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The Column

Watch While You Eat
8/28/05

I was in an electronics store recently and I bore witness to the clearest sign of the apocalypse I have seen yet. No, not "Maid in Manhattan" on DVD. I saw a refrigerator with a TV in it.

Someone did not open a fridge and place a TV inside. No, this was a TV embedded in the door of the refrigerator.

I can understand keeping a TV in the kitchen so you can watch something while you cook or do the dishes. But how dependant on TV do you have to be that you can't miss 30 seconds to get a sandwich? I know you wouldn't be getting a salad because people that fridge TVs appeal to don't generally eat those.

Let's say you would buy this as a space saving measure. That would make sense if flat screen TVs didn't already exist. You can get a flat screen TV and a fridge for less than it costs to get a fridge with a TV in it.

The only reason to spend a few hundred extra for a set embedded into the door of your fridge is if you feel you can't miss whatever it is you're watching long enough to open it. If you're hungry, take a break from the program and make some lunch. Preferably a light lunch. If your version of technology is combining your television and your refrigerator (and I'm just guessing here) you might have a weight problem.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the fridge TV is helping.

"Before my fridge TV, I used to sit on the couch watching television while eating whole sticks of butter and drinking bacon grease. But now I make smaller portions and walk the twelve feet into my kitchen to get more food without missing any programming. With this new system, I'm burning three or four calories a day. Thank you fridge TV! You're helping build a better me."

You know what the worst part is? Half of you reading this are thinking, "really, a fridge TV? That's kind of cool." And those same people are wondering why the TV is only on the outside of the fridge, since that means you can't open it AND watch at the same time.

There's a commercial where a guy is watching soccer on TV. And has so many TV sets throughout his house he doesn't have to miss a play. They're on the ceiling, in each dresser drawer, and in his medicine chest. You know what's the great part about that commercial? It's a joke. They're kidding. They don't think you'll really take it seriously.

What do you think the people with fridge TVs are watching? Do you think anyone's Kenmore is playing a jazzercise video? That the fridge TV people are sweating to the oldies? No way. Every last one of those sets is playing Dr. Phil telling the owner that it's okay to be fat and happy. And they'd say, "amen, Dr. Phil!" but their mouths are too full from that last stick of butter.

It is okay to be fat and happy, but only if you're healthy, too. Which is possible - but I don't think anyone with a TV set in their refrigerator is taking their vitamins or riding a bike or playing touch football in the park. People with fridge TVs (and I'm just guessing here) are eating and watching TV and teetering one happy meal away from that great Dr. Phil special in the sky.

Imagine that. Getting there and coming face to face with god or Yahweh or whatever you call the force that gets you through the day, and having to explain that you died because you led a lifestyle that required a television set embedded in your refrigerator.

And you know what will happen? As the great judge looks down from his throne, the guy in line behind you will say, "really, a fridge TV? That's kind of cool."

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