Westerns Save the Day

“Life with Mike” has been on hold the past few weeks as Life with Mike in the house has been a little different.

Mike had foot surgery recently. He had a bone spur that needed to be removed, and because he is a diabetic, everything just takes him a little extra time to heal.

His surgery went fine and his healing is going well. But foot surgery means staying off your feet. So Mike’s been off his feet and I’ve been catering to his every need.

It’s one thing to lie around the house for relaxation, and another to lie around because you have to. Nobody wants to do things they have to do. He was tired of his chair and bed after a day and a half.

He explored daytime TV. I think he developed a fondness for Regis and Kelly, and, he would even change the channel to Dr. Phil automatically without me reminding him. He laughed at Dr. Phil’s jokes and really listened to the guests and their dilemmas.

Mike took lots of naps. He strummed on his guitar for the first time in a long time. He tossed Sophie, the dog, her ball over and over. Unfortunately, Sophie never gets bored with that.

But there was one thing that got Mike through this time without him pulling his hair out — the Western channel.

Mike loves the westerns. If “El Dorado” or “Rio Bravo” or anything Clint Eastwood is on anywhere, it will be on one of the Floyd TVs with Mike watching. “Gunsmoke” is also a sure thing to be on.

The Western channel is all these things on one station — cowboys, sheriffs, faithful horses, outlaws, saloon girls, pioneer women in danger — stuff that the dreams of a red-haired boy-at-heart are made of.

I asked him why he likes westerns so much. “It’s the past, it’s good guys and bad guys and most of the time you know who’s gonna win,” he told me.

“Westerns are uncomplicated. You don’t have to think hard to enjoy them,” he went on to say. Then he asked me why I liked love stories and how I could watch certain movies over and over.

My answer was pretty much the same as his — I don’t have to think real hard to enjoy “An Affair to Remember.”

Mike is back at work now. I miss him around the house almost as much as Sophie does. And the cowboys, horses and gunslingers wait out on the airwaves for Mike to tune in again to the thrilling days of yesteryear, where most of the time the good guys win, and you don’t have to do a lot of thinking.

From September 2003 

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