I have a confession to make.
I have been doing something lately that I am in no way proud of, and I'm not even sure I should admit to it.
I have been watching "SpongeBob SquarePants." A lot.
I used to hate SpongeBob. I first watched the show when I worked for the Horribly Managed Children's Salon. I had heard of SpongeBob but hadn't been subjected to the questionable humor and inane story lines. Then came HMCS and their DVD collection, which included one disc of SpongeBob. You'd think that only one DVD would be a godsend, but the fact is I'd have been happier with about twenty SpongeBob DVDs. The fact that there was only one meant I had to watch the same ten episodes over and over, and mostly I only saw the first one on the disc ("Ripped Pants," in case you were wondering) because every kid wanted to watch it from the beginning.
I began to loathe SpongeBob. I found myself suggesting other shows to children, hoping against hope that even one of them that I talked to would choose something that would offend my ears less, like, say, fingernails on a chalkboard. But I was never able to talk more than one child out of watching it in the nearly two years I spent at HMCS.
I was terribly relieved, therefore, when HMCS got another SpongeBob DVD. At last, I thought, new episodes to get sick of. I eagerly slid the disc into the DVD player, wondering what childish adventures awaited me. I'm sure you can guess what came on, though.
That's right. "Ripped Pants." It was the first episode on this DVD as well. I think a little part of me died that day. Incidentally, during the time I worked for HMCS, I did tune in to SpongeBob at home once. The episode that aired was "Ripped Pants."
So, how did I end up watching SpongeBob SquarePants voluntarily; purposely? Well, the problem is that if you don't watch Oprah or soap operas, daytime and afternoon TV is a scary, boring place. SpongeBob is one of the more sane, normal, entertaining programs on the air between 2 and 7 or so. When I channel-surfed last week, my best TV prospects were a fishing show, a Bruce Willis movie dubbed (poorly) into Spanish, a show about people who had things left in them after surgery, and (I wish I was making this up) a cartoon of the crucifixion. Yes, that crucifixion.
Can you blame me for taking refuge in Bikini Bottom? No, it's not the smartest show on TV. It isn't even *a* smart show. But things could be worse. I could still work at HMCS. Frankly, ripped pants were the least of my worries there. I was about as happy there as Squidward at the Krusty Krab.
Did I really just compare myself to Squidward? I think I've been thinking too much. I need a TV break. I think there's an episode of SpongeBob on ...
I still have all of "Ripped Pants" memorized, for the record.