of it embedded in your pan, and your vehicle picks up a bit of rotation for its next bounce … well, i’ve done it twice, but the second time was only because i’d forgotten how much i nearly wet the driver’s seat the first time.

9. being a lumberjack

buttered scones and women’s panties? doesn’t seem that hard. i only got as far as splitting fireplace logs for my grandparents. the following week i was a whiny smell-o-vision advertisement for tiger balm.

8. bullying the president (of the united states)

this is one i have not been able to try. but everyone seems to do it on tv. francis underwood (kevin spacey) & cyrus beene (jeff perry) make pushing around the man in the oval office look like pizza day in the middle school cafeteria.

7. being an spy (super or otherwise)

so burn notice is was a great show, with plenty of HGTV-style tips on how to be a spy.

sprinkle a mixture of flour and dayglo powder on your floor before you go out, and you’ll know whether you’ve had any visitors and what they were after. – michael weston (jeffrey donovan)

besides making something of a mess, what i have come to realize is that all of the so-called “intelligence services” started somewhere outside the scope of the advice given on the show. i have my own intelligence service now, but apparently what my cats are doing or how much time i spend on a level of portal is of very little interest to military or government organizations. to raise interest, however, i am planning a wiki-leaks style internet exposé of top secret cat-oriented conversations. stuff like “get off the counter!”, “get out of my ice cream!”, and whatnot. my baby kitten walking down my hallway youtube video has only 117 views, so that’s sort of like still having a secret.

6. home renovations

property brothers and mike holmes. i’d like to mix in some of the tips from burn notice with the style and quality home improvement know-how of these guys. i’m pretty sure that this endeavor will end up with “hidey holes”, secret rooms, and other nonsense totally fucking up our ability to collect our deposit when we move out. unless by some chance my partner fixes them all up (after stuffing my corpse into one of them for, you know, totally fucking up the walls).

5. creating a kill room

dexter does it in like 5 minutes, so how hard could it be, right? i tried wrapping a roommate’s stuff in foil once, but i lost interest after about 3 items. total time spent: roughly 90 minutes. foil used: 2 rolls, most of which lay in giant balls of shredded or ripped segments on the floor.

4. managing a conspiracy

here’s another one we see all the time. conspirators on scandal or house of cards manage a conspiracy like its a waterbed. once it’s popped, you better kill all the occupants of the house, so that no one will ever know the waterbed existed. everything is either under-kill or overkill. i am currently managing no less than [REDACTED] conspiracies, personally, and i do not have a waterbed.

3. flipping (houses, storage units, furniture, etc…)

all of these people have way more time than i do (or motivation). but i hate the people who flip houses most. how do they get anything done with all the whining about flipping the house? for me, this really feels like an extension of #6. i think if the roof was good and there were no spiders, i’d be all fuck it, it works great! and sit down to watch some tv. generally though, i tend like the people who do cool things with recycled furniture (mary, from storage wars: texas comes to mind) and recently bought a set of power tools in an effort to motivate myself to do some home improvement projects. i built a cat-landing that attaches to my bed-frame and allows the cats to glare out the bedroom window at wildlife crossing through the backyard. two of my cats fight over it, and now, pleased with my obvious success as a cat-furniture artisan, the tools have sat mostly untouched in the two months since.

2. having sex in the shower

all dramatic television has this. it might actually be law somewhere that there’s a shower-sex scene, tastefully obscured of course, in an episode around the third season. i think where this goes wrong for me is the whole shower-but-bathtub thing. bathtubs are slippery, there’s nowhere to get a leg up, soap tastes like .. well soap, and i worry more that i’ll end up with a broken arm than on the task at hand. which brings me to the question: why do showers not have safety harnesses? or better yet, padded showers with heated cushions? now that i think about it, why has no one done a combination shower/ball-pen? (note to self: have mike holmes build us cushioned ball-pen shower)

1. lasers

because lasers, that’s why. i have several for cat-toys, but once the cats are done with them, they are useless. i aimed 2 of them at a piece of room-temperature butter once, but even their combined force was inadequate to overcome the simple task of melting a dimple into (forget cutting) the butter. i realize i could scavenge some blu-ray players for their more powerful laser, but my skill with a soldering iron is roughly equivalent to that of a three year old with a crayon. i would also like to reference burn notice one last time, because michael weston was always soldering something, from cool spy gadgets to cell phones, and i am convinced that i will brick everything my soldering iron comes into contact with because that shit is hard.

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