Reality Overload

Pawn Stars
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When I think of summer, I think of lazy days spent by the pool or picnics on the grass. But how does my husband spend his summer days? Catching up on reality shows. Not Jersey Shore or Desperate Housewives of DC, but other gems like Parking Wars, Operation Repo or Ice Road Truckers. I know, I’m just as shocked as you that there is a meter maid, repo man and ice road trucker demographic.

One show we both love is Pawn Stars. First off, we always get a good giggle out of trying to accurately say the name out loud. Humor comes cheap in our house. Second, we love the details and history behind certain items people drag in. And to witness the inevitable letdown when they realize they aren’t going to fund their kid’s college tuition by hawking great-grandma’s Smith & Wesson.

Every show goes something like this:

Store owner: “So, whatcha got here?”

“This here is a bonafide authentic official ham sandwich that JFK took a bite out of…you can see the teeth marks right there.”

“Okay. Well.” Laughs. “Do you want to sell it or trade it or what?”

“Sell it. I need a new liver, just hit the slots and went a little too far with the free drinks.”

“Okay, well, I really need to have my Ham Sandwich Expert come down and take a look first.”

Some guy with a tuxedo t-shirt and a tie comes in and appraises it at 50 bucks.

Store Owner: “Okay, so how much do you want for it?”

“Well, that expert said I could get 50, so I’ll take 50.”

“Um, no.” Laughs hysterically, bordering on contempt. “I need to make a profit here so….” Laughs again to add a dose of even more humiliation. “I’ll offer you a quarter.”

“But, it was JFK’s and look…if you hold it this way it looks like it’s in the shape of Elvis’ head.”

“Sorry, that’s all I can offer.”

“Okay, well. I think I’ll keep it, it might be worth more someday.”

Fascinating television at its finest. I thought maybe there weren’t enough of these “true life” shows out there so I came up with a few of my own to pitch to the History channel in case Pawn Stars starts to fizzle.

Yard Sale Whores: Follow lifelong friends Evelyn and Thelma as they scour the yards of America in search of the elusive salt and pepper shakers shaped like cats.  Witness the intense haggling over an old Tony Bennett 45. “I’ll give you a quarter for it.” “Sorry, no can do.” “How about a quarter, a button and a stick of Trident?” “Sold!”

The Waiting Room A live show depicting real life moms in the doctor’s waiting room. As the hours tick slowly by, witness the unraveling of her sanity as one kid starts eating crayons, another runs in circles yelling, “Poopy! I gots to go poopy!” and yet another throws up on the receptionist.

Fed Up Fed Ex Drivers A slice of life in the average day of a Fed Ex Driver. Will he be able to deliver 3,000 packages to 600 homes in 8.5 hours? Will he be flashed by a desperate housewife? Will he ever tire of the joke, “Yeah, I’ve got your package right here, baby”? Will he have to pee in his water bottle? Stay tuned to find out.

Lawn Mower Wars Imagine a world where every man’s lawn is the true measure of his manhood. Follow a small subdivision in the heart of America as men compete to produce the plushest, greenest golf course anyone has ever seen. Watch the drama unfold as no matter what these men put themselves through, the lawn continues to grow. A tragedy of epic proportions played out every single day in the backyards of our country.

If I could convince my husband to get off the lawn mower, I know he’d watch that last one.

29 thoughts on “Reality Overload

    1. Oh, thank you! It is so hard to take a long break from blogging. I did it for a few weeks, then this stupid idea popped into my head this morning at 4 am and I had to get it out. Good therapy I guess! I did not know there was a Finding Big Foot. Please please don’t tell my husband. (and what happens if they find Big Foot? might be a short-lived show…)

    1. Tori, a few of my friends watch that show and I try very hard to stay away because I know I’d be on the couch smirking but secretly loving every horrible minute of it. I saw Tom Hanks do a spoof once of it and it was hysterical. What is scary is that I was getting into Parking Wars when it dawned on me I was watching people put boots on cars for entertainment! Have I no shame? No.

  1. Too funny! And my Dh and I watch Pawn Stars, too. Well, he tunes in to it, and I don’t mind paying attention to it. Found myself at a friend’s yesterday watching a marathon session of Finding Sarah.

    Love the idea of Lawnmower Wars.

    1. I love Pawn Stars. Pawn Stars is the one show I can watch with my son, too. He loves it and loves Chumley. And yes, the lawnmower one is a reality where I live…we all have these huge lawns of a few acres and there isn’t a second that goes by when you don’t hear the hum of a John Deere, it’s crazy. I’m thinking, let it grow just a little for the love of God!

  2. I love the setup of your blog, I hadn’t noticed it last time. So neat and the old posts listed on the bottom, real nice.

