Last week, I accompanied Hubby to get lab work done since we had to be in that section of town for another errand anyway. After checking him in, the receptionist told us to have a seat in the waiting area. But after waiting for five minutes, I was ready to climb the walls. No, not because I’m that impatient. It was because of the television set mounted on the wall (which absolutely no one was watching) blaring HGTV into the lobby.

“Oh my gosh,” I said to Hubby, “can’t they at least turn it to the news or something?”

“No, the news might offend somebody,” he answered with a trace of sarcasm.

“Well, I’m offended by mindless drivel! How come nobody worries about offending me, hmmm?”

He didn’t answer.

In the first place, I don’t understand why everywhere we go there must be a booming television set “entertaining” us while we wait. Second, if there is a law that says the blaring television set is mandatory in places where people have to wait, could it please be tuned to something not so annoying? I mean, seriously, is there anything more boring than watching people walk through a disgusting building that should be condemned and ruminate about how they’re going to fix it up? Do I want to hear their back-and-forth inane banter? No. Do I want to watch them peel soiled, threadbare carpet off yellowed linoleum? No. Do I need to see the antiquated rust-stained bathroom fixtures and imagine the nasty black mold lurking behind the walls? No. Are there really people who enjoy watching this? No. Okay, I guess on that last question, it has to be “yes” since this channel is still on the air. But for me, my definition of hell is to spend an eternity where I can’t escape from HGTV. If I weren’t already dead, I would kill myself.

As I sat there, trying to block out the incessant chatter, I was reminded of the time I was waiting to drive someone home from the dental clinic after wisdom teeth extraction. Again, HGTV. I put up with it for as long as I could. There was one other person in the waiting room and the remote was sitting within my reach.

“Are you watching this?” I asked. I’m always polite. Perhaps the guy was enthralled, although he appeared to be more enthralled with his phone.

He shook his head.

“Do you mind if I turn it off?”

“No, go ahead.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, I snatched that remote and banished the stupid show into the abyss of insanity where it belonged.

It was mercifully quiet. For five whole minutes. Then a staff member walked by, noticed the TV was off, picked up the remote, and released HGTV from its abyss, where we were once again a captive audience to brain-numbing irritation.

When they called Hubby back, I told him I would go wait in the car.

The week before last, I drove a friend to an imaging center to have an MRI. The lobby was nice, sunny, and quiet. I figured I would immerse myself in the book I had brought while she had the procedure. But they called me to go back with her to another waiting area, where I was treated to . . . you guessed it, HGTV blasting from the TV mounted to the wall in front of us.

When I was little, my pediatrician had a fish tank to entertain patients while they waited. It was quiet, peaceful, relaxing, and mesmerizing, watching the colorful fish swimming back and forth, while the air filter made comforting bubbling noises. No loud talking heads blared from anywhere in the office. Perhaps I could suggest to HGTV that they do a featured series on refurbishing fish tanks. Underwater.