I am from outer space.

I love my wife, but sometimes the age gap between us causes issues. We are two and a half years apart.

In a recent weekend word game*, I mentioned the show “Fraggle Rock” and was rewarded with a look of confusion from my wife. If you are confused too, “Fraggle Rock” was  a television show in the 1980’s created by Jim Henson, father of the Muppets. It focused on the adventures of the Fraggles, a subterranean race of fun-loving creatures, their diminutive neighbors, the Doozers, and their giant foes, the Gorgs. If that makes no sense, here’s a clip from the show featuring “Traveling Matt”, where a Fraggle explores the silly creatures from outer space, humans.

Anyway, I remember this show well, but my wife hadn’t a clue about Fraggles. And here’s why: I grew up on the television.

I learned my days of the week by the shows that were on that night. I kid you not. My mom made me a chart showing the days of the week with pictures that she had cut out of the TV Guide showing actors from each day’s show. Monday was Cosby day. Wednesday was Alf day. Thursday was Dukes of Hazzard day. You get the idea.

I learned the passage of time from the length of various television shows.

“Mom, how long until we get there?” I would ask.

“Two Dukes [of Hazzard] and a Scooby,” she would say.

And my reward/punishment system was television related. If I was naughty, I was grounded, not to my room where I could play with toys, but from the television. True story.

And I wasn’t just interested in the shows that were new each night. I watched a lot of reruns on TNT, Nick at Nite, and so on. I was well-versed in shows from the 50’s (I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show), 60’s (Wild, Wild West was my favorite), and 70’s (Happy Days, Monty Python). I wasn’t just a couch potato, I was a media hog.

So it always surprises me when I run into a show contemporary with my upbringing that my wife has never heard of. Didn’t everyone watch as much television as me? Apparently not. DeAnne’s family wasn’t big on TV. They were book readers, and outdoors players, and made-up-games folk.

And you know what? Although our media consumption varied greatly, we both ended up fairly normal. Sure, I probably should have learned better exercise habits so I could be as skinny as my wife, but oh well.

She loves me anyway, even if she does look at me like I am from outer space when I mention shows like “Fraggle Rock”. Remember, to the Fraggles, all humans are from outer space.

How do you think television has affected you? Do you still consume as much television as you did growing up?

*The Weekend Word Game goes like this. One of us challenges the other to say the first word that comes to mind when we say a given word or phrase. The resulting word is that person’s magic weekend word. When the magic weekend word is said, the other person is obligated to do some action to the person who said the word. Example – My wife asked me the first thing to come to mind when she said “Razzle Dazzle”. I said, “Fraggle Rock.” She asked what “Fraggle Rock” meant, so I requested that it mean two kisses and a compliment. So whenever I said “Fraggle Rock” this past weekend, my wife would give me two kisses and a compliment. Are we a disgusting couple? Sure. Deal with it.

5 thoughts on “I am from outer space.

  1. I don’t watch nearly as much TV as when I was a kid. But, I confess, I do envy the kids who got to watch cool shows like Fraggle Rock. I wasn’t allowed to watch it. That and Smurfs. Sad story.

  2. My brother played so many video games that I’m surprised he has any brains left at all. But he grew up to be pretty normal, too. And now his career is based on making graphic renderings on the computer for potential architectural clients, so it might have even been a benefit. It makes me less nervous when my son picks up his iPod for the tenth time in a morning.

  3. Josh love the time space TV continuum. Uncle Mark gets teased by his brother and by me that he navigates by eating establishment – kid you not. Re your TV question – more or less? I think we both watch less. Kind of depends on the day. Since I’m not working I’ve given myself governing rules for TV time. Basically we each watch somebody’s AM news (30m) and most nights 2 hrs max.

  4. Pingback: Animation Monday: Fraggle Rock’s 30th Anniversary | Geek Alabama

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