Channel surfing


WHEN PEOPLE ask me what I do for fun, I reply, "I surf." I surf, not in the ocean, but with a television clicker. TV surfing is now getting more popular than golf and is much cheaper.

You can surf from a chair or from a rug, or from just about anywhere, as long as you point the clicker in the right direction. I ride the airwaves from Channel 2 to Channel 83, and I never know what's coming up next.

The other night I clicked on to see a beautiful girl with long legs in leather pants kicking the hell out of a greasy thug. She clipped him in the jaw with her fist and then knocked his teeth out with a karate chop.

It turned out that she was a former prosecutor from Toledo, Ohio, commenting on the O.J. Simpson trial.

It was television as we have come to know it.

I clicked again and my eyes boggled. It was O.J. Simpson running for a 90-yard touchdown during a Buffalo Bills game.

My son called me from upstairs. "Dad, turn to Channel 45. O.J. is selling Christie Brinkley a salve for arthritis."

"I have him running for a touchdown on Channel 3."

I clicked again. The screen was filled with the sight of O.J. doing exercises on a video selling for $19.95. I called my son, "What have you got?"

"I've got O.J. in handcuffs and now they're showing the DNA that the police collected at the crime scene."

"I've seen that already. I'm surfing toward the upper channels now." I clicked again and yelled, "I've got a boatload of jurors who were kicked out of the trial for signing contracts for books, as well as a tour of Marcia Clark's hairdresser's salon."

"Dad, Kato's on 'Perry Mason' on Channel 75."

I clicked to 75, but all I saw were the credits saying, "Kato's clothes have been provided by Brooks Brothers and his hair was styled by Vidal Sassoon."

I cussed myself and clicked. I only saw six Los Angeles police SWAT members crashing into a house and making everyone lie on their stomachs while they were read their rights.

My son came in loud and clear. "Dad, they're selling footballs autographed by O.J. on the shopping channel."

"Thanks, but I'd rather find the cooking show that O.J. was on before he was arrested."

"Did you know that they have wrestling now featuring an O.J. look-alike?"

"No, I didn't, but I understand that one of O.J.'s lawyers is going to enter a horse in the Belmont Stakes and call him 'Faster Than Hertz.' "

"Dad, are you watching public television? 'Masterpiece Theatre' is going to air a series on Judge Ito's life."

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.


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