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Hillbilly hand-fishing? No, thanks. I don't put my hand in a fish's mouth for a pic until it's dead. And I'm wearing a shirt.
There once was an unwritten but rigidly-adhered-to rule regarding all people who appeared on American television to entertain you or advertise products and that rule was that they should all be attractive people.

After a heavy week of TV viewing, I am of the strong opinion that we need to bring that back.

I should explain that I fell out of the TV habit long ago by getting a night job. For twenty years I worked in the bar business. I only watched what was on bar TVs, which were mainly sports and occasionally, wars. When I started working in the light of day again, I kept the non-viewing habit. I have actually seen only four episodes of "Seinfeld," the most popular sitcom of all time, despite the fact that hundreds of episodes were allegedly made. This is due to lack of interest, but also due to the First Law of Rerun Viewing, which states that the number of episodes of any TV series made is in inverse proportion to the likelihood that you will flip on the TV and see one you haven't seen before.

I only have to flash on the opening credits of "Seinfeld" to know that it will be the episode where Elaine pulls the plug on Kramer. Or hear the original "Star Trek" theme to know that it will be the one where Spock goes into heat. You know how it works.

But my Significant Other is a big TV fan. She just bought a TV with a screen bigger than a soccer goal. The definition on the thing allows you to see every flaw in every square inch of skin flashed by everybody taking a turn on the screen.

And believe me, there are flaws, because reality, as you have probably heard, has taken over TV.

There are reality shows where the people are not ugly. Dance competitions, for example, Dance strenuously your whole life and you will end up with a well-toned, attractive body. Or so I've been told. I might try it someday. And there is "Project Runway," where Tim Gunn takes a bunch of aspiring fashion designers to, say, a roofing supply company, gives each of them sixty bucks and tells them to buy something there and make a prom gown out of it. Heidi Klum sneers at the results.

I don't watch this show. My S. O. loves it. I tell her I don't watch because it is a gay screechfest, which is true, but the real reason I don't watch is because I have no designing talent whatsoever. That's a fact. Give me a roll of something universally useful, like duct tape, and I could probably make you a clump of duct tape out of it. Might take me a couple tries.

She also likes shows where guys swoop in and "rescue" failing restaurants. These restaurants are generally owned by people who might as well have bought a minesweeper, so little do they know about the operation of an eating establishment. They are rescued by either a foul-mouthed chef with dyed blonde hair or a gentle English giant who my girlfriend insists is gay. I would not call him that to his face unless I was dead solid certain he would regard it as a complement, however, since he has biceps the size of beer kegs.

She doesn't follow shows that feature spoiled rich women behaving badly. There are no shows featuring spoiled rich men behaving badly, since this is so commonplace it wouldn't be regarded as worthy of broadcasting.

She does like outback cop shows, but I don't see the point, since the cops in these pristine wildernesses end up dealing mostly with drunk, drugged, mentally injured people just like cops everywhere. They just have to drive further to find them.

But the worst offenders are the fishing shows. I don't mean the fishing shows I like, shows where people go onto the ocean or into the wilderness and kill a few of God's perfect marine creatures with rod and reel. That happens to be my hobby, so I empathize completely. No, these are shows that come on after the shows I like. They feature "hillbilly hand fishing," where a bare-chested obese man in cut-off shorts wanders the banks of a murky river, sticking his hand in underwater mud holes in the hope that a catfish will chomp down on his arm, enabling him to grab it by the adenoids and haul it in a truck to a competition featuring other fat guys who have caught other catfish by their windpipes. It's a convention of big ol' boys in wet jeans. While I'm watching, I'm just hoping the director has borrowed one of those Butt-Crack Blur-Cams from the cop show, just in case. 

The catfish are ugly as well. But God or Darwin made them that way, not Pizza Hut, and they also have the excuse of not owning shirts they ought to be wearing.

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