Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TV in Bed - I Can't Really Think of a Title, Enh

Lately I've taken to watching TV in bed late at night. Being that the cat won't let me sleep I figure TV watching is at least a better alternative than laying in bed and looking out the window and worrying about things, which is what I would be doing otherwise.

As you know, or if you don't I'm reminding you now, I am back living at my parents' house until at least next October because they went back to Los Angeles where their other house is. Jesus Christ I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. How pretentious is that? Their other house. God help me. But that's the situation. It's not one of those Rich White People summer home kinda deals though. It's more of a my-parents-are-unstable-and-up-and-move-houses-quite-suddenly-kinda situation really.

Things are different here at Casa dei Sogni. The last time I moved over here for a long span of time I was enamored with the grill and the bathtub. When I'm not living at my parents' house I have my own apartment but alas it has no grill and no bathtub that a grown human being could ever fit in. I also only have 1 normal TV and it's in my living room. I still love the grill and the tub aplenty, but my newest obsession is the whole TV in the bedroom, which allows one to watch TV shows while lying in bed. Wow. Who knew that such things existed?

I've always been fairly opposed to TV in the bedroom. This is clearly because I am an idiot and had no idea what I was talking about at all. I was being one of those snobs who says they don't watch much TV, but secretly I was longing desperately to lay among a mountain of pillows and watch the E! Channel.

I'm like this with food too. Yesterday I ate a vegan quinoa salad and for a snack I had grapes. Inside my soul was crying out for tater tots. Before bed I ate two chewable acidophilus tablets. They were not cookies. I tried to imagine that they were, but I just couldn't do it. Not even my imagination can stretch that far.

Now with the TV in the bedroom thing I've taken my extreme food neurosis (which is that I am afraid everything I eat will give me terrible diseases) to a whole new level and officially proved to myself that I am, as they say in the South, a bit touched. Two new (at least to me I mean) television programs have brought me to this realization.

The first new show that I have on my TiVo is "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives". My Uncle Byron introduced me to this nonsense while I was in Millpond a few weeks ago and I came straight home and set up a season recording. This show redefines the concept of eating like a fucking asshole. It takes asshole consumption to extremes I didn't even know were possible. And yet I watch. I love to see the show's host Guy eating battered, deep fried cheeseburgers and drinking cheesecake milkshakes. Everwhere he goes he pretty much eats something battered and fried. If it's not fried it contains ass-loads of butter. If it's not butter it's cream and dump-trucks full of sugar. I have never seen an episode where anything is healthy. In fact, they go to great lengths to never mention the word healthy and to eat as poorly as is humanly possible. And I freaking love it. It's like the dirtiest, nastiest, triple XXX, hardcore porn and I watch it like a pervert in the back of a run-down theater with a sticky floor, waiting for money shots of melted cheese shooting out of the bun of a double chili dog when Guy bites into it and pools and clots of melted ice cream overflowing from sundae dishes.

But afterwards I feel dirty inside. So guilty. So needing of the type of bodily and spiritual purification that can only come from the punishing tone of a British Dominatrix of Nutrition like Gillian McKeith. And so I turn back to my TiVo where I have faithfully recorded from the BBC America, "You Are What You Eat."

This show would never fly in the US, although I think we really need a show like it. I'm supposing that most of you haven't heard of it. I hadn't. My TiVo decided I would like it, I guess after I made it feel soiled and naughty by making it record "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." I've even got my cousin and sister hooked on it now. Basically what it is is this hard-core nutritionist who takes no shit from fat people, has interventions with overweight people who eat like the biggest fucking assholes I have ever seen in my entire life. The people are pretty much going to die and are suffering from a world of health problems because of the way they eat, so Gillian comes in and gives them what for about it. In every show she makes the people look at all the food they consume in an entire week in all of it's oily, sickeningly sweet glory piled up on a table. The people are always horrifed at their own gluttony. I always am too. This part makes me feel all superior and good about myself because I imagine Gillian being very pleased with my acidophilus tablets and quinoa salads. I feel less dirty than before after this.

