The Couch Potato
I am a potato.
Not a small potato like my brother, not a sweet potato like my mother,
not a mashed potato-like uncle Stu.
I am a couch potato.
Yeah, it’s true.
My favorite place to slouch is on the couch.
I spend all my free time sitting in this exact spot.
Why would I ever leave this comfy cozy couch?
It’s got everything a potato could need.
See, I have this.
And one of these.
And this, check it out.
This button activates a gadget that fetches me snacks whenever I want.
Bam, impressed and I don’t have to move an inch.
Much easier than going to the kitchen.
If the most important thing in life is to be comfortable at all times,
then I think I’ve got it all figured out.
But wait, there’s more.
I haven’t revealed the absolute best part about my whole setup.
It’s everything you see in front of me, have a look around.
Take it all in, pretty spectacular, right?
Yes, it’s a sea of shimmering screens from wall to shining wall.
What joy, what lists.
These screens feature my favorite shows.
This screen has all my unanswered messages.
These screens are where I play video games.
And this screen is a live stream of my friend, my best bud for life.
This is how my pals and I spend quality time together.
It’s much easier than trying to meet up somewhere, like folks did in the old days.
That’s for sure.
Hey pal, Tato.
Yes, from this very couch, I can control everything in my life
all the time with just a few taps and a couple clicks.
Not bad, eh?
Yessirree, this is the life.
At least that’s what I thought, until the other day.
Something strange happened.
It was a knock on the door.
It was a delivery.
It was my newest device, a video camera that would allow me to watch myself react
while I was watching all my favorite shows.
All I had to do was plug it in and my room, nah, my kingdom would be complete, but suddenly pew.
Everything went dark and the couch potato gets up from the couch,
lookout, coming through.
Whoops, oof, ow.
Falls over, whump.
I made it back to the window, and
I pulled back the curtains, the sun seemed brighter than I remembered.
There was nothing better to do so like decided to take my dog Tater, for
a walk outside.
It had been a while.
Everything was so vivid like a high resolution,
156 inch curved screen, but even more realistic.
Something smelled fresh.
After a few moments, I realized that it was the air.
I heard a noise, some chirps a ringtone perhaps.
But no, I looked up to see some birds.
I wandered down the street from block to block and across the neighborhood.
Eventually, I found a park with a hill.
There was a massive tree on top,
it looked like a desktop background, only it was real, neat.
I leaned against the tree.
It wasn’t as comfortable as my couch, not even close, but
after a while, it wasn’t so bad.
Any worries about the power outage and what I might be missing drifted away.
I wasn’t thinking about my favorite shows, or my unanswered messages, or
anything else really.
I noticed the stillness, the view, this sky,
the clouds, the sunset and those colors.
My goodness, look at those colors.
It took a while because there was no fast, forward option, but
eventually the sun sank below the horizon.
By the time I got home, the power was back on.
I sat on the couch, whew I hit the button to brush my teeth.
I pulled the lever to change into my pajamas.
I turned the knob to watch a bedtime story.
Then I noticed my reflection in one of the screens,
I wondered how much of my life has been spent in that very spot.
It was then in there that I made the decision.
To peel myself off the couch a bit more often, maybe every day even.
And so that’s what I’ve done.
I’ve started hanging out with my friends,
my best buddies outside, we started biking, and hiking, and swimming.
And hiding and seeking.
Sometimes we have snacks and play board games.
Sometimes we talk all day.
We might watch the clouds.
There’s no big plan.
We just see what happens.
It makes me wonder, what if I