Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television

In This Section

Vol 36 Issue 04

Compliment Suspiciously Vague

ST. CHARLES, MO–According to area secretary Iris Sheehan, co-worker Ellen Higgins' compliment of her new hairstyle was suspiciously vague. "I asked Ellen how she liked my new 'do, and she said it was 'really something.' What the heck does that mean?" Sheehan said. "When I asked her to explain, she said, 'It just suits you really well.'" Sheehan said she has not been this upset over a vague compliment since May 1999, when a friend described her singing voice as "very energetic."

Sole Survivor Of Air Crash Has Asia's 'Sole Survivor' Stuck In Head

PORT HUENEME, CA–Ronald DeGaetano, sole survivor of the Jan. 31 Alaska Airlines crash that claimed 88 lives, has had the 1982 Asia song "Sole Survivor" stuck in his head ever since. "Goddamn it, I can't get that stupid thing out of my head," DeGaetano said. "After the plane went down, I was floating out there in the Pacific, thinking about how I was the sole survivor, and for some reason, that song popped into my head. Now I can't get it out, and it's driving me friggin' nuts." DeGaetano said that if he does not shake the song soon, he is going to "start wishing I hadn't been the sole survivor."

Police Seek Suspect In Series Of Random Later Hostings

BURBANK, CA–The Burbank Police Department is on the trail of an unnamed NBC executive believed to be responsible for a string of random Later hostings dating back to April 1996, it was reported Monday. "This brutal, senseless parade of C-list celebrities in the host's chair must end," police chief Dennis Showalter said. "We will do everything in our power to bring to justice the fiend responsible for the countless painfully awkward interviews perpetrated by the low-wattage likes of Peri Gilpin, Jerry O'Connell, and Rita Sever."

Dental Hygienist Angered By Lack Of Flossing

SCOTTSDALE, AZ–Dental hygienist Bernadette Gable was angered Tuesday by patient Richard Tepfer's failure to floss regularly. "Just look at all this plaque build-up," said Gable, scolding Tepfer during his annual teeth-cleaning. "I explicitly told you last time you were here to floss at least once a day. Why would you just ignore my instructions?" The outraged Gable then pointed toward a poster of a grotesque, bloody mouth ravaged by gum disease, asking Tepfer if he wanted to look like that someday.

Grandma Still Swallowing Okay, Grandpa Reports

BOCA RATON, FL–In an encouraging report issued Monday by Grandpa, Grandma is still swallowing okay. "Yes, Grandma is getting her food down fine," Grandpa said. "She was having a little trouble a few weeks back–especially with the turkey breast, and sometimes even with her stewed prunes, which usually give her no difficulty at all–but things are much better now." Despite the improvement, Grandpa said he "won't take any more chances" with pot roast.

Alan Keyes Admits: 'I Just Enjoy Campaigning'

AIKEN, SC–Following a speech Monday at the Rotary Club of Aiken, two-time Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes admitted that he "just enjoy[s] campaigning." Said Keyes, a distant fourth-place finisher in the Feb. 1 New Hampshire primary: "It's a lot of fun. You get to fly around on airplanes, meet lots of nice people, and make speeches at big, fancy podiums. And sometimes, a reporter comes, and they put your picture in the paper. I only wish I could do it more than once every four years." Keyes, who has previously lost two U.S. Senate races, as well as the 1996 Republican presidential bid, added that "having your own bumper sticker is really neat."

The Bank Of Wal-Mart

The Treasury Department recently issued a new $1 Sacajawea coin, which is only available at banks and Wal-Mart. What do you think about the government making Wal-Mart an exclusive outlet for U.S. currency?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Energy

Family

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television

CHAPEL HILL, NC–Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers–as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

Jonathan Green, who tells as many people as possible that he is "fully weaned off the glass teat."

"I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television," Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds 'N' Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment's wall-mounted TV. "I don't even own one."

According to Melinda Elkins, a coworker of Green's at The Frame Job, a Chapel Hill picture-frame shop, Green steers the conversation toward television whenever possible, just so he can mention not owning one.

"A few days ago, [store manager] Annette [Haig] was saying her new contacts were bothering her," Elkins said. "The second she said that, I knew Jonathan would pounce. He was like, 'I didn't know you had contacts, Annette. Are your eyes bad? That a shame. I'm really lucky to have almost perfect vision. I'm guessing it's because I don't watch TV. In fact, I don't even own one."

According to Elkins, "idiot box" is Green's favorite derogatory term for television.

"He uses that one a lot," she said. "But he's got other ones, too, like 'boob tube' and 'electronic babysitter.'"

Elkins said Green always makes sure to read the copies of Entertainment Weekly and People lying around the shop's break room, "just so he can point out all the stars and shows he's never heard of."

"Last week, in one of the magazines, there was a picture of Calista Flockhart," Elkins said, "and Jonathan announced, 'I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. Calista who? Am I supposed to have heard of her? I'm sorry, but I haven't.'"

Tony Gerela, who lives in the apartment directly below Green's and occasionally chats with the 37-year-old by the mailboxes, is well aware of his neighbor's disdain for television.

"About a week after I met him, we were talking, and I made some kind of Simpsons reference," Gerela said. "He asked me what I was talking about, and when I told him it was from a TV show, he just went off, saying how the last show he watched was some episode of Cheers, and even then, he could only watch for about two minutes before having to shut it off because it insulted his intelligence so terribly."

Added Gerela: "Once, I made the mistake of saying I saw something on the news, and he started in with, 'Saw the news? I don't know about you, but I read the news."

Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her.

"When Claudia went, the TV went with her," Green said. "But instead of just going out and buying another one–which I certainly could have afforded, that wasn't the issue–I decided to stand up to the glass teat."

"I'm not an elitist," Green said. "It's just that I'd much rather sculpt or write in my journal or read Proust than sit there passively staring at some phosphorescent screen."

"If I need a fix of passive audio-visual stimulation, I'll go to catch a Bergman or Truffaut film down at the university," Green said. "I certainly wouldn't waste my time watching the so-called Learning Channel or, God forbid, any of the mind sewage the major networks pump out."

Continued Green: "People don't realize just how much time their TV-watching habit–or, shall I say, addiction–eats up. Four hours of television a day, over the course of a month, adds up to 120 hours. That's five entire days! Why not spend that time living your own life, instead of watching fictional people live theirs? I can't begin to tell you how happy I am not to own a television."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More