As part of my daytime job, I often have to appear on TV. And, no, it’s not on any of the more interesting mainstream programs such as MTV or ESPN, talking about celebrities or sports.
On the contrary, I get invited to appear on bat-shit boring ones such as Bloomberg or CNBC, talking about crap that I have not the faintest ideas on, but get asked anyway to enlighten people who know even less.
In my younger and more self-obsessed days, I used to record these shows and get very excited about seeing my ugly mug on TV. Gradually, however, the novelty has worn off and I now groan audibly whenever I get the call to go on air. Not only is the preparation required tiresome but my appearance is becoming equally so.
Firstly, I am always expected to wear a tie when I go on these programs – something that I dread doing because it always feels like a fucking noose around the neck. The wearing of a tie also makes me feel much older than I would like to think I am, and unconsciously forces me into a different persona – one that speaks with a lower voice and higher-syllable words. It all feels so unnatural that my wife and friends often tease me by saying: “What’s the matter with you? You sound so strange and wooden on TV!”
Part of the reason for that also is because, if not careful, I’m afraid I may turn these programs from G-rated to R-rated ones. As a rather crude character by nature, my normal mode of verbal expression is with the help of a myriad of inappropriate words. ‘Asswipe’, ‘dipshit’, ‘what the fuck’ and “who the hell’ are the bedrock of my vocabulary – one that is unlikely to be well-received by the conservative audience that watches these programs. And as most of my media appearances are conducted live, it adds further pressure on me to ‘behave’ and watch what I say. That can be quite stressful, particularly with an asswipe tie strangling my neck while being interviewed by a dipshit host.
Then there’s the environment of these TV studios. To begin with, what the fuck is with the lighting? There is so much halogen rays shining in front of the cameras that I always feel like I’m being roasted alive. It doesn’t help that sometimes I get asked impromptu to go on air, not long after having returned from a run or the gym. What then happens is that, there I am, still heating up from the exercise, and yet being subjected to further excurciating glare from the lights. And the freaking tie! That certainly doesn’t help in ventilating my body temperature, especially when I’m also wearing a suit jacket on top!
Furthermore, instead of dipshit hosts, I sometimes get interviewed by extremely attractive female presenters wearing things that are often low cut, both at the top and at the bottom. As you can imagine, that does nothing to cool me down either!
A couple of times, I was kindly offered some powder for the face. The first time this happened, my response to the make-up girl was: “What the hell do I do with this?”
She replied: “Oh, you can use it to mat your skin.”
Before I could say “mat my what now?“, she proceeded to dab my face with this cream-coloured looking thing with a little soft round pad. I felt pretty silly until I looked around and saw both the female and the male presenter doing the same to themselves! I then burst out laughing, and could hardly contain myself even when the camera started rolling.
I have this devious dream to, one day, turn up to one of these TV appearances wearing just my exercise gear after a 10km run in 35 degree-celsius heat. With sweat pouring down my face, I would begin my answer to each question with: “Fuck, it’s hot in here!“, then shake my head side-to-side vigorously like a dog trying to dry himself, spraying the hosts with my sweat. Then I would answer the question like nothing is wrong, using a lower voice and higher-syllable words, all while patting my face with the cream-coloured powdery thing.
Now, wouldn’t that drive the ratings through the roof?!
Keep on pounding.