Giving up my addiction was much harder than I had anticipated. I attended weeks of meetings before I had the strength to stand before the other addicts and state, “My name is Denise, and I am a television addict.”

The psychiatrist I went to was no help. “Do you realize,” she said, “that television is a vast wasteland of sex, violence, immorality, and sheer stupidity?”

“What’s your point?” I asked.

With the help of my friendS at TAA (Television Addicts Anonymous), I was determined to loosen the stranglehold of television.

The first few days of my struggle, I still sat in front of the silent and blackened television, my mouth agape and my eyes fixed in a vacant stare. I gradually roused myself from my stupor and looked around, blinking in wonderment.

What did I use to do with my spare time before my television addiction took hold?

How I yearned to go back to the carefree days of my youth before I became entangled in television’s treacherous tentacles. I remember when I used to indulge in more wholesome endeavors like reading.

Aha! I shall attempt to recapture that sweet innocence by rereading some of the childhood classics that I once loved.

I hurried home from the library clutching a volume of my favorite nursery rhymes, which I anticipated reading through new eyes. Not literally, of course. I know nothing about that alleged break-in at the Eye Institute.

When I began to read, I was shocked! How had I missed it? Nursery rhymes are loaded with sex, violence, and assorted examples of societal ills.

Take, for instance, that old Lullaby”Rock-a-Bye-Baby.” What kind of a sick human being would put an infant up in a tree and then lull it to sleep with a reminder that when the wind blows, he will plummet to Earth like a squirrel who just stepped onto a transformer? Is that conducive to restful sleep? Perhaps the repetition of that rhyme is the cause of that jerking sensation we often feel just as we are drifting into slumber.

“Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie; kissed the girls and made them cry.” An obvious case of sexual harassment.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; had so many children, she didn’t know what to do. She gave them some broth without any bread, then whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.” Homelessness, illegitimacy, poor family planning, hunger, poverty, and child abuse.

“Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run, see how they run. They all ran after the farmer’s wife; she cut off their tails with a carving knife. Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice?” Clearly a gruesome tale of animal cruelty and attempted murder.

“Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.” Sexual innuendo on a par with those old episodes of the television show “Three’s Company.”

“Wee Willie Winkle runs through the town; upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown. Rapping on the windows, crying through the locks. Are all the children in their beds? For now it’s eight o’clock.” Crossdressing, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and possible pedophilia. Anything I might add about that pervert’s name being “Wee Willie Winkle” would be censored by my editor.

Where is that television schedule? Let’s see, today’s topic on the reality talk show is “Mother Goose–harmless barnyard storyteller or perverted porn peddler?”

I knew it was just a matter of time.

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