How to… Be a couch potato

1. Be prepared to work hard at this. You’re sniggering to yourself thinking, “This is gonna be a breeze — I’m a natural.” But we’re talking about the big leagues here, not your garden-variety, three hours-of-TV-a-day couch potato. This takes dedication and planning — memorised schedules and digital video recording, in case your job / family / real life gets in the way.

2. Just because regular programming — i.e. mindless sitcoms, trashy reality TV, and over-the-top soaps — are no longer running in the wee hours of the morning, doesn’t mean you’re off the clock. Get to know foreigners-dubbed-in-Tamil / Hindi / regional language of your choice on the TV shopping networks (you know you need that ab-buster the Arnie-look alike is selling) or their desi counterparts (Bhagyashree peddling Roopamrit — how the mighty have fallen). They’re your new best friends.

3. Invest in an eye-mask, preferably one of those with cooling properties (if at a loss, refer to the previous). Also, consider an exercise ball for your remote-hand (repetitive stress injuries aren’t an occupational hazard only for the IT crew). Both are going the extra mile for you here, and you might want to give them a brief break during commercials. But not for too long, or you’re going to miss out on the all-important ads.

4. Which brings us to this. Conventional couch-potato wisdom has it that commercial breaks are when you, the boob-tube addict, take a break. But this is not true. Because the hallmark of a true couch potato is the ability to reference all those annoying ads, hum their jingles (if you’re doing this right, they’re going to be stuck playing in a loop in your head anyway) and regurgitate their taglines.

5. Food is an essential part of this process (refer to Jughead, Archie comics). Useful tips include keeping the microwave within reaching distance, a shelf / basket with munchies at the foot of your couch, etc. For the truly marathon sessions, there’s always home delivery (but time the arrival of the delivery guy at least — significant moments of the show you’re watching).

DIVYA KUMAR

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