Wrong side of the screen

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Why can’t the world work like it is supposed to?

By John Pawlak

 Isn’t life beautiful?  Isn’t life gay?  Isn’t life the perfect way to pass the time away?
  I happen to like life.  Not because the alternative is worse, but rather because it’s like strolling down a buffet of infinite choices, an endless avenue of experiences, a 24-hour a day variety show hosted by all sorts of people.
 And sometimes it’s more like a talk show where you want to stand, pick up your chair, and smash it against the guy sitting next to you.  Yeah, life can be fun.
 But lately I get the ugly feeling that I’m on the wrong side of the screen.
 My world is missing so many wonderful things that less dimensional people seem to enjoy.
 For example, where’s the ominous background music that is supposed to warn me that some cretin is about to run a red light as I drive towards an intersection?
Why doesn’t my dog fetch my slippers in the morning?  
(Well, actually he does, but I usually find them outside looking like a chewed up animal.)
 When I have a cold or flu and I take some medicine, the germs or virus in my body don’t seem to realize that they’re supposed to disappear immediately.  Either I’m taking the wrong medicine or I just happen to have really stupid diseases in my body.
 Like I said, I’m living on the wrong side of the screen.
 The TV screen that is, that thin barrier that separate the real world from the world we all want to live in.
 When I listen to some pitchman showing me how I can remove twenty year old mildew by simply opening a bottle of his miracle cleanser in the same zip code as my bathroom, I want to jump through the screen and grab a bottle of that stuff.
  (Actually, I want to lunge at the idiot and shove that bottle down his throat.)
 Really, why can’t our world work like it’s supposed to?  When I open a bottle of aspirin and shake it into my hand, my television tells me that only two aspirins are supposed to fall out - unlike the thirty or so pills that spill onto the floor when I try it in the real world.
  Or when I’m driving down a busy street and I want to stop at a store, where’s that open parking space that should always be right in front of the store for me?
 Of course, not everything on the other side of the screen is necessarily all that desirable.
 Do I really want some scaly lizard trying to hawk insurance to me?  Or some whack job who calls herself the diarrhea lady asking me questions about my digestive system at the airport?
But the positive aspects of the other side would make it all worth it.  
The flat-lands of television are filled with knowledge and truths that make everything so much simpler.
 For instance, no one there questions the excretion habits of bears in the woods.
 The pristine perfection of the other side of the screen reminds me of old classic movies.
 Like the Shirley Temple movies in which it was normal to have a 30 foot Christmas tree fit in your living room.
 Where all your friends are cheerful, everyone knows your name, and even though all they ever do is drink, no one ever gets in a car crash.
Where dogs don’t shed on your couch, children don’t track mud into the house, and there are never piles of dirty dishes in the sink.
  I want to wake up in the morning like they do on the other side, with my hair already combed and with an apparently infinite bladder (they never need to take a nature break).
I want to be able to drive on a busy street, turn and hold a lengthy conversation with a passenger, and have my car miraculously steer itself without any danger.
 Some people would say this is ridiculous.  That two dimensional world is fictitious and doesn’t exist.  
 Well, how do you know that they don’t say the same thing about us?
 John Pawlak