So much for TV show ‘America’s Got Talent’

Are We There Yet? • LORI CLINCH

If there’s one thing the summer lacks, it’s TV time. Now that the sun stays up until all hours and is followed by a full-moon chaser, my biological clock won’t let me rest. There are weeds to be pulled, plants to be watered and roses to prune.

But every so often, there’s something on the tube that just calls my name.

Take last Tuesday, for instance. I was racing through the kitchen with a pair of pruners and gardening gloves when I saw a commercial for “America’s Got Talent.” Folks were singing, people were laughing, and if I missed it, why then I’d really be missing out.

I made a simple supper, served on paper plates, and had the kids do the dishes. I assigned towel folding to an un-suspecting offspring and told a young, strong teenage boy that if he wanted a social life this weekend, he’d mow the yard.

Turns out the kid wasn’t even ours, but he certainly had a way with the edger.

All in all, I shaved 2.5 hours off my day. I showered early, pulled on some cool attire and set about to nestle in for a date with the tube.

Naturally, there was no remote and some bamboozler had programmed the receiver to auto-tune to the Discovery Channel, but I was a woman on a mission. Undeterred, I grabbed a child with programming knowledge and forced him to switch it to my channel, and thanks to my experience with digging in the couch cushions, was able to extricate the remote.

It was almost like a Calgon moment where a person can settle in, put up her barking dogs and take a deep breath as she tells herself that life is good. The show was starting, the audience was responding and just as they were about to strike up the band, my Lawrence walked in and declared, “That’s a stupid show. Why are we watching this?”

I think that last line bears repeating, “Why are we watching this?”

“We aren’t watching anything,” I said as I clutched the remote to my chest.

“Well, ‘Strange Animals’ is on and at least that’s educational.”

“I’m not one to be educated,” I retorted.

“Does Dad know you watch these mindless shows?”

And with all of the pizzazz and zest of a teenage girl with an attitude, I rolled my eyes and said, “He doesn’t own me.”

No sooner had Lawrence left to report to his father that I was watching a program that didn’t require the viewer to take notes and do a practice test, than little Charlie appeared on the scene. His hat was on backward, his feet were dirty and his hands were full of reading material, carrots and dip.

With his back to me, he freed up one hand by tucking the sports section under his chin, and wedged the bag of carrots between himself and the TV.

Completely oblivious to the fact that I might be seated on the couch, he made no attempt to look for the remote but instead put his free hand on the receiver and continued scanning the channels.

“Um, hello?” I said from my cushiony haven.

“You weren’t watching that, were you?” he asked as he twisted his body even further to look at me.And then as if to imply that he was saving me from myself, he proceeded to scan the channels and said, “Didn’t you know that ‘Man vs. Wild’ is on?”

On a male to female quotient, I may be the minority around here. In fact the last census puts me at a 5:1 ratio. Yet I feel I hold a superior status, and when push comes to shove, I won’t hesitate to pull rank.

Disgusted and repulsed that his mother would watch something that didn’t involve animals or bugs or at the very least a first down, Charlie took his dip and dirty feet and most likely went off to enjoy his carrots in a substandard environment.

“Hey, I think that ‘Deadliest Catch’ is on tonight,” my husband happily announced as he came into the room seconds later.

“Oh boy,” I said sarcastically as I conceded the remote.

“I know,” he replied. “It’s a good thing you have us boys around here to help you find something decent to watch.”

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at www.loriclinch. com.