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​Is This The Real World – Or Is This Just Fantasy?!

By Pam Pollock

April, 2019

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It’s been what can only be described as “an endless winter” this year. I have been knocked down with two bouts of bronchitis, double ear infections and sinusitis. I was also felled by a nasty stomach virus and I have taken several falls on the ice, reinjuring my knee.


I spent a lot of time on the couch watching television. I got sucked into watching shows that I would never, ever watch. I now think of myself as being an expert on cooking (oh yes dear family, the irony of this is not lost on me, either), survival in the outdoors, and purchasing and renovating homes. Of course, I tuned in, as always, to my beloved Pens hockey as well.


I am a very vocal viewer. You really don’t want to be in the same room as me when I am watching hockey or football. Surprisingly, when I actually go to the games in person, I am very quiet. Why? Because I am afraid that my ranting and raving (and bad words) will get me into trouble with the other sports fans!


The latest season Top Chef just ended last week. I will confess to knowing NOTHING about cooking. I prefer my food to be plain. I am not into trying new things. My stomach can’t handle anything spicy. But I am utterly fascinated by this show. I sneer at the judges when they are giving their critiques. “You think you know it all, don’t you?” I yell at the judges. “You know nothing about Chef Boyardee pizza, dudes! I could mop up this kitchen with my Chef Boyardee prowess!” 


I just watched an episode of Naked and Afraid that was filmed in Alaska and the contestants were literally naked and maybe they weren’t afraid, but they were definitely freezing for fourteen days. Who in their right mind would get naked and have to walk up to their privates in the snow? I won’t even get naked and walk from the bathroom to my bedroom! They had no shoes! I whimper when my boots leak. And how can they survive for 10, 11, 12 days without food except for maybe some bugs and worms? And why won’t their self-rigged fishing lines produce any fish until the last day when they suddenly start catching fish? 


The house shows make me chuckle. Sometimes the people are renovating their homes to try and get a better price when they sell and at the same time, they are looking for a new house. Most of these people don’t look like millionaires – but they are spending $100,000 to renovate their house AND going with realtors to look at homes that are $400,000 to over 1 MILLION dollars. And most of these houses are nothing spectacular. They are jammed up beside other houses with no yards and no driveway! The homes in LA are millions and millions of dollars. 


I like to guess on the Love It Or List It show if the homeowners will decide to keep their old house or list it and buy the new house. They usually decide, after bickering the entire episode with their spouse, to keep their house. “Why are you even on this show, ya jagoffs?” I yell at the TV. And another thing, who in their right mind would close on a $600,000 home without having an inspection done? These folks ALWAYS do this and then insist on another $200,000 worth of renovations and find out there’s structure damage or mold or SOMETHING! 


Are these shows real? Sadly, I will never really know the truth because I can’t cook, I won’t get naked and I have no desire or money to buy another house. So, pass me the popcorn and join me on the couch. But I’m turning the dial to the hockey game. 

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