Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Me on TV

So a couple of days ago, Staci and I decided to take the kids to this new locally-owned yogurt shop here in town. Everybody's been making a big deal about it, and it's basically ice cream that lets you pretend you're not a gluttonous double-wide lardo, so of course we thought we should check it out.

Well, we get there, and there's this news camera guy there shooting video of everybody loading up on yogurt. This particular establishment is self-serve. You choose your flavor and then you add toppings. The topping selection is overwhelming in that way that Toys-R-Us is overwhelming to a toddler on a sugar high. They have sprinkles and chocolate chips and all the normal stuff, plus really ridiculous stuff like cheesecake chunks and brownie bits and -- I'm not making this up -- sweetened condensed milk in one of those hotdog-mustard style squeeze dispensers.

Let me just say this as frankly as I can. Sweetened condensed milk is the elixir of the gods. It is ambrosia flowing like a waterfall down a candy mountain in Narnia. It is the stuff of dreams. I suspect that it is made from Entwash and Unicorn milk, hand-stirred by hobbits who have passed thru the Grey Havens and entered into Hobbit Glory. When it touches your lips, it brings a pleasure so immeasurably decadent, you feel the need to repent and cover your nethers with fig leaves, for certainly you have tasted of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and now you must surely die.

Only you don't die. You live on. Cuz it's just sweetened condensed milk, and ain't nuthin' wrong with drinking it! Live on to run your finger around the rim of that can until it's shiny as a new quarter. Live on!

So they have that stuff out for you to put on your yogurt, just in case you were afraid that eating yogurt was somehow robbing you of the chance to consume butterfat.

Anyway, the news was there filming, and I hate being on TV. Most people find this odd. First, it's odd because, as we know from watching Cops and The Today Show and all of reality television, Americans love being on TV. It's part of who we are as a culture, like our love of ranch dressing and our excellent public education system. Americans will do what they gots to do to get on the TV. So it's odd that I, fine American that I am, don't want to be on TV.

It's also odd because (tangent coming!) about a year ago, I came very close to being on national TV. I've wanted to tell this story for awhile, and I've even promised to tell it once or twice, but I've always chickened out when it came time to post something. There are some legal issues at play (contracts and such).

Anyway, I still won't tell it (contracts may still apply, and I’m too scared to find out), but I will say that due to some extremely strange occurrences, I got asked to try out for a reality TV show last year. Man, I really want to tell this story. It's easily as ridiculous -- and every bit as true -- as this and this. But in the end, it turns out kind of like this. Other than getting to play a couple of my songs in front of the creepiest musician-turned-TV-star ever, it wasn't all that life-changing.

Anyway, in that situation, I only submitted myself to the possibility of national TV because it was a chance to play music for the world, and because (I am not making this up, either) they called me on my home phone and asked me to do it. As a general rule, when a major network casting agent calls your home and asks if you want to be on TV, you at least consider it. So I did. Long story. Someday maybe I'll tell it and just risk getting sued.

In the meantime, ask around and get one of my friends to tell it to you. Or ask me about it next time you see me at a house concert.

But listen, even in that situation, the prospect of being on TV was so scary to me that, in the 3 weeks leading up to it, I lost 15 lbs. I was too nervous to eat. These cameras add 10 lbs! That's what they say, and I am too pudgy to risk not believing them.

So back to the story I'm actually telling (not the one I'm not telling but only giving hints about). There I was about to maybe be on TV, and not only did I not have 3 weeks to lose 15 lbs by being extremely vain and unhealthy, but I was maybe going to be on TV for serving myself dessert!

If you’re just joining us (or if you’ve been skipping paragraphs hoping to get to the point), I’m just trying to stress the fact that I don’t like being on TV. And here was this news guy filming people loading up their self-serve yogurt buckets like pigs at the slop trough. No thanks.

But I really wanted that yogurt. And that sweetened condensed milk. And my kids would’ve cried if we’d left without getting anything. They had already spotted those rainbow sprinkles that taste like candle wax, and they weren’t leaving until they got some.

So we stayed. We got our yogurt on. And I avoided that camera. It was kind of amazing, really. The yogurt shop ain’t that big, but I somehow managed to stealth around that place, invisible as a miniature ninja on a moonless night. I’m not even sure that anyone could prove I was there. I mean, other than an empty squeeze bottle of condensed milk, I left no trace of my presence.

But I had 4 people with me, and they are all beautiful and extremely camera-worthy. So I’m busted.

Go here, watch the video, and see if you can spot me. I was wearing a cap, a brown jacket, and a hoodie. For a ninja trying to not be on TV, I was looking kinda bing-bang-boomtastic. It's a curse, really, to be so effortlessly fashionable. But you won’t see anything but an occasional glimpse of me in the background.

You'll definitely spot my hot wife, who looks insanely hot even when she's carrying an infant and trying to put sprinkles on yogurt.

Wait for the shot at the end of Jude, my 3-year-old, making the place look funner than DisneyWorld.

Now, if DisneyWorld ever starts having self-serve sweetened condensed milk on the Space Mountain ride...


Robert Conn said...

The fact that you used Entwash in your post reveals a level of nerdom that most people aren't comfortable with. The fact that I laughed when I read it reveals that I too am a nerd.

Todd Wright said...

I saw two clips of your face and one nice body shoot as Jude bounced into frame.

Correct if I'm wrong, but were you wearing a leather jacket? Regional rock star for sure...

Alex Burdine said...

words words words Entwash!

jaywalker said...

i think ross king music would have been a much better background noise than whatever crud they had playing in there. someone should let them know...

Amber said...

you should probably know that:
"sweetened condensed milk, is cow's milk from which water has been removed and to which sugar has been added, yielding a very thick, sweet product that can last for years without refrigeration if unopened"
nothing magical about it -- except the fact that it doesn't kill you instanly upon consumption

rk said...

Amber, you are a dream-crusher. thanks for taking time away from your usual hobby of telling small children that there is no such thing as imagination. shame on you.