You probably already know this, but it’s time to gird your loins, as they used to say long ago, because the television doldrums are coming; that time of year (and we’re seeing more and more of this) when programming executives shut their brains down for the winter and schedule marathon after marathon, which is the television equivalent of Chinese Water Torture.

Just look at what they offer! (Or should I say, re-offer?)

How many times are those television programming idiots going to show us that same tired program about the Bermuda Triangle?

How many times are we going to be confronted by the same group of self-appointed, so-called “experts” in their search for UFOs, and how can someone be an expert on something that’s unidentified?

How many times are they going to allow the same guy to lead them? The same guy who “just coincidentally” happens to be the publisher of UFO Magazine? And how can anyone expect an unbiased opinion from a guy who makes his living selling magazines about UFOs? Why, the more controversy he can stir up, the more magazines he sells and the more money he makes!

Some expert, huh?

How many times are we going to be shown the same plaster casts of Bigfoot tracks? How many times are they going to send hair samples to the lab, and have them proven to come from a bear or marked as “unidentified”? And how many times are they going to show expeditions unsuccessfully searching for him (or her, or it)?

Unsuccessfully; always unsuccessfully.

How many times will we find the same old episode of Law and Order, L.A. Law, Mythbusters, or this, that and the other CSI clone program on the schedule? Each one just like the last one; each one just like the next one, each one with a high “yawn factor.”

How many times can a person watch someone wallow in various kinds of filth before Dirty Jobs gets completely boring — or is it already?

How many times will we just turn the darn machine off, rather than have to watch yet another rerun of a program we didn’t find interesting in the first place?

Of course, we always can switch channels and watch people try to survive on some remote island while they squabble among themselves about almost anything, making their own survival even more difficult.

If not, we can flip over to at least one more channel where we can watch people race through foreign countries, trying to communicate in foreign languages, trying to get from here to there without even the help of a road map, and having their money, passport, or both stolen, just to make things more interesting, or frustrating — or annoying.

And if you happen to miss something, don’t worry. You can always watch the rerun, the re-rerun or the re-re-rerun.

If your taste runs to something a little more historical, how about checking in with some famous figures from the past? It seems every time we turn around, someone has come up with another Lost Book of Nostradamus! How many books did Nostradamus write, anyway?

They’ve counted more than 400 of his verses so far, but who knows how many more they’ll find?

And how many ways are there to interpret them, since he wrote them in his own enigmatic way and in his own private code?

Ask yourself a question: If Nostradamus was mystical, wise and meticulous enough to make predictions about almost everything that was going to happen, how could he be so careless as to lose them? What if he was just an oddball? What if he was just pulling everybody’s leg?

It’s interesting enough the first couple of times around, but after the fifth or sixth, you’ve pretty well had all you want from Michele.

How many “marathons” are we going to have to sit through before the programmers decide to spend a nickel or two on some new programs?

Unfortunately, there’s an answer to this question.

Marathons will never stop, because reruns are cheaper than having to buy new programs — a lot cheaper — and it shows.

If we take a minute and open our dictionary, we find the definition of “marathon” is “a test of endurance.”

How right.

So, here’s a suggestion. Let’s get some new programs, and while we’re at it, let’s get some new programmers.

Ah, the heck with it. Those guys aren’t going to listen to us.

After all, we’re just the audience. What do we know about what we want to watch?

Let’s just switch channels and watch football, or basketball or baseball. After all, there’s nothing much else on — and that makes watching sports another kind of marathon. Enough is enough.


I think I’ll take up Parcheesi or something.

Mike Morton writes each Wednesday for the Kansan. He can be reached at Mike’s book, “On The Loose Collection, Volume One,” is on sale in Newton at the Kansan, 121 W. Sixth St.; and Anderson’s Book and Office Supply, 627 N. Main St.