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Sunday, August 25, 2013


So here we are. 

If the world was like The Price is Right, everyone would be so happy just to be here. There’d be excitement in the air every day, just because of all of the possibilities.

Everyone would wear colorful shirts, and no one would complain at all, even though they’d been waiting in line for hours. People of all walks of life, of every race and gender and age, from every corner of the planet, be they students or grandparents, servicemen/women or dancers, tourists or natives, teachers or freelancers, would all live in this euphoric utopia, cheering each other on. Gay and straight, married and single, Republican and Democrat, rich and poor, the pious and the sinful, they would all sit happily all side by side by side, not giving a hoot about cultural labels of any kind. 

There’d be no bitterness, even if someone bid a dollar more than you. There’d be no disappointment, because even the ones left in Contestants’ Row go home with something, even if it’s only Rice-A-Roni. The only violence would involve overly enthusiastic hugs and perhaps the occasional sting of an intense high-five.

People would be thrilled with whatever possibilities lay ahead of them, even if those possibilities were nothing but furniture or cookware. Nobody would turn their nose up because they’re playing for a boat they’d have no use for in their landlocked hometown. No, sir. They’d clap and smile and look giddy at the sheer hope of it all.

Even losers would be cheered for trying, sympathized with for failing, and they’d still get to spin the big wheel. They wouldn’t be bullied or made to feel small, ever. 

And if you listened and were smart, you would be absolutely guaranteed to win the Clock Game. You wouldn’t have to know anything. Think about that. You wouldn’t have to know anything, and yet with a little common sense and concentration, you could go home with two nice prizes and a thousand dollar bonus. That’s a world I would not mind living in. 

If the world was like The Price is Right, there would be so much more presence and actual being in the moment. You’d never see anyone texting or distracted by their Twitter feed. The air would be thick with whoooooos and upbeat music and pure joy. A triumph would be punctuated by dings and whoop-whoop-whooooops. Even your tragic losses come with the sound of apologetic horns. 

You’d never be made to feel stupid, either, because each game would be thoroughly explained to you before you played it, and you’d never forget anyone’s name because everyone would be wearing giant yellow name tags. And if you happened to be stumped by the price of Eggland’s Best eggs, the entire crowd would be more than happy to help you out. Everyone else would be there to support and encourage their fellow human beings. Everyone would genuinely want to help others win, even though they wish they were up on that stage. It wouldn’t be a petty place at all. Can you imagine that?

But of course the world is not like The Price is Right. Instead, there is pettiness galore. If someone does the equivalent of bidding a dollar over you, there will be blood drawn. In this world, people point and laugh at losers. People scoff at being given carpeting, without a shred of gratitude. And nobody wants to wait in line, ever. Plus, there are way fewer saturated colors, and way less of an illusion of pure sunshine indoors.

Still, we do live in a world where there is a full hour of this example of unfathomable human harmony (and also fabulous prizes) broadcast five days a week. It may not be world peace, but it’s a-few-hundred-people-at-a-time peace. And even if you are, like me, a Time Warner Cable customer whose CBS has been temporarily blacked out, it’s still out there somewhere, even if you can’t see it.

I guess we could do a lot worse. I mean, it’s not like a world where no matter what idiotic thing you say, people tell you good answer, good answer… even when it is most definitely not a good answer. That’s why no one writes an essay about how great it would be if the world was like Family Feud. (They shouldn’t call that show Family Feud. They should call it Two Families in Denial.)

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

1 comment:

  1. In this idyllic world, pets would take their spayings and neuterings in stride and abstain from flipping off the television screen at the end of each episode. (Note: If Drew Carey has discontinued the "control the pet population" bit, please disregard this joke.)