Metro-East Living

Commercials and slow ball games? Wally doesn’t have time for that.

These days I have a lot more time to spend at the barbershop, which means talking to a lot of different people and hearing some good stories, some of which can be repeated.

Like the guy who had just been to the dentist and told them it has been a couple of years since his last visit. They couldn’t find him on their computer and ended up having to go look through their written files stored in the basement. It had been 12 years since his last visit, which I guess proves that time does fly when you’re having fun, or avoiding the dentist.

The other day the subject of baseball came up, as it often does, and someone was talking enthusiastically about the new rule which allows pitchers to issue an intentional walk without having to take the time to throw four pitches way off the plate. They might chop off a minute a game there, more depending on how many walks are issued.

But they are pikers compared to what another guy in there said he does to save time. He records every game he wants to watch and avoids all the extra stuff between any action when watching.

“After the pitcher throws the pitch and I know what happened, I hit the little switch on the remote control and he is throwing the next pitch,” the guy said.

He has his recorder set so it cuts out all the stuff in between.

I am hopelessly behind when it comes to technology, so this might be common, but it struck me as funny. It would seem to defeat the purpose of networks paying millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast sports when anyone can tailor his or her viewing to eliminate their messages.

This guy does the same thing when he is watching football. When the play is over he hits the button and they’re snapping the ball again.

“I can watch a football game in 45 minutes,” he said. That’s opposed to the three-plus hours it takes to watch a normal NFL Sunday game.

And if things get boring, as blowouts do sometimes, he can skip to the end to see how things came out. Or since games often come down to the last few minutes, he goes to watch just that vital time.

It does involve some planning. “I always have to make sure I don’t find out the scores on late games I’ve recorded,” he said.

This speaks to something I have noticed about myself as well. As I get older, I get more impatient with things I used to spend hours doing, like watching television. I think it’s a response to the fact that we older guys don’t have as much time left as we used to. We know we no longer have endless hours to waste on boring television.

Plus, with so many choices in entertainment, news and sports, why waste time on something that isn’t top notch?

It’s even harder to sit and watch a movie in a theater these days for two hours. You can’t cut out the commercials and previews at the beginning, and if the movie drags at any time, it can be excruciating.

Get to the point. Get this over, and let’s get out of here and on to something else. Time’s a wastin’.