Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Compel Them

I can assure you I’m not lazy, but certainly there were times in my youth when my mom might have thought I was. If you meet her, you’ll find her very pleasant to be around as long as you don’t mention anything about Tom taking out the garbage.

I just don’t like being pushed into doing things.

When I am watching my favorite sitcom, the laugh track seems to be vying for attention. It attempts to put me in the socially awkward position of watching TV with a straight face while the person next to me is laughing so hard that their sides are aching. The principle at work is that when you’re with a group of friends and someone tells a joke you may very well laugh even if you don’t get it, find it funny, or if you’re like me, have never understood the point of jokes to begin with.

Certainly no relationship exists between us and a laugh track, does it?

But then again is there a connection between the success or failure, happiness or sadness of a person and the car they drive, the beverage they drink, or the shampoo they use? If I wash my hair with Ultrex, will I play like Ronaldo without having to train? Being a supporter of FC BarcelonaI’d prefer to have dandruff.  Rather watch as I open a pack of Lay’s Potato Chips and metamorphose faster than Gregor Samsa into Lionel Messi before your very eyes.

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9 thoughts on “Compel Them

  1. Enjoyed your post. I believe that it’s only with time that we no longer have the need to impress and we can truly become our “authentic” (a word starting to be overused but it fits) selves. It’s so true “Youth is wasted on the young” George Bernard Shaw.


  2. I despise the laugh track. I think it absolutely detracts from the humor when you’re told “laugh here!” I don’t watch much TV (and everybody says that, like not watching TV is somehow a virtue in and of itself; but really, I don’t), and I don’t watch sitcoms with laugh tracks at all (the only American shows that qualify are “The Simpsons” and the late and much lamented “Arrested Development”). In general I don’t like sit-coms because of the “sit (uation).” At their heart, they’re ALL “3’s Company,” orbiting around a ridiculously flimsy presence.

    Now, commercials are a particular source of interest/irritation for me. As with sitcoms, there are a handful of commercials of which I “approve” let alone like. I tend to like local commercials the best, because they’re largely honest advertisements for a service or product. I don’t care for the commercials you mentioned, which imply that use of the product will confer athletic ability, money or good looks on the user. But what I REALLY don’t like are the negative ads, good examples of which are “Head & Shoulders” and the old “Ring around the Collar” commercials. These go even further, not just promising that good things will happen to you if you use the product, but moreover, that if you DON’T, you will be stinky, ugly and unloved.


    • “…they’re ALL 3’s Company”

      Great line.

      I agree with you that local commercials tend to be better with more emphasis on the product or service instead of what it is supposed to bestow upon you.


  3. My Barca laugh, today, was watching the Swindon v Brighton-Hove-Albion match on delay on our new BeIN channel, today. And Ray Hudson – still the craziest man in football describe that 3rd Swindon goal, a beauty, as – “there’s Barcelona Football, Swindon style!”

    Terrific. a mad man.


  4. Just wanted to say thanks for your visits and support at art rat cafe. I’ve been away and am trying to catch-up but without much success….


  5. Catch-up is a difficult game played best when we’re willing to cut ourselves a lot of slack.

    The retreat sounded wonderful.


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