Relations: Smash Your TV! (online version)
Robert Simplot 
Most people in the unemployeds class did not have access to television. Robert had
access simply because his mother, Ruth, was in the laboring class. And he still lived
with her, even though he was now 37 years old. He felt very fortunate. None of the
other unemployeds he knew had much access to television. He needed to make sure his
mother remained in perfect health so that she could live forever.
He applied for jobs whenever he heard about a job opening. But it was hopeless. Job
openings were rare and there would always be long lines of people applying. He knew that he
would always be an unemployed unless he won the Manpower Hour.
He felt bad for the other unemployeds who needed to get a job so that they could watch tv.
He hated to imagine what that must be like. He loved the people on tv. Their lives were so
interesting. The real world was so boring and he often wondered what it was like for the
unemployeds who were stuck in the mundane world all the time. Any time he had to stand in
a long line for a job opening, all he could think about was what tv shows would be on when he
got home. Nobody spoke or even made eye contact while standing in line, it would have been
seen as suspicious behavior and would prevent you from getting the job. But he knew, he could
see it in their body language, that a life without tv was a horrible life indeed.
His favorite person on tv was Hotcha. He was in love with her. All of the years when she
would be singing about drinking Coca-Cola he would pretend that she was singing about him.
The new Hotcha videomercials were so different. She looked so different. The things she
said were so different. But he still loved her as much as ever. The videomercial that was
on now was his favorite. The one where she said she wanted to hug him at the end. He wanted
to hug her too. That commercial told him to go outside and look for people. That was almost
too scary to do. Leaving the house was scary. But he was brave. He would prove his bravery
to Hotcha by going outside and looking around after he saw the commercial. But nobody else
in his little Gainesville neighborhood was brave enough. Or, actually, they mostly didn't
have a tv. They were mostly unemployeds around here. But he was determined to keep doing
anything Hotcha asked him to do.