The Man With The 200lb Tumor is airing tonight on TLC, and I just have one question — what have we let TLC do to us? Its letters theoretically stand for ‘The Learning Channel’, but it seems like it went from ‘learning’ to ‘leering’ years ago. It’s become a televised opportunity for us to gawk at super-weird things. Just today, for example, we have programming such as 19 Kids And Counting, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, World’s Tallest Children, and The Man With Half a Body. And that’s in one day! One day.
It’s mind-boggling, is what it is. It’s like DVR-able schadenfreude, and I’m as guilty of it as you are. When I hear ’200lb tumor’, my first reaction is “Oh my god that weighs more than me, how horrifying”, and my second reaction is, “Hmm I kind of want to see that.” No! No no no! What have you done to me, TLC? When did I get this way and how did you trick me into it?
For an answer, the only thing we can do is to the Crushable Intelligence Files (CIF), where we keep random transcripts of board meetings from different companies all over the country. We have everything in there. To be honest, we know who killed JFK, but we can never tell you, because our information is top-secret. But luckily for today, I was able to get you all top security clearance for this file, a transcript of a TLC board meeting in which they discuss their upcoming season of shows. (Obviously, some of these shows never made it on the air, so we appreciate your discretion moving forward.)
Minutes: TLC Weekly Programming Meeting
CEO: “We’re going into a busy week, here, so I want to make sure we all have our game faces on for summer.”
Head Writer: “Yes ma’am. We have some great programming planned, to make people feel extra good about themselves in the summer months.”
CEO: “Perfect, let’s hear some show titles. If I like something, I’ll stop you and you can explain it.”
Head Writer: “Sure. So far we have: I Didn’t Know I Was Married…My Spouse Is A Mouse…Caged And Engaged…”
CEO: “Whoa whoa whoa, why is everything so wedding heavy? I thought we agreed we were focusing on human interest stories for the warmer months. During the winter, that’s when people want to watch weirdos loving each other. During the summer, their hormones are raging, they’re feeling independent, they want more things like The Man With The 200lb Tumor.
Head Writer: “Roger that. In human interest I have Most Awkward Gingers…The Human Barnacle…Say Yes To The Pests.”
CEO: “What’s that last one about?”
Head Writer: “Oh it’s great, it’s about virgin exterminators who fall in love while working on a termite infestation.”
CEO: “I don’t know…I feel like that’s something we already have in our wheelhouse. Maybe it overlaps a little too much with What Not To Wear…?”
Head Writer: “Good point. I also have Baby Makers, about engineers who are also toddlers, and Fart Train, which is a coming-of-age tale about an Australian science class who figured out how to power a train using the methane gas from kangaroo farts.”
CEO: “See, this is why I pay you the big bucks, kid. I feel like we’re really onto something here. Flesh out these ideas, give yourself a raise, and I’ll meet you back here in a week to plan our next move.”
Based on their shows, I really don’t see how this could be much of an exaggeration. But I gotta go, guys, I have to finish filling out my application for Girl vs. Pearls, a show about my addiction to costume jewelry and crustaceans.