It’s gotten a lot harder to find something on t.v. that is good to quilt by. I don’t want to be one of those “back in the good old days” kind of people BUT when I started quilting, back in the 1980s, it seems to me there was more variety on t.v. Or there were more shows that I’d consider perfect for an afternoon of quilting.

The problem may be me. (Ya think?) Let’s face it, I miss Columbo, that old quasi-mystery, quasi-cop procedural, starring Peter Falk. It was the ideal length – at least two hours with commercials. And it was on so often that I got to know the shows pretty much by heart.

So that meant I didn’t have to WATCH them, really. Since I’d already seen each one, millions of times. I knew when to look up. I knew when I could run the sewing machine which would drown out the dialogue because I could knew what everyone was going to say.

In fact really I never had to listen because I knew the plots thoroughly. Indeed, why I even had to t.v. on, is a question. Since I didn’t watch it and frequently couldn’t hear it. I simply looked up periodically and sort of checked in to where Columbo was in trapping the killer.

And I reckon I liked how high end the killers were – a more palatable class of villains. They rarely were scary. They often were attractive. People I didn’t mind spending an afternoon with although I would not have invited any of them to dinner.

No other mystery show has ever come close to this comfort level for me. I am beginning to think I have absorbed some of the shows as being true. Almost. Hope not. But like family legends that become true with reiteration, these shows have genuine reality for me.

There was one with Donald Pleasance—I mean, hey, Donald Pleasance! – he was a wine lover and grower who had to, just HAD to kill his younger half brother who was going to sell the family vineyard (if memory serves). And he was being blackmailed by his secretary played by a truly scary Julia Harris into marrying her, because she’d figured out what Colombo had figured out, that Donald’s character had “done it.” Why you would think marrying a murderer would be a safer choice, beats me.

It was just swell!  And nothing nowadays delivers the same ideal conditions for me to quilt along with. Talk shows demand too much attention and I don’t like angry people much. Nobody is ever angry on Colombo.

The court shows can get really loud and again you have to pay attention. Reality shows, ditto. Although I believe that Project Runway reruns could maybe fill this gap – but there are so few of these now that Lifetime is running the Runway. Tim Gunn as the wise Colombo, non-judgmental and helpful.

All this to say I’ve got to quilt two quilts and there’s nothing on. I am going to have to resort to music. Which is not the same.