Watching television with my dad is the ultimate test of my patience. And I don’t have much to start with.
Dad is one of those channel changers. Any time a show we’re watching goes to commercial, he grabs the remote and starts surfing to other channels. Invariably, he will stop on something that interests him, and watch that until it goes to a break. Then he’ll click the remote until he finds yet another show to watch.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
By the time a half hour is up, you’ve watched a few minutes of about six different shows and you never make it back to the first one (and that’s usually the only one you wanted to see).
The other thing he likes to do is to complete the sentences or answer the questions of any person speaking on television, as if he is a walking encyclopedia. I’ll admit that my dad has a lot of knowledge of sometimes useless-information. Some of the things he knows isn’t useless at all, but it’s just that it’s not particularly useful to Mom and I.
On New Year’s Day, I was at their house, and at one point, the channel-changing stopped on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Meredeth Vieira. I’ll have to paraphrase the question, but this is as close as I can remember:
Which organ of the body, whose name means “anger,” was often blamed for morose feelings?
I wasn’t sure of the answer, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t C or D. My guess would have been B. My dad immediately said B. As the contestant, a recent college graduate, sat there thinking about the question, my dad became a bit more insistent.
“It’s the liver!”
Still not hearing him, the contestant decided to use a lifeline to call a friend. The friend wasn’t sure, either, despite my dad repeating, more loudly, that the correct answer was B.
Not comfortable gambling the $8,000 she had already won, she decided to use her only remaining lifeline, the 50/50, which removes two wrong answers.
“She’s not going to do well,” Dad said in disgust. “She doesn’t know anything.”
When the computer removed two wrong answers, only the Spleen and the Appendix were left.
Oh, yes. Mom and I enjoyed that beyond words.
(And for those of you wondering, Spleen was the correct answer.)