Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 23, 2014

VALLEY: Chairman of the Bored tells all

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In poker, a “tell” is when a player unconsciously does something to let the opponent know whether he or she has a good hand or is simply bluffing. Tells can also be spotted away from the poker table; they can reveal what’s going on in a person’s life.

Here’s what I’m talking about: This winter, I often find myself watching “The Price is Right” … and marking off another day on the calendar. What does that tell you?

The answer: I’m bored. Let’s face it, winter has a stagnating affect. Activity-wise, I’m as busy as a sign company pumping out “Dennis Rodman for President” signs.

Not to mention my inactivity invites some of the most hilarious suggestions I’ve ever heard.

“Why don’t you start exercising? Go to the gym and work out,” she said, requesting anonymity.

“Yeah, sure. I’m all over that …. (burp).”

But seriously, folks …

With the extra time on my hands, I’ve taken notice of things that I usually pay little attention to.

For instance: “The Price is Right.” I don’t know how they get that crowd hyped-up the way they do. But someone, somehow, works them into such a frenzy before the start of each show that they hug and high-five each other like long-lost friends. And I’m sure they were total strangers just hours before.

It’s amazing to see so many people all on the same page. The goodwill they extend to each other shows the human spirit at its best. They abide by the rules of civility – as asked — and accept that responsibility selflessly. It’s truly refreshing to watch.

So, here’s my idea: Let’s find out who gets them into such a magnanimously self-sacrificing mood and send him/her to Washington to do exactly the same thing to the members of Congress.

Let’s see if we can instill a concept of oneness and cohesion in our elected officials. Let’s see if it will get them to focus on the reason they are there: to work together for the betterment of all, not just their own self-interests.

Wouldn’t that be a nice change?

Interestingly, though, the contestants on the The Price Is Right gradually change … somewhat. When it comes to making their bid on the “Showcase” (the show’s grand finale), they, not unlike some first-year idealistic legislators, lose focus.

I watched as a guy passed on a chance to win a car, a jet-ski and a trip to some tropical island. I was flabbergasted. This was a “tell” if there ever was one — he’d become greedy. It wasn’t enough; he wanted to wait for the next prize in the hopes of something bigger and better.

What more could they offer? That’s when I stopped rooting for the guy and hoped that behind the next curtain was a gallon of dog food and a blind date with Roseanne Barr.

I wasn’t too far from the truth. The package he got to bid on was a trip to Ottawa, Canada. (Relax, Greg.) Now don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that city. I grew up less than 60 miles away. But, let’s be honest, it’s no tropical island.

Included, while in Ottawa, was an ice-skating opportunity on a frozen canal and two rounds of golf. Details on how you can ice-skate one day and play golf a day later were conveniently left out.

But seriously, who wouldn’t prefer to lace up the skates and trudge around on some bad ankles in below-zero weather as opposed to walking on the warm beaches of Tahiti?

Did you notice the “tell”?

I was being sarcastic. I tend do that when I’m bored.

Don’t forget to have your pets spayed or neutered.

Happy birthday, Mom.

And that’s the way it looks from the valley.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident. Contact him at tvalley@rochester.rr.com.