I am bustling down to my flat as though a swarm of bees is chasing me. Everything that is propelling me to my house is embarrassing. My testicles have frozen to my leg, I’m hungry, and I have to urinate like Austin Powers. And if I don’t see an episode of Monk, and I mean now, I am going to lose my monkey ass.
I get inside and the sadness begins. I set up the laptop while doing the time-honored in-place chicken dance meant to dam urination (pee dance) and sing the Monk theme song to myself. Once the show is loading I breathe a little easier, once I pee it’s like Shangri-La. And in that post-urinary bliss is when it all comes to me.
I’m addicted to Monk.
I am showing all the signs: I sing the theme song, I talk about it too much and then try to conceal the fact that I am talking about Monk too much. I dream about Monk, I daydream about Monk.
It gets worse, I have taken Monk quizzes online: Are you a Monkophile? 83%, Are you a Monk Buff? 135/140, Which Monk Character Are You? Natalie (Arrived at the same answer on four such quizzes, which is a subject that will be visited in a later blog for sure).
I have said the phrases “Here’s what happened,” and “Here’s the thing,” more times in the last three weeks than I’d like to admit. And before Monk it was Frasier, and before Frasier it was Scrubs, and before Scrubs it was The West Wing, and before The West Wing it was M*A*S*H.
When did this happen to me?
I’m not bemoaning the trials of addiction. We all have our addictions; they’re some of life’s unstoppable escapes from reality. At times, they make things interesting.
But my addictions used to be cool.
There used to be alcohol, there were drugs, there was tobacco. There were late nights and benders and self chats about changing behavior. There were wild times, two drunks in one day and living like a (very poor) rock star. There were hushed discussions amongst other addicts about who was doing too much of what, merely to make those discussing feel better about their own personal habit.
But now, things have changed. When did it all get so tame?
Addiction to TV shows is just the skin of the pudding too; it’s all part of an alarming, boring trend. There is the daily hotdog and these lemon biscuits that I would throw an old person into traffic to have in the morning. There was a cat grooming period, “the less is on her, the less is on my floor,” I used to say. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t someone talk to me?
There was my bath period. Baths. Once, at my lowest, there were bath salts. This coincided with my tea phase. Yes, I recall Keith Richards also talking about the rowdy period in his life when he would watch a sitcom while drinking Chamomile in the bathtub with strawberry vanilla bath salts soothing his tired skin.
A late night used to be going out on a Friday afternoon and getting home for Saturday lunch, which would probably be a Bloody Mary. Now, a late night is going out on a Friday afternoon and heading home after the stores close at 9, thus denying me another addiction: fish sticks.
And as Friday nights pass in quiet, reading or watching heroin-like TV shows, I can only think of one thing: This is awesome. I never liked the rock star’s lifestyle.
I’d look stupid in chaps anyway. But a tweed blazer…
People, what’s your boring addiction?