• Jane Leder

You Know Things Are Bad If You're Watching "Family Feud"




My name is Jane. I'm an addict.

Okay, let's change that up a tad. Hello, my name is Jane. I watched "Family Feud" last week and then relapsed and watched the show again today.


I'm so ashamed. I mean, I couldn't find one thing I wanted to do. I didn't want to write or listen to Julia Alvarez's latest book or take a walk down to the lake. It's freezing out there; there is a frost warning for early tomorrow morning. My flowers are most likely going to die. I don't care. I really don't like my garden, anyway.


I don't like my cat, either. All he wants to do is eat. The minute I walk into the kitchen, he manages to wake himself up from a deep sleep and start begging for food. He's supposed to be on a diet. I'm having about as much success with him losing weight as I'm having myself. I don't know: it feels as if we should both just plop ourselves down in front of two big bowls of slop and eat until he coughs up a hairball and I slam a few handfuls of Tums down my throat.


So, you think I might be suffering from the Pandemic Blues. You're damn right I am. I know I should be relieved that fifty percent of American adults have received at least one Covid shot. That's fine and dandy. What about the other fifty percent? What's up with that? Glass half empty or half full? I'm going with half empty. That's how I feel today, and that's how I landed on "Family Feud."


Ever watched the show? It's gone through several incarnations over the years. The latest is hosted by Steve Harvey, an affable guy with a laugh so thunderous that I've thought about wearing earplugs. I know, I shouldn't be thinking about the next time. I'm a depressed addict.


If you're not depressed and haven't hit rock bottom, let me give you a quick rundown. Five members of two families do their best to answer inane questions such as: What does your grandmother need to do if she's getting ready to go to church to meet a new man? Some of the winning answers? Wear new underwear. Put on her high heel sneakers. Get a new set of dentures. Girl Scout's honor. If the lucky family gets all the correct answers before striking out with three incorrect ones, they get to go on to the bonus round.


Who cares? Just writing about the show is boring me to tears.


One thing: I do wish I could play the "Family Feud" theme song for you. It's a rousing, noisy trumpet-laden instrumental that Brazien on YouTube said he wanted to be played at his funeral. It's hard to know where Brazien's mind was when he wrote that. Pulling our collective leg? Planning a New Orleans' style sendoff? I'll tell you straight up that I hate the song and, if nothing else, it will be the threat of hearing it one more time that will get me clean.


Speaking of clean, how many times have you cleaned out your closets? Reorganized your kitchen shelves? Your bookshelves? Be honest now: did you produce your very own photo book for each of your kids? Ah, and all those yummy new recipes you made over the course of one year. Are you still cooking away and loving every minute? Maybe you've started your own cottage catering company out of your house. I heard about two sisters in Chicago who did exactly that. Of course, they don't have a license as required by the city so . . . they may have cooked their own goose.


I spoke to a dear friend in California who admitted somewhat gleefully that her house has never been dirtier, never been more disorganized. She's been diagnosed with a heart murmur most likely from stress and has been ordered to wean herself off of TV news, if she knows what's good for her.


I recommended "Family Feud."

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