Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Too ordinary (again)

In mid-March, I got an email that said, in part, this:
I'm the casting director for TLC's Extreme Cheapskates. We're doing an 8 episode run based on a special that we aired just before New Years. On the special, we had folks who washed and reused paper towel, separated two-ply toilet paper, and -- in some cases -- made their own cloth products (If you'd like to see clips of the show to get an idea of the casual and lighthearted tone, click here:  http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/extreme-cheapskates-roys-cheapskate-home-tricks.html).
What this guy calls "casual and lighthearted", I call "making fun of".  The way they filmed this, few of us would aspire to be like Roy, a guy who loses his balance (literally, when he dumpster dives) and figuratively (as he washes and hangs his paper towels, or labors over separating 2-ply toilet paper).  A more compassionate eye might have looked at the results: a perfectly good tea-kettle rescued from the landfill.  A seriously nifty trick for keeping razors sharp.  A man who lives contentedly within his means and who seems sincerely pleased with his life.  This show was not interested in compassion.

In fact, the show isn't even really interested in extreme cheapskates.  If Roy is really washing and reusing his paper towels several times, he's spending way more on paper towels than I am -- I use rags.  (As for toilet paper, my husband forbids me to write about that--he's grossed out easily.  Therefore, I remain mum.)  My own miserliness netted me a skype interview with the casting director.  But when it became evident that my husband is not, in fact, embarrassed by me, and that my children aren't either, the interview ended.  People who have read this blog for a while might find this story familiar; it's the second time I've been deemed too normal for TV.  Hah!

Turn-about is fair play, I suppose.  On this recent business trip I've been on, the television sits front-and-center in each of the hotel rooms I've been in.  I caught a few shows and a few commercials.  These make me realize how very different the television world is from my own life, or from that of my friends and colleagues.  To which we call all say, I guess, thank goodness.

You go, Roy.

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