“I tell ya, it’s worse than Home and Garden TV,” Cliff Murray was telling the guys one morning when they took advantage of a warm day for a coffee session on Mabel’s patio.
“I mean when my wife sees a perfect house on HGTV, she knows it’s been set-up to look perfect. But this is right on the regular news programs. They interview some expert from their home and there’s a perfect room in the background with a perfect bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or a perfect flower arrangement on the table in their living room. And after a while, my wife says to me ‘How come we don’t have a perfect kitchen like that, or a perfect living room?’ ”
“Maybe because you’re a farmer, not some professor making 100 grand a year?” suggested Dave Winston.
“But even with being able to afford a nice home, how do they manage to have it so perfect all the time?” wondered Molly Whiteside as she filled the guys’ coffee cups. “There are no kids’ socks in the middle of the floor or dirty dishes in the sink. I mean it’s like they’ve called in a set decorator to arrange that fruit or those flowers, but they’re supposed to be socially isolated, which is why they’re working from home instead of a studio set.”
“Well I tell ya, it’s wearing me out,” grumbled Cliff. “I mean it’s not like we’re being interviewed on CBC or anything but if I leave a dirty cup on the counter the wife’s all over me. And yesterday she brought paint home from the store and pointed out all the chips in the woodwork that need to be touched up.”
“Maybe it’s watching all those at-home interviews that has my wife wanting to paint all the woodwork white,” said George Mackenzie. “Ever notice nearly everybody’s house looks the same – white walls and white woodwork?”
“Well, I’d hold off as long as you can,” cautioned Molly. “When people see everybody else’s house is painted white, the interior decorators will be changing the ‘in’ colours.”
“The thing that gets me is how many books so many of these guys have on book shelves in the background,” said Dave.
“Hey, those experts who want to seem well-read are taking a chance on showing their book shelves,” said George. “I mean you’re some professor at Harvard or McGill and somebody spots a John Grisham novel on your book shelf – it might get you laughed out of the faculty club.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed some of these people turn a few of the books so you can see the whole cover, not just the spine,” said Cliff. “It’s probably some book they want everybody to see they’ve read.”
“Either that or it’s a book written by a friend that they’re trying to get free publicity for,” said Molly.
“I wonder how many of these guys have been upgrading their libraries to make a better impression when they’re on TV?” said Dave.
“Might be good for the book business,” said Molly.
“I tell you who’s been good for the book business, Donald Trump!” laughed Cliff. “Seems like there have been two or three books coming out every day telling us all his faults.”
“Humph!” grumbled George. “I’m surprised the environmentalists aren’t blaming him for all the trees that are being cut down to make the paper for all those books criticizing him.”
“I haven’t heard how those books are selling though,” said Dave. “I mean obviously the people who support him aren’t going to read them and if you can’t stand him, how much time do you want to spend reading about him?”
“Well if they are selling, I just hope people aren’t ordering them online,” growled George. “I mean I never know when my mail’s going to arrive anymore and when I ran into my delivery person one day she told me she has to personally deliver every package from Amazon or whoever that comes through the mail before she delivers letters.”
“Ha!” said Dave. “Remember when they considered letters First Class Mail?”◊