We have satellite TV and the 250-channel package of mind-numbing entertainment on two, count 'em TWO TV's. We have three kids and I babysit my two-year-old cousin during the school year. I don't mind the kids' shows at all. I have an intense crush on Mover Scott from Imagination Movers and I sometimes watch iCarly when the kids aren't in the room. It's also no secret that I think Phineas and Ferb is one of the greatest cartoons of all time. Paul would rather attend a Mary Kay party than watch iCarly. Drake and Josh makes him nauseous. Those two twins that live in a hotel? He considers them boils on the butt of humanity.
Most of the time when Paul gets home from work the TV is off because if I didn't the children would sit there slack-jawed and drooling all day long in the summer. While I enjoy most of their shows I, too, have my limits. I like the sound of a quiet house. Sometimes the TV lends to intense sensory overload for me and I cannot stand having it on one second longer. It's off more than it's on during the day.
But my darling husband comes in from work, sits in his recliner and magically the remote is in his hand and the TV is on the Reality Channel, something I consider a boil on the butt of humanity. He also loves Animal Planet and CourtTV. Typically he's asleep within 10 minutes and the kids draw straws to see who gets to slip the remote from under his hand. Then it's flipped to Nick or Disney. I'd rather watch those annoying twins than anything on Reality. After dinner, though, Paul's after-work nap out of the way, the reality begins anew. I do not understand why watching cops arrest drunken prostitutes and wrestle a gang member to the ground while dodging a spray of bullets is entertainment to him. He gets a kick out of watching those "caught on tape" shows where, for an hour at a time, you can watch people repeatedly fall through the ice, trip over dogs, straddle a hand rail while skateboarding, do backflips off trampolines and break their arms in 47 different ways. I don't get it.
Forget cowbell, we need more possum.
Paul is constantly imparting wisdom from good ol' Billy to anyone who will listen. He told me the other night that if I will just look at a snake's eye I can tell whether it's poisonous or not and therefore whether I can risk a bite or not.
Okay, here's the dealy-o, Mister Animal Pants. I will not be getting voluntarily close enough to a snake to see the shape of its pupil, THEREFORE I will not be in charge of judging whether or not a snake is dangerous or not. Snakes are dangerous. Always. And here's why: I will hurt myself getting away from one regardless of the color, shape of it's head, pattern, rattle, tongue, pupils or whether or not it buys its clothes from The Gap or Gap Outlet, thus rendering it dangerous. Snakes are dangerous. Period.
And now our son has jumped on the Billy Bandwagon. I am about to have a Billy Ban in this house.
As we were coming up the drive the other night there was a possum in the driveway. Paul swerved to hit it and succeeded. As we got into the yard we saw an armadillo digging a hole. Paul again swerved to hit it, but missed. Armadillos are far craftier and more agile than their non-armored counterpart, obviously. After we got in the house Sam was sitting in the couch all pouty. When I asked why he looked so angry he said it was because Daddy had killed the possum and had tried to kill the armadillo. I explained that they are nasty, disease-ridden creatures who serve no purpose on our property whatsoever. Unless you consider making my dog bark at 4am a purpose -- which I don't.
Then Sam went into this ridiculous diatribe about how horrible we were for killing them, they didn't deserve to die, why couldn't we just let them go about their merry little animal ways. He got all kinds of fired up. Fired up or a non-confrontational 11 year old, anyway. I told him we're rednecks, we kill the critters that invade and destroy our property and well, he'd better start cleaning his room better, 'sall I'm sayin'. He grinned and eventually gave up, figuring out he wasn't going to win an argument where he was trying to fight for the rights of marsupials and reptimammals everywhere.
Then after he had gone to bed there was a segment on Billy the Exterminator where Billy and his leather-clad brother had to remove armadillos from a prayer garden. Because of the diseases they carry. Even Billy admitted that armadillos are more than just nuisances, they are a health hazard.
And, in a moment of parental surreality, I found myself hollering down the hallway to my half-asleep child, "Hey, Sam! Guess what? BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR SAYS ARMADILLOS ARE NASTY. BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR JUST REMOVED ARMADILLOS FROM A PRAYER GARDEN. BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR SAYS ARMADILLOS CARRY DISEASE AND ARE HARMFUL TO CHILDREN."
Mmm hmmm. I told him.
Paul just sat there in his recliner staring at me, the TV paused, while I yelled insanely down the hall to where our son had more than likely been sleeping, but probably wasn't anymore. When I was done, I breathed in a heavy breath, feeling satisfied, feeling like I had justified all past and future armadillo issues by ..... *sigh* ...... imparting the wisdom of Billy the Exterminator to my child.
Paul then grinned, pushed play on the TV and said, "Way to go, Momma. Way. To. Go. Now, let's see what Billy says about alligators."