Binge Help

Boyleing Points

It’s the dead of winter and it’s about to get deader.  You’ve sworn off bingeing on food and drink (or you should have).  Your chewing muscles are at rest. You’ve already used a fork to poke an extra hole in your belt for that expanding waistline.  Now what?  It’s that time of year for binge replacement therapy. 

Start with exercise.  Bend over (you might do a little stretching first) and pick up the remote.  Do some curls by pulling a blanket up to your eyeballs.  Reach, really extend, c’mon you can do it! Reach a little bit more, that’s it, and extend that hand from under the covers and point the remote at the TV.  Good job!

You’ve basically been a bear eating and drinking for weeks before settling into a cave for hibernation.  Bears sleep; you binge watch TV (which has to include Netflix, Amazon Prime, and maybe HBO and Showtime).  

Before you hunker down, I’ve got life changing advice for you.

But first I gotta confess. I haven’t seen Breaking Bad.  Well, check that.  I’ve seen a couple of episodes and thought they were pretty good but I never did catch the fever which compels you to watch all 62 episodes over two days and 14 hours.  

My failure to watch Breaking Bad marks me as morally and intellectually bankrupt, I know, but I’m about to partially redeem myself.  

Some of you stop by here for an occasional chuckle or smirk but I know most of you come for my medical advice. Longtime followers of this column know I’ve insisted you get colonoscopies (in part so you can say things like: Hey Doc, can you now tell my wife that my head isn’t up there?) and that back pain is all in your head. 

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they got rid of nighttime foot cramps after I wrote that all you have to do is place a bar of soap near your feet when you get in bed.  Some people have tried giving me $20 because they saved on their co-pay.  Yep, a bar of soap at your feet.  It’s insane but it works.  

The bar of soap did not help my shoulder pain (yes I put a bar near my shoulder but turning over on a bar of soap in the middle of the night does nothing for beauty sleep, even less for sore shoulders). But I’ll figure out something ‘cause I know that’s in my head, too.

Anyway, instead of medical advice I’ve gotta share the TV-watching tip that only a few are hip to.  The magic is in your hand, in the remote control.  Go to settings and figure out how to turn on Closed Captioning, especially when trying to watch stuff from the BBC.  Some shows, you just can’t understand what the hell some characters are saying but Closed Captioning is like subtitles but you only use them when you have to.  It’s transformative.  

It’s not just for clueless old-timers.  I discovered this little trick long before I was an old piece of dirt.  Black Hawk Down was supposed to be a good movie but I couldn’t hear a word of dialogue over the incessant helicopter noise.  I put on Closed Captions and suddenly I was thinking this could win an Academy Award.  The Wire was another matter.  The street slang and mumbling of some characters was impenetrable.  I tossed on the Closed Captioning and the show became my all-time fave. 

Ok, quick recap: use the remote to change settings. Also use the remote to change channel when The Big Bang Theory comes on. Don’t waste your binge time. 

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