TLC: Helping You Develop Phobias One Show at a Time

Normally, I love The Learning Channel (TLC). What Not to Wear? Heck yes, I’ll watch you throw away those ugly Crocs. Jon and Kate Plus Eight? Don’t mind if I do.

But lately, TLC has been changing their evening programming, showing horrific things like Mystery Diagnosis, and the worst yet: My Shocking Story.

Last night, the latter caused a problem at the gym.

See, I got there later than normal and the place was packed. As I climbed onto the only open elliptical, I noticed the girl next to me was watching my idea of Hell: A man plagued with skin growths and such incredible arm and leg fungus that his limbs actually looked like long, thick tree branches. (Don’t worry; that link is just the episode synopsis.)

I felt like throwing up in my towel and then strangling myself with it. But this was the only open machine and it was getting late. I was going to have to somehow power through.

Except that I couldn’t. I should see the sh!t on the periphery, and just knowing it was there was making me sick.

I was going to have to tell a perfect stranger that her choice of gym television channel was unacceptable to me.

It wasn’t hard. When I looked over at her, the camera cut to a full frontal of the tree man and a look of horror apparently spread across my face. The girl looked at me with puzzled eyes and I croaked:

“Could you turn that off?”

She nodded, turned the channel and I swore off TLC viewings after 7PM. A short time later she got off the machine, went home and presumably told her boyfriend or roommate that she had exercised next to a complete lunatic.

Except I don’t think I’m alone in thinking such a show is A.) gross, and B.) an unwise choice for watching TV in public. Like the guy last week who opted to watch a show about breast implants. HAVE YOU PEOPLE NO DISCRETION? NO SENSE OF DECENCY?

But really. I shouldn’t be blaming my fellow gym members. I should be blaming TLC. Bastards.

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