There are shows on cable, shows poorly shot, shows with dramatic pauses and whispered hisses of “Did you see that?!” and “Shhhh! I think I just heard something!”, shows where one “goes green” for night vision and androgynously unwrinkled people just this side of fetus-dom -- and all, mysteriously, named “Devon” -- stare wide-eyed into the camera while whispering “Oh Em Gee, you guys, this is amazing!”
These shows are about “phenomenon”.
The first thing to know is that nothing that they “discover” rightfully evokes wide-eyed gazes.
None of it is amazing.
“No! No no no no. It’ll be fun.” Kurt grabs a legal pad from the Administrative Alcove. He is a planner by profession, and there, in reaching distance – near the Spice Alcove but not as far as the Emergency Candle Alcove – are the legal pads, pens, scissors, and binder clips necessary for everyday administration.
He writes furiously, slides the pad to me. “Every time someone says these things, you drink.”
Go Green/Went Green
Side by Side Comparison
Look at that!
I narrow my eyes. “Whattaya, trying to kill me?”
This is a half-hour show with two “investigations”. In the first one – a 15-minute segment dedicated to footage of a mist rising out of a swamp – there are six repetitions of “Look at that!” and four of “nighttime investigation”.
I was sipping water after the first four. “Seriously, Kurt, let’s just walk out of the kitchen and into the night. First one to lose a finger to frostbite wins.”
Kurt chooses to misunderstand. “That’s my girl!”
The TV glows, and one of the Devons is almost dangerously excited. “OMG! OMG! You guys ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! You gotta see this! It’s just a common trick of the light! See? OMG you guys, it all lines up: the tree, the phone line, the weight of an unladen swallow – see? In a side by side comparison – after we went green? During the nighttime investigation? – it’s identical to the original footage! You guys! This is fantastic!”
The other three hosts bounce up and down in excitement, high-five each other in delight.
Kurt shakes his head, bemusedly. “Right, Pearl?” He grins at me. “Look at that.”