Tune in Tomorrow

December 2002 - It's all my mother's fault, you know. That I'm hooked on soaps, I mean. She's told me that she used to watch Days of Our Lives while she did the ironing and I was in the playpen. Something must have sunk in because I've been a soap fan pretty much ever since. I've followed daytime soaps, nighttime soaps, American soaps, British soaps. About the only soap I didn't watch was Soap.

What is it about soaps that keeps me coming back day after day, week after week, year after year? Well, for one thing, I enjoy the realistic plot lines. Here's an example from my favorite soap, Guiding Light. This past spring, Christina Blake Thorpe Spaulding Spaulding Marler was held hostage by Tory, an insane law student who slept with Blake's live-in ex-husband, got rejected by him, then faked her own death. Are you with me so far? Good. Now, while Tory was "dead" (i.e. off-camera), she secretly managed to convert the basement of a building by the docks into a prison for Blake. She installed wrought-iron bars, put in sound-proofing, hauled in a bed, provided a pot for Blake to piss in and added a TV so she could torture a kidnapped Blake with video of her creeping around in Blake's house. Blake finally managed to escape and lock Tory in the cell. She then rushed home for a long-awaited reunion with her family but, alas, no one was there. So, what could Blake do but call her favorite spa and have an emergency beauty treatment? She HAD been locked up for a couple of weeks, after all! Hello!

Besides the realistic plots, there's also the employment situation to consider. Guiding Light is set in Springfield, USA and the unemployment rate there is zero. I mean, everyone has a job. And not only do they have jobs, but they have great jobs! Alan Spaulding and his son Philip are business tycoons. Ross is the best lawyer in the country, if not in the world. Reva is a star TV reporter. And Blake, when she's not being imprisoned by maniacs, writes best-selling romance novels (after giving up her career as a PR hot shot, which she gave up to be a private investigator, which she gave up to be a full-time wife and mother).

But, what makes these jobs really cool, is that very little actual work is required! You can go to fabulous galas at the country club, chase your true love down to Mexico, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the swankiest restaurant in town and still have plenty of money rolling in. Should work be necessary, it certainly doesn't take long. Business deals can be handled over the cell phone, a brilliant closing argument only takes a couple of minutes to write, and who says you actually have to know facts before reporting a news story? If I watch soaps long enough, I'm bound to stumble onto their secret to success.

I guess I'll have to tune in tomorrow.