If strike lasts, we’ll need our diversions
Respectable People like to tuck themselves in at night thinking they are prepared for almost any disaster.
House fire? They've got detectors and an evacuation plan.
Earthquake? There's a week's worth of bottled water and canned tuna in the closet.
Zombie attack? They've got an AK-47 and a World War II-era flamethrower in the attic under some old board games and Grandma's handmade quilt.
Fine. Whatever helps you sleep at night. But let me ask you this, Mr. and Mrs. Smartypants: What do you do when the TV writers go on strike? Because that's a disaster that's actually happening -- like, now.
Soon, when programming spirals into reruns or the reality-show abyss, most will be pounding on the doors of their heretofore barely tolerated Digital Slob pals, hoping they have a spare DVD rip of "Animal House" or some new Xbox games.
Don't worry, most of us can be bought. Bring some pizza, but keep that canned tuna locked away. Most Slobs would rather have our brains eaten by the undead than suck down a day's ration of Chicken of the Sea.
But in case you're allergic to Slobs (figuratively, literally or both) then here's some tips to pull yourself out of couch-potato purgatory without having to actually get off the couch:
Fan fiction: If you've watched so many "Star Trek" reruns you call the dust bunnies under your bed tribbles, then give the crew of the Intrepid a look-see at www.starshipintrepid.net. Fans with capital F's are making their own shows with production values near "Star Trek: The Next Generation" levels, offering a new take on the genre, including a Vulcan with a Scottish brogue.
TiVo: If you're one of the millions who now have their digital video recorders filled with 47 replays of "The Daily Show" from Nov. 2, use that remote for a little thumb exploring. If you've hooked up your box to a home network, then select Music, Photos & More and you'll see TiVo has partnered up big time, offering any song you can think of through Rhapsody Music Service, access to a world of radio stations via Live365, and a portal to any podcast ever created.
Click on Find Programs and then Download TV & Movies, and you'll see unique content, from tech news to behind-the-scenes soap opera stuff to satirical video news from the Onion.
If you sign up via amazon.com, you can access Amazon Unbox and download movies for a fee.
Netflix: Now's a good time to sign up for a first-month-free DVD-through-the-mail membership. If the strike lasts more than a month, cancel and have "Mom" sign up in December.
Black Friday: It's never too early to hone strategies for the most brutal shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving. Web sites like blackfriday.info and bfads.com offer scouting reports on major retailers, including what they plan to sell at shove-and-shove-back-and-maybe-somebody-should-call-the-police prices.
Just keep your rifle and flamethrower in the attic in case the strike goes well into January. If it does, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell might be forced to write their own digs at each other.
At that point we'll be begging for zombies.