The dead zone

I’m an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy. Very early. In fact, I live close to a gym that’s open 24-hours and I often go there to exercise at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. I usually have the place to myself at that hour, though there are a few other regulars. I’m never sure if they’re getting up as early as I am, or if they’ve stayed up late.

I’ve always been a bit this way. I enjoy the dead hours of the morning when there’s no traffic on the streets. When I lived in the country you could really feel like you were the last man on earth, though I had one farmer friend who would pass me on the road at 3 o’clock and mention wistfully how this was the greatest time of the day. A true kindred spirit.

The reason I bring this up is because this week I’m supposed to be filling out one of those TV viewing surveys. I told the survey company that I didn’t have a TV and they said that didn’t matter. I do, however, watch the TVs they have at the gym. So, being the responsible person I am, I figured I would enter this in the journal they gave me, in the column “Watched TV Out of Home.”

But no! You see, each diary page begins at 4 in the morning. And each day ends at 2 the next morning. So from 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock is a TV-viewing dead zone. Which is the only time of the day, at least most days, that I watch any TV. I don’t even exist within a measurable viewing demographic, despite the fact that stations no longer “sign off” at the end of the day. Sure they repeat programming, but they’re not just broadcasting a test pattern.

This is what life is like on the other side.

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