May 21, 2022

Waiting Room

The other day, I had to spend about ninety minutes in a waiting room that had a giant TV on the wall.

It was loudly playing an American morning show called “Live With Kelly And Ryan” featuring, on this particular day, Ryan Seacrest and someone not named Kelly who was presumably filling in for whomever the titular “Kelly” is.

I had never seen the show before but evidently the basic premise is that a series of guests come on, one after the other, act like they are best friends with the hosts, and then they promote whatever they’re selling.

The action is interrupted about every eight minutes for about three minutes of ads for things like Metamucil, Google Chrome, and something that helps with something called COPD.

As it happened, my phone battery was very low and I hadn’t brought (nor was there) anything to read, so I was pretty bored.

I thought, “Oh, I know! I’ll use this time to think up the joke for this week’s Ditcherville comic!”

I quickly found that no matter how hard I tried, I simply could not focus my mind on a creative act with the endless stream of distracting sights and sounds pouring out of the television.

So instead, I gave in and simply observed what involuntary thoughts the TV produced in my mind.

In other words, what it made me think instead of what I consciously wanted to think.

It wasn’t pretty.

Fear, envy, desire, inadequacy, vanity... you know... real positive stuff like that.

Here’s the thing...

Maybe if I practiced for a while, I could develop enough control over my conscious mind to prevent involuntary thoughts from crowding out directed creative thinking when exposed to TVs.

Or I could just avoid TVs.