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Jerry Springer and Mono:
A Lethal Combination

Margaret's Psychology Corner
August 1996

Okay, so... I'm sick. I am useless to the workforce for the next two weeks because I have mono. Yes, the kissing disease. But, since the only person I kiss doesn't have it, I've been forced to believe that it must have come off of some not-quite-sanitized plate or fork or some weird telephone in one of the many states Chris and I travelled through. I didn't even get sick when I was in POLAND for two weeks - how could this happen in the good ol' USA?

Anyway, so my throat bulged out by the second week if my new job. It was like instant double chin. I was afraid it was a goiter! Not really. And I've been outta commission for two weeks now, with two weeks to go. Yuck. At first the illness was quite convincing. My throat was really swollen and green. Eeewww. I couldn't eat or anything. Really. Even stuff like pudding hurt to eat. But it was yummy to my tongue.

So now my throat's just fine but I still can't work because I have a swollen spleen and elevated liver enzyme levels. Two weeks rest, doctor's orders. It would be cool, but it's pretty damn boring. I'm jealous of everyone because they get to leave the house, even if they're not doing anything interesting.

So let me talk to you about talk shows... I've made a solemn vow not to watch any more of them because they'll make me nuts. At this point I think everyone in this country is a teenage mother, married at fifteen, doesn't even like her husband freak from hell and it depresses me. Or parents whose children are outta control!

My favorite thing lately, though, is the increasing frequency of "alternative"-type guests on these shows. Just the other day I was watching Jerry Springer and he had a show where the guests wanted their "lover" to give up a relationship or friendship or whatever with someone else or... "This relationship's over!", as the screen kept flashing in big bold letters.

So there were these little club hipster girls on - 3 of them, with little hairdos only a bit more interesting than Tori Spelling's, one blonde, one red, one black, with brightly colored clothes, like vinyl pants and those stupid little shirts from Urban Outfitters, and cow-style nose-piercings. Their "story" was that one of them was married to a guy but then was also sleeping with one of the other ones of them. I'm not sure what the third one was doing there, because I turned on the show halfway through (shucks).

Whenever these rebel folks are on instead of trashy types (though I guess they might actually be trashy types...) it raises an interesting quandry for me... I used to try very hard not to look like anyone else (except maybe two other people at my high school who partially inspired me not to be a big nerd anymore), and my "style" (yucky word) wasn't entirely unlike a lot of the "hipster"-ness I see today. But I kinda stopped being that way because all that hair-dyeing and cool-clothes hunting got real boring after a few years.

I'm not sure how to feel about people like that anymore. I guess sometimes because I decided it's totally unnecessary, I think people shouldn't get all dressed up like that. But then, a lot of them folks are real nice 'n' interesting, too. But some are assholes and really pretentious, too. And some are both ways (really confusing).

As you might guess, having some of "them folk" appear on Jerry Springer and Tempestt, etc., just makes it more confusing. Are they just doing it for a gag? Or are they serious, or WHAT?

I guess this is just one of those life lesson moments... people who dress the same don't necessarily think the same... unless they're wearing jeans and a white t-shirt and have long blond hair parted on the side.

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