    I did not know there were reality shows like that, everyone has their things I guess. In desperate times, I would much rather see American idol and So you think you can dance, auditions. I laugh so hard sometimes when people really believe that they are so talented and tank in their audition. I feel mean saying it, but I did not want to want to show how jealous I am of all the teeny, tiny things out there who are so talented and are destined to greatness. All the while, I am at home, jobless, in my PJ’s, and drooling over them.

    1. Yeah, I’m jobless and drooling in my pj’s too, most days. I didn’t get into AI much (I do remember this guy William Hung who had this huge hit, “she bang, she bang” and I think that’s when I stopped watching, lol) but I did start to watch The Voice, but you don’t get to see the pathetic auditions much with that show.

      These other reality shows are cropping up everywhere. I’m waiting for the DMV one or the one about dentists.

      And thank you about the theme. I love it too. I’m trying to keep things a bit neater and easier to find things.

    1. Thanks, Lenore. I must have had blog withdrawal because I am getting this ideas now in the wee hours of the morning and feel like I should write again. (if only I could get the insomnia to stop now…)

  3. Snoring Dog Studio

    I had to go back and re-read your sentence about making up those other reality TV shows. I thought they were real. I don’t think I’d be surprised if Hollywood created one called, “Watching Paint Dry.” Great post, miraclem!

  4. So have you seen the one where the repo guys ask people 5 questions? If they get three of them right he pays off the car, three wrong and he takes it away. I once saw a girl say “this will be easy. I was an “A” student. Yep, she blew it.

  5. johncerickson

    Um… as to the Lawn Wars, go to any suburb around Chicago. It’s real life, it happens every weekend, and I used to take part when I lived up there. I remember when we moved from one of the closer-in suburbs to one near O’Hare. My dad had, and I do not exaggerate, one gasoline-powered self-propelled mower, one electric mower, one of the old “reel” mowers (the blades form a cylinder), two types of lawn food spreaders, a lawn roller you filled with water and pushed around to flatten your lawn, a large number of rakes of all sorts, and this most vicious-looking thing with what looked like dozens of ninja throwing stars on the end of a pole – supposedly for aerating your lawn (or your neighbor). Our new place had 2 acres of land. He tried the whole Tim Taylor thing for a few months, then adopted a two-part philosophy I use to this very day – is it green, and can it be cut? If so, it’s lawn – cut it and be done.
    And I love Operation Repo and Parking Wars too, but I’m an incurable gearhead – I also watch the BBC’s Top Gear (the original). You can keep the US one, it’s crap! 😀
    (Sorry for all the nattering, but I had to check out your blog after your wonderful comments on Tori’s site.)

  6. John, so good to know there is a lawn tool out there that incorporates ninja throwing stars. Great. Let’s hope my husband doesn’t read this as I’d prefer that he keep all of his fingers.

    Y’know I have to admit, I did actually mow our 2 acres once on our riding mower and it was a nice break from the hectic day. Probably the only time I spent two entire hours alone with no distractions in years. Plus the hum of the mower, the beauty of the back-and-forth perfect lines in the grass…very zen.

    Parking Wars is a show I will watch. I see some poor guy arguing about the boot on his car and bam! I am sucked right in, eyes twitching and glazed over. Can’t. Look. Away. Sad, sad, sad.

    I’m glad you enjoyed my comments over at Tori’s. I hope you don’t think I was yelling when I used all caps (I must have been PMS’ing at the time 😉 I was truly LOL’ing at your comment about the nut cramps.

    1. johncerickson

      I really loved doing the lawn tractor mowing. My favourite was later in the afternoon/early evening. The barn swallows would come to get the bugs blown up in the exhaust. They always reminded me of US World War 2 fighters on strafing runs – circling up high, then diving down and flying inches off the ground on the run, then a sharp pull-up at the end and back to circling. Great fun! (Yes, I’m a World War 2 nut as well – and a military equipment geek, sci-fi geek, car geek. Let’s just say a nutty geek, or vice versa. :D)
      And no worries about the reply. Unless you insult me specifically, and repeatedly, I’m usually too dense to take offence! (Or too stoned…. 😉 )

  7. You mean there isn’t a show about FedEx drivers? If not, it’s only a matter of time. Great post, Darla. Your loss of sleep is our gain.

    (Sorry. I hope you get some sleep.)

    1. It really is a matter of time. My husband used to be a Federal Express driver (and did a brief stint as a UPS driver when he was very young) so I know all about the perils of the job. Very dramatic stuff.

  8. johncerickson

    You know, they could always do a show about frustrated Federal Express and United Parcel Service drivers. They could even call it “The Fed Ups”.
    (Boo! Hiss!) 😀

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