We challenged two NBN writers to sustain themselves for a day on nothing but Norris entertainment, using the following guidelines:
1. One of the two participants must be present in Norris for at least six hours. Feel free to take shifts if you want.
2. Doing homework/use of social media is allowed, but consumption of media is not. If you want to listen to music, it better be the Norris playlist. If you want to watch TV, it better be whatever’s on in Norris.
3. Mobility around Norris is most definitely allowed. There’s a lot of weird stuff you probably wouldn’t think of in Norris – i.e., the Games Room – so be sure to capitalize on that.
These are their stories.
I arrived in time to snag one of those snazzy egg chairs that simply exude completeness with one’s life. Update: I have been told by a man hanging out in a casual purple button down that “those chairs must remains in front of the fireplace.” I am paying $68,095 for this chair. Does the fireplace count as media consumption? Good Morning America comes on. One of their intro stories is Justin Bieber storming off stage – I am so hopeful for the condition of modern journalism. Starbucks is playing loud jazz music. I remember that I threw up on my arm last night. It still smells like throw up. At least I’m not hungover. The men next to me are discussing the viability of the costumes: somehow George Stephanopoulos is making the cut. The angry chair man has found friends and is talking very loudly. I must move. Someone just changed the channel to ESPN. I am truly in hell.
The squad of construction workers has left and I change the TV to The Today Show – breaking my covenant and revealing that I am a flawed vessel of journalistic endeavors. My head begins to hurt. The whole cast is dressed as Charlie Brown characters. Yes, the cast – these are not journalists. The White House is about to announce a ramp-up of military engagement in Syria and Iraq. Back to trash – Al Roker just taught me how to make a Frankenstein cake. The TV just did that really loud commercial thing and I almost pooped myself.
Kathy Lee and Hoda are dressed up as Woodstock and Snoopy – where is the alcohol? I realize I really need no training whatsoever to become an on-air personality. Glozell Green has made an appearance to talk about her cinnamon challenge, which is arguably one of my favorite Youtube videos ever. Where is Brian Williams? Schools in Chicago are being evacuated in an apparent hazmat risk. Local news is the worst – I change it to The Wendy Williams Show because I am truly a masochist at heart. I think I have come out the other side of my exhaustion-induced headache. I am a stronger person than I was three hours ago.
The Real is on, which is essentially cable's more liberal minded and diverse response to The View – they came down from the ceiling in their costumes. We just suffered through – wait, I don’t even remember what I just watched. I’m becoming jaded and resenting the things I love most.
As the sands through the hourglass of time, so are the Days of Our Lives. Everybody is up to their same old shit, old white lady is manipulating what's-his-face, young girl “did something.” Shocker. Just got judged by passersby.
I arrive in Norris. I honestly don’t even know who the hosts of The Today Show are but one is in a snoopy costume and it looks awful. I am realizing Regis is too old, just far too old for all this. He is sucking up green candy with a straw while being heckled by Glozell and I am worried for his safety.
Norris is dead. Only one person is not on their phone or laptop. We switch the show to Wendy Williams. Flo Rida comes out! Singing a song he created for the Peanuts Movie? What? He is wearing a sequined Charlie Brown shirt. I really had no idea that this is what Flo Rida looks like but I also don’t know what I was expecting. I guess this is some Family Friendly Flo. Wendy is jammin’ on the side.
We are devastated when we realize that we have missed The View, so now we must watch The Real instead. Every host descends from the sky in their costumes to copious cheers. The host whose costume is Wonder Woman has a messed-up contour. I feel really bad for her. The Real moves into “Ghoul Chat” to talk about whether dressing a certain way can boost your confidence, so naturally they pick here to announce that they are going to bring in Rachel Dolezal for an interview on Monday.
I have been here for an hour and a headache is starting to brew. The cable tv is beginning to rot my brain. I start to use my circle scarf as a pillow. I have now seen the same Honey Nut Cheerios commercial starring the a knock-off ginger Chris Pratt three times. Trevor, who has been here since 8 a.m., begins to close his eyes. Stay strong, stay strong; everyone on TV before 3 p.m. has a voice that sounds kinda of like nails on a chalkboard. My computer is dead because it hates me and what I am currently doing to myself. A news story about a giant inflatable pumpkin rolling away and wreaking havoc on some town really gets to me. I'm laughing a lot more than I should be.
Trevor moves to sit directly in front of the TV to be able to hear the stellar dialogue. An old white man looks conflicted about something on Days of Our Lives. A few people walk by and ask, "Hey, what the hell is this?” I can't take Days of Our Lives anymore, so I decide to class it up with another daytime TV classic, Cheaters. Trevor has left the building. First costume spotted in Norris! He is a bull. America’s court comes on, and somehow 10 minutes have passed and I haven't absorbed anything that has happened. My eyes are beginning to glaze. I'm thinking about how much Netflix I have marathoned in my life. Why is this daytime cable TV so much more painful?
Now my eyes have wandered to the picture of the three Northwestern graduates on the side of the TV. One of the guys has his tassel caught in his glasses and it looks really awkward. But he is forever immortalized on the wall of Norris, so I guess you win some, you lose some.
I have now seen the same Theraflu commercial five times. Humming of “Way Too Cold” commences. I’ve spotted another costume in Norris! Oh wait just kidding, it’s just someone from California who loves Jeff Spicoli and his longboard. Some guy goes “Are we really watching the fucking People’s Court right now? Who put this on?” … Guilty as charged. I pack up my stuff to go to class for an hour, but it is a false sense of happiness because I know I will have to be back to this hell hole for another two hours after class. (After four hours of television, the sound of real people speaking to me was amazing but sunlight literally hurt my eyes.)
I am back in the saddle again. I have never realized how stale Norris smells, like spilled pumpkin spice lattes. The TV is still on The U and now Judge Mathis is on. I need a hero right now. Who is going to step up to the plate and change the channel to something they want to watch? Someone is up and heading for the remote! Nope, they are just throwing something out. Theraflu commercial count: nine. Judge Mathis’s voice is now mixing with the Imagine Dragons playing at Starbucks and I want to cry and then cut my ears off. I have moved to looking up TV guide on my phone – Real Housewives of Atlanta is marathoning on Bravo right now which is perfect daytime TV trash, but Norris is packed now and I know I would be judged for changing it. Also two people next to me on this couch look relatively invested in Mathis. I decide to give myself a 15-minute break to walk around Norris and explore. After taking a huge lap around basically all of Norris, I only had two people ask me who I was looking for and I got three free pieces of candy. Successful trip.
So many people seem so happy to be in Norris right now. So many people have their headphones in listening to music. I am extremely jealous. Theraflu commercial count: 13. I finally get to see the People’s Court case about the Nintendo! My eyes keep fluttering closed. I can’t be that person asleep in Norris no no no. My. Head. Is. Pounding.
I am out. I am gonna do something productive with my day, like nap.