There's no sharper illustration of the mind/body-East/West-action/contemplation dichotomia of our lonely struggles than giving the aching back a bit of rest from our Saturday morning gardening chores. To come in from the bright sun and gentle breezes, the serendipitous color and the happy accidents of texture, the symphonies of motion in the ferns and the northern sea oats, to the artificially lit, climate-controlled brick dwelling with its green digital time indicators and vexatious plumbing is to meet your other self coming and going and bark your shin in the process. Especially when there, on the ottoman, is the new TV Guide™ the Poor Wife picked up on her way home from picking through other people's cast-offs this morning.
And woe to the seeker of simple mindless pleasure to salve the aching soul and bones! It's "TV's Sexiest Men!" week, complete with six collector's covers. I just wanted to know what's on teevee this week, and maybe learn what some of my fellow citizens think about celebrities, and instead I'm trapped in a Platonic/Aristotelian debate. Does Sexiness exist as an ideal, or is it an imputation? Is Beauty Truth, and vice versa? Should I worry that there's some hidden meaning in my wife's selection of the Josh Holloway cover? Should I be working on my pecs?
Thank goodness someone shares my pain. Peggy Nicholson of Powder Springs, GA, for one, who takes issue with the Guide's examination of House's medical veracity. "I don't watch House to learn about medicine, just like I don't watch Boston Legal to brush up on legal skills...I tune in for fascinating stories and characters." Valerie Silensky-Lowe, from Carson City, felt a similar Zen-like peace when Uchenna and Joyce won The Amazing Race 7. And Dawn Hawn, from Eureka, MO, has had an Archimedes moment watching The Contender. She used to think Mark Burnett was a genius for producing Survivor, but in mixing Reality with the Sweet Science he's shown he's even more than that. For Dawn, all the contestants are winners. That's the sort of inner peace I can only hope to find some day.
Armed with a new-found sense of purpose, I face the Hot 25 with less trepidation than before. Here's what I learned:
• Sexy men, by and large, do not shave well.
• Gary Dourdan is firing on all cylinders.
• Confidence is incredibly sexy.
• If James Denton were an actual plumber, women across the country would be shoving Popsicle sticks down their sinks.
• Hugh Laurie is an adult rebel--the James Dean of our generation.
• There's nothing sexier than a man who isn't afraid to say his favorite smell is the scent of his wife's neck.
• Josh Duhamel has the looks, the sense of humor, and the butt.
That did not work out as well as I'd hoped. Which means I was in no condition whatsoever to turn the page and find "Summer Preview 2005 Part Two: Reality Shows." The 70s House, I Want To Be a Hilton, The Real Gilligan's Island II? Tommy Lee, Bobby Brown, INXS? We're the richest, most powerful nation on earth. Have we no compassion for the elderly, the infirm, the feeble-minded? If we need "reality", how about some real reality? This is Your President! Just Look At Him! Four hours a night for a week and he'd be cancelled.