As a kid I always looked forward to when my sister and I would spend a Friday night with my Italian grandfather, who lived just a few miles down the road from our house. I knew that dinner meant a freezer-burnt TV dinner and some freezer-burnt ice cream for dessert, along with some semi-flat Ginger Ale. As quirky as it was, on Saturday afternoon we braced ourselves inside of a big plastic barrel as he would push my sister and I down a hill in his yard, then let us push him down the hill afterwards.
I will never forget the “I’ve gone cuckoo” look he always made as he would dizzily crawl out of the barrel each time. Then, he would let us do it a few more times before stumbling back to the house with us.
My sister and I still refer to the many funny things he would do. Like the fact he taped WWF Wrestling, then made us watch it with him. I never got a good explanation why a 65 year-old Italian man from Wisconsin loved the Southern-fried “sport” of pro-wrestling so much that he not only taped it, but watched each episode multiple times. That was the sole reason he owned a VCR- to tape Ric Flair and the boys reek havoc.
I never remember having to sincerely ask him if it was fake, but we just always knew. And watched it anyway.
And just last week as I flipped through the channels to find a rerun of Friends like my wife asked me to do, I stumbled across pro-wrestling. The intro music. The backstage drama. I was in a trance until my wife helped me realize what was going on.
There’s just some invisible touch involved with pro-wrestling that causes people like me to stop and watch, and causes millions of others to go out and spend big money to see it live. Even though we all know it’s fake. It’s captivating.
I’ve caught myself in the same situation with infomercials late at night and on Saturday afternoons. So much joy can be found in sarcastically mocking the fact that the host of the infomercial is always so smitten by the product and surprised as the chef conjures up all kinds of new delicious treats in the kitchen studio in front of a live audience.
And while I can’t relate, daytime soap operas have to go in this category as well. Entertainment at its worst, yet still drawing in an audience.
So fake. So lame. So unbelievable. Somewhat enticing.
The Invisible Touch, Yeah
Being that this is the 3rd installment of this series and I have yet to explain the title, I am finally choosing to do so. I am a huge Phil Collins/Genesis fan. The title refers to the first and only #1 hit by the group, entitled “The Invisible Touch”, released in 1986. The first line of the chorus is “she seems to have an invisible touch, yeah… she reaches in and grabs right hold of your heart”.
It’s really funny to me that as Phil Collins wrote the song, he couldn’t think of a word to put after the phrase “invisible touch” to fill that line, so he just says “yeah”. That’s hilarious to me. And that’s what gives me the off-beat title for my series: The Invisible Touch, Yeah.