Q: Here's my plan for my first kid. I have the entire 2004 Red Sox playoffs on DVD, as well as all the Patriots' Super Bowl DVD's. What if, instead of Dora and Barney, I prop my kid up in front of Tom and Papi? Hell, my kid may come into this world just before the NBA playoffs. What a way to start. This cannot fail; this will be revolutionary. All I need from you is a way to convince my wife this is a good idea.
--Bob, Pittsfield, Mass.
SG: Convince you? I'm beating you to it. There's no rhyme or reason to any of the shows aimed for kids under 18 months old. They have only one goal: to juggle as many weird colors, sights and sounds as possible to keep the kids' attention and eventually give them ADD.
For instance, our daughter went through a huge "Teletubbies" phase that ended only when we sent her to a Teletubbies rehab center. What are the Teletubbies, you ask? Multicolored, androgynous, possibly homicidal Muppets with speech impediments and farting problems who pop out of the ground after getting instructions from a smiling baby whose face has been superimposed on the sun, then jump around, wobble into each other and giggle for no reason. Twice per show, they break away from the Teletubbies to show a group of English kids learning from a female teacher named Debbie who has scary Austin Powers-type teeth. Then the show ends with the Tubbies popping back into the ground as the smiling sun baby grins in approval. That's the whole show.
So here's my question: If I'm going to overload my impressionable child with a show that inundates him or her with colors, weird sounds, strange noises and inexplicable movements, wouldn't a baseball or basketball game make just as much sense? Would I rather have my little boy dreaming of hanging out with Tinky Winky and Dispy ... or KG and Big Papi? Bob from Pittsfield, it's you and me. Let's do this.
And I was also reminded of the stiff competition for my least favorite baseball announcer ever:
Q: After two weeks of TBS, I never thought I would long for Tim McCarver's voice. But I am almost there.
--Chris, Longmont, Colo.
SG: I'm, uh, not almost there. I have a ways to go.