Sometime around 1990, my friends and I were hanging out, doing precisely the nothing with our post-teenage lives that had become standard procedure, when the TV did something strange. Late in the evening, there was a broadcast of something called “Superargo,” a particularly terrible Italian super hero film from the ‘60s. It was still common in those days for local stations to kill time with some wretched old B-movie after midnight or on Saturdays when the ballgame got rained out. And since cable television was something only responsible adults could afford, my loser friends and I caught a lot of these crappy local broadcasts while huddled around crummy little portable sets, sequestered in attic bedrooms where Mom couldn’t smell the smoke. Sometimes we’d catch an unscheduled Three Stooges short or, if we were lucky, something with Harryhausen monsters in it. Most of the time it was “Sorry, Wrong Number” with Barbara Stanwyck. We got to know that one by heart.
It’s bad enough the women featured in all those health and fitness magazines are completely devoid of excess fat. Bad enough they insult the average stuffed-crust American with their perfectly shaped buns and abs. And bad enough they seem to have several employment-free hours a day to devote to full-release quad crunches with a half-turn thrust. But do they have to look so damned TOGETHER? The chicks in these magazines all have this sparkle in their eyes, this look of perfect, alert contentment. Their look says, “I have attained optimal health and well-being at a level once exclusive to Buddhist monks and select Osmonds.” There’s an inner fire to these gals – probably applied with a Photoshop filter not available to lesser mortals – that indicates that they’re eating all the right organic foods, bicycling regularly, and focusing healing energies to any potential trouble spots. It’s a look I vaguely recognize as ... “happy.”
I was wandering through the neighborhood, having just gotten out of the shower. A group of protesters were parading outside a small, suburban home, yelling at "Bill."
"Bill, where are the market reports?" "Bill, why did you shred the documents?" Etc.
I could see "Bill" inside his house, trying to ignore the protesters so he could watch TV. I began to yell at him, too.
"Bill! I just got here! I don't know what's going on, but you're an evil man, Bill!"
I took a look at his living room through the front window.
"Bill! Get some art on those walls! That's what walls are for, Bill!"
Bill seemed to think I was funny.
Bedbugs is the dream diary of Ashley Holt.