Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Haunted Television

It was a great advertisement for a program about ghosts and hauntings.  In fact the program is called Haunted. Normally I would not remember one of the hundreds of commercials I see on television daily.  Even on the cable stations when they run the same commercial multiple times in the same half hour, it is hard to be memorable.  This one was different.
The Haunted Drawing
I like to have the television on when I draw.  Being very nearsighted I take off my glasses for reading and drawing, so it is hard to see the television screen and my drawing in the same glance. I have found that history shows and true crime shows are best to "watch" when I am entertaining an artistic muse. Those programs are basically reenactments and become more like a radio show than a television show. A narrator will usually explain what is happening, so it is easy to follow along even when my gaze and attention are on my drawing.
I think it was a true crime story I was watching while drawing last evening. An advertisement for a show about ghosts came on.  Typical erie music and young people gasping and reacting to blurry images in a dark room. The last frame was just the title, Haunted,  across the screen appearing in that wavy Scooby Doo effect.  The sound of the erie music went silent. The picture started to flash on and off. I still thought it was part of the promo until it stopped blinking, broke up in a digital pattern  and froze.  
As a digital screen will do sometimes.. especially if you have Time Warner cable, everything was frozen. The words, Just a moment appeared, then disappeared. Nothing was happening. I couldn't turn the cable converter off and I couldn't change the channel, I couldn't even turn the television off.  Experienced at this procedure I started to unplug the cable box to re-boot, which is the only thing that helps.  Before I could do that the sound came back on with a pixelated screen clearing to a normal picture. Detectives were once again trying to catch a murderer and I went back to drawing.
I thought to myself that would be a great commercial... have it end like the television had frozen so it gets you off the sofa.  But that is about as far as my thoughts went at that moment.  I scraped the drawing I was doing and started another.
As cable does, the same commercial came on about ten minutes later.  I immediately recognized it as the Haunted commercial that froze the television before.  I put on my glasses to watch it.  It came to the moment with the Scooby Doo ending and the title froze again.  It certainly had my attention this time, Haunted took on a personal meaning.  I did not attempt to re-boot this time figuring that it would react in the same way it did before. Not so.
I hear a click, the screen goes totally black and the cable box turns itself off. It was as if someone had unplugged the unit. It probably takes ten minutes for the cable box to re-boot and during that time I could not dismiss the idea that a show called Haunted had just haunted my television.  
Perhaps some programing genius has embedded a worm into the commercial itself causing the cable to go crazy at the end.  What a great idea to get remembered among all the other commercials. Or...maybe it was a real ghost who was trying to get my attention.
I found myself reacting like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, pulling my tail and repeating, " I do believe in ghosts... I do believe in ghosts.. I do.. I do .... I do"
As  you were,


Paulette G said...

Very interesting perspective!! ;)) enjoyed it!

Russo Lewis said...

Good piece Jay. I enjoyed reading that. Nicely worded.

P. Grecian said...

"They're baaaaack."

Barbara Cooper said...

And that is why we switched to At&T last week! Got so tired of needing to reboot and the TV freezing. So far, I'm quite happy with AT&T. Much improved service for less money monthly. God, now I sound like a commercial!