How autistic are you?

And how autistic am I?  I sometimes think a little. 

I am more comfortable using the term autistic now that it has opened up to everybody and his brother thanks to the mild-autism-slash-asperger’s end of the spectrum… I think it pretty much encompasses everybody who is slightly awkward socially, which is certainly me.

But please accept my apology if I’ve offended anybody who is genuinely autistic, or caring for a loved one who is.  I don’t think I’m genuinely, fully, 100% autistic.  But certainly a little…. off.  And getting more so, in a kind of calcification process, as I get older.   I can fell it setting in, the nimble structures of my mind fusing into greater and greater rigidity.

What I am very autistic about is television.  It has to be the SAME, over and over.  Ted can barely stand watching television with me, because it absolutely has to be exactly the same every time.

Here is what I watched on our television before we cancelled our cable:

~ Judge Judy

~ occasionally, Iron Chef

Here is what I watch on our television since we cancelled our cable:

~ Medical shows (ER, House, Grey’s Anatomy)

To be interesting, the characters on the screen must be occupied with saving lives in some way… the human drama of the shows is not enough, and in some way, not reassuring or practical enough for me to tolerate.  It has to be formulaic.  There must be Latin spoken.

I miss Judge Judy, repetitious and awful and shrieky though she may be.  If I could get a DVD of nothing but Judge Judy, or maybe of several judge shows interspersed, it would make me very happy.  Like “One Hundred Judge Shows”… do they make a DVD like that?

The format is so predictable!  I love it.  (Iron Chef, too, by the way, plus you learn foodie tidbits along the way)

I just remembered that Rain Man had that Judge Wapner thing going on.  That was People’s Court, one of my least favourite judge shows, actually.  I haven’t watched them in a couple of years, so I don’t know if the same ones are still on. 

I miss being able to turn on the VCR and have dozens of Judge Judy shows lined up.  Ted used to tape them for me, 1/2 an hour or an hour every day… I’d save them up and watch them a few at a time, gobbling them like popcorn.

My mother has cable and a VCR, but it’s not really the sort of thing I can ask her.  Everything is such a big deal for her.  For Ted, it was no big deal.  He is so non-judgmental (no pun intended)… he’s just, like, “okay, here is Tape A, here is Tape B, here is Tape C, there are about twenty shows on them… Tape B is the oldest ones.”

(you kind of have to watch them in order because there is a promo for the next show at the end of each one)

I love the medical shows, but sometimes, the plots and suspense get very tiring.  But I would be very happy if I had a DVD of judge shows, enough to last for a while (okay, at 22 minutes per show, even a DVD full would probably not last too long… I might need several). 

Who knows… ?  I’ve got a birthday coming up!


More great reading