Monday, July 14, 2008

Why I Hate The Internet

The thing is, I never even liked The Waltons. Even when I was nine and all about people living hardscrabble lives and sharing simple pleasures like banjos and turkey gravy, I just never got into it. Sometimes, after I had watched a whole marathon of reruns (Leave it to Beaver, Lassie), I'd say "Oh, it's The Waltons. I don't feel like moving away from my air-conditioned cove just yet, so I won't turn it off." And I'd sit through the John-Boys and Jim-Bobs and their problems with the old jalopy and their tuberculosis, mostly hoping to see a lot of Elizabeth, the only one who was seemed differentiated from her siblings--and that only because of her lovely red hair (Titian, maybe, to a Nancy Drew fan like me). Even at the time, in an era of pokey shows, it seemed particularly pokey-hokey. Maybe not quite as many mysterious illnesses as Little House on the Prairie, but just as many stragglers, orphans, and people coming through town on their way to nowhere.

So it came as a surprise to me when I suddenly found myself looking up The Waltons on the internet. Why did John-Boy leave the happiness of Walton Mountain? And when? Who was the kid who came after Mary Ellen? Why did all of the siblings look like they were the same age, except for John-Boy who was obviously John-Man? How many episodes were there, and what did the actors do afterwards? And why, why, why, am I wasting precious time finding out these things? But it's out there. Anybody can find out. Added up, the hours spent on the Waltons by non-Waltons fans must be staggering. It boggles the mind.

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