Then she tests their blood, sends them for colonics and best of all, she makes them give poo samples. Afterwards she berates their poo mercilessly. I love this. I myself have never personally berated anyone's poo, but there have been a few times in public restrooms where I have certainly wanted to scream out "WHAT IN THE HELL DID YOU EAT?? MY GOD! THE PLACE SHOULD BE EVACUATED!!!" But I assure you I have never done this. Yet.

Now are there any American shows where someone could ever utter the words "Your shit was absolutely disgusting!" No. For this alone I love "You Are What You Eat."

After the poo inspection Gillian brings a new table out laden with a bounty of beautiful raw vegetables and things I have never heard of like pulses. I had to look that one up. I guess in England a pulse is what Americans call a legume. Then I laugh at aubergines and courgettes. Why this cracks me up I'll never know. I love how in England they call things by different names that seem funny to me. Gillian makes the overweight people eat all sorts of things they don't like. One of her sample meals is some raw spinach leaves and for dessert a lovely squeeze of lemon. Well, it's a little more than that, but not much. The people are always quite distraught at this point. Often I feel for them. Sometimes they freak out over things I consider normal - like tofu. Then I don't feel for them.

Eight weeks later on Gillian's plan of diet and exercise the people always look significantly better. This is because the producers of the show have sent them for haircuts after starving them to death for two months. They always show them with bangs and new outfits that look like they came from Chico's, which is obviously going to look a world better than the before pictures where they have to wear a bathing suit and look like they just rolled out of bed after a week of the flu. Even if they didn't lose a pound the haircut and outfit alone would be an improvement. They also make them smile in contrast to their scowling before pictures. Then, in a very rehearsed end segment the people who have apparently lost three dress sizes talk very stiffly about how they have so much more energy now that they eat mung beans for breakfast. They are lying. I can tell that inside their heads they are all thinking the same thing.

"I can't wait for this skinny, sodding whore to get out of here with her camera crew so I can go to the nearest chip shop."

Then the show ends with some awful comment like "Alice weighed a ghastly 23 Stone. She was so large she could have been Stone Henge but now after Eight Weeks of Gillian's plan Alice feels so much better and now weighs only 20 Stone! Hurray Alice!"

The whole stone measuring system confused me a lot. I couldn't figure it out but then I looked it up. I think a stone is like 15 pounds or so. I remember being confused about this in Bridget Jones' Diary too.

As strange as it may be to watch these two shows back to back as I do, I think it's working for me in a way because on one hand I get the vicarious, icky-sticky, x-rated joys of salty, greasy, tempura-y food that is guaranteed to kill you, but before I have a chance to get out of bed and go downstairs looking for an Oreo or a Capri-Sun in the middle of the night, I watch the other show and see what eating like that will do to you and imagine someone making scathing comments about my poop, which is a surefire deterrent. But the shows work for me in whatever odd, neurotic way and they're both incredibly entertaining and if they cease to be, I have a TV in bed and can find something else to watch.


Anonymous said...

I love you, I'm currently unemployed and watch both D, D-in's & Dives AND You Are What You eat EVERY DAY!!! I LOVE IT!!! It makes me feel so good about my diet choices! Do you ever watch that cleaning show? Love that too! Makes me feel like my house is sterile! I love your blog!

jennifer said...

i have a cheap digital scale and totally thought it had broken once. turns out i had accidentally changed from lbs to stones. i had to google it. i looove google

Anonymous said...

Gillian McKeith is a hated figure in the UK. She has lied about her qualifications and come out with all sorts of terrible scientific 'facts' such as "a seed contains all the energy needed to make a full grown tree" and "green leafy vegetables put oxygen bubbles in your blood".

Also the majority of people on her diet plan put the weight back on when she leaves because a lifetime of boiling mung beans and drinking spinach smoothies depresses them so much that they pig out on bread and cakes the second she has left them.

Check out for some interesting articles about McKeith. She is known as That Awful Poo Lady.

Missicat said...

I stumbled across You Are What you Eat and was amazed what the contestants went through....I loved the episode where the table was piled full of take out junk, but in the middle was one tiny, lonely banana, which of course she had to zoom in on.
"Battered, deepfried cheeseburger?" I think I had a heart attack just reading that...

Wide Lawns said...

I believe that McKeith would be hated. She has a sort of Dr. Phil demeanor about her and the food she wants the people to eat is not realistic which is why I said that at the end I can tell they all want to binge on the bad food again. I'm neurotic about food and I couldn't even eat like she wants them to all the time. Although a lot of what she says is probably weird you have to admit that it's better than what these people were supposedly eating before, but sometimes I think even that is exagerated. I don't know. Do people really eat that poorly?

Anonymous said...

You need to read Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog. Everything she makes has tons of butter in it. The first time I read her blog I almost felt sick from so much butter. Look how she fries her husbands favorite steak sandwich in butter; butters the bread, then fries it!!! Butter, butter, butter!!!

Jason Phillips, MD, FACP said...

"I have never seen an episode where anything is healthy. In fact, they go to great lengths to never mention the word healthy and to eat as poorly as is humanly possible. And I freaking love it. It's like the dirtiest, nastiest, triple XXX, hardcore porn and I watch it like a pervert in the back of a run-down theater with a sticky floor, waiting for money shots of melted cheese shooting out of the bun of a double chili dog when Guy bites into it and pools and clots of melted ice cream overflowing from sundae dishes."

THIS is one of the most incredible collections of sentences that I have ever read. Thanks for starting my morning off with a smile!

((scurries off to hunt down and record the DD&Ds and McKeith shows))

Anonymous said...

Ha! That was hilarious. I stumbled on the D D & D show one day while home sick. I am now addicted.
I keep waiting for him to throw up at some point--but he just keeps eating!
Love your blog, btw. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on Discovery Health..Plastic Surgery...Mystery Diagosis..
I love tearing open the body's..they just toss innards and hearts like they are been bags.
Then I turn and watch Good Eats.. It works for me though.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the hilarious stuff that you write about on your blog. Which is why I've been a faithful reader for, I don't know exactly, probably a couple of years, anyway......

Someday when you publish your book, I promise I'll buy several -- one for myself, and more to give as gifts.

Monda said...

Well, now I'm hungry.

I'm hungry AND I want Tivo.

Krista said...

First of all, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!
top ten favorite..

Moving right along, I love both of these shows!
I watch You Are What You Eat every day and, it inspired me to go to all natural eating which I'm not doing too badly with.
You're so right about Diners, Drive-ins & Dives! I feel like I need to drink a slim-fast after watching it but, I just CANNOT turn the channel...

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE both of those shows. ESPECIALY "you are what you eat." Gillian is a total hard ass and takes NO cheating from the people. it also groses me out when they show the people eating the food in the beginning of the show, they look SO DISGUSTING

Anonymous said...

If you think "Diners..." is bad, you've got to watch "Down Home with the Neelys". This thing is, they're showing people how to cook these foods right in their home! Lots, and lots of butter. Now, I use butter over margarine, 'cause I can't find a single margarine without soybean which is bad for my breast cancer. But I use it with restraint.

Not so on these cooking shows. Well, I guess it could be worse...they could be using lard.

They had a week on The Food Network when all the usual hosts had healthy recipes. I think even Paula Deen gave up the butter and sugar.

Anonymous said...

Am I weird if I say that I think Guy is cute? I love men with personality and humor.

Hey - I like quinoa and tofu too! :-D

Anonymous said...

I have never berated anyone's poo, either. In fact, until 3 years ago, part of my job description was to test poo. I even had a sign above my desk, "TURDS 'R US".

This brings me to another topic as yet unmentioned in your blog. Farts. I had the misfortune of being in an auditorium two days ago suffering through a looooong meeting *and* (if that wasn't torture enough) sitting behind, next to or around some poor soul who had neglected the pre-meeting rule of consuming only non-gas producing products.

During hour #1 I was being a good sport about it. Felt sorry for the farter. By hour #6, mascara running down my face, I wanted to throttle the culprit. I never did identify the perpetrator.


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