Homework for my TV?



Here’s an interesting trick.  Take the laziest fucking thing you do.

I’m waiting.

Ok.  I get it, you’re really fucking lazy.

I’m trying to make a point here and that point is that watching TV is about as fucking lazy as it gets.  It’s lazier than playing video games (pretty obviously) and it’s even lazier than watching a movie.  How is it lazier than watching a movie?  Generally watching a movie either involves some preparation, maybe even a trip to the theater but at the very least for my friends and I there is always the post movie discussion.  An often heated debate unfolds about why this was the best/worst in the series or why you’re stupid for liking/disliking certain parts of the film, e.g.

Friend 1 “I thought the ending was stupid”

Friend 2 “Oh? Well you’re stupid.”

See?  A spirited debate weighing the pros and cons of the cinematic impact of this particular endeavor.

Where was I? Oh, right, tv = lazy.

So you take this super lazy thing you do and marketing being what it is, it’s not enough to sit their and stare blankly at the commercial for diet pop fizz, the companies that are paying millions of dollars in advertising want to know if you actually SAW their commercial for diet pop fizz.

Enter, the Nielsen company.

This is where the trouble started.
This is where the trouble started.

Actually, to be totally accurate the trouble started when they sent me a couple bucks in an envelope and asked me to fill out a simple survey.  As I tried to figure out how I would go about returning $2 to them for a survey I wasn’t really interested in, a thought occurred to me.  That thought was, “It’s probably easier to just fill out the damn survey and mail it back to them.”  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  I could have just kept the two dollars and thrown the survey out.  Unfortunately there are a couple problems with that logic:

1) It’s not that hard to guilt me.  I may have mostly shed my catholic background but the guilt remains.

2) This post would have been pretty boring if it ended with, “…and then I got $2 in the mail.”

3) Curiousity.  Probably the deadliest and least discussed of all sins.  Possibly a key ingredient to all sinning ever, now that I think about it.


So I agreed to participate and make my family and friends participate in whatever data collection Nielsen desired.  “You write a couple of things down and get a few bucks every week,” I figured.  Well, it isn’t that simple.

First off, there is a lot of data they want you to write down; enough to be annoying.  Second, you are supposed to have a “TV Viewing Diary” for every TV in the house.  Third, you are supposed to fill in each of those diaries whether you watched TV in there or not.  It’s this third part that really sucks.  We have 3 televisions, but we only watch TV on one of them.  The basement TV is basically for movies and games and the bedroom TV is for making it look like we watch TV in there.

Not long ago we cut the cable and ditched the DVR.  Our television viewing has nose dived between that and having a kid to watch.  So now, we have to fill out the same rudimentary information in each fricking log, and it is significantly more data than our actual TV watching is providing.  “No big deal, just do it,” I told my wife.  Actually, I think I amended that with, “or do what I do and just avoid watching TV so you don’t have to fill out the guide.”  Yeah, that was my solution.  If I couldn’t laze about in front of the TV I wasn’t going to watch at all.  No filling in paperwork for me.

One week and I'm over this already.
One week and I’m over this already.

Maybe they could just screw something into my brain and send me $5 a week without me doing any paper work.

Well, I better finish up the TV diaries before I go to bed, because they need to be in the mail tomorrow.  If they aren’t I may have to answer to Mr. Nielsen or be forced to figure out how to return my next $5.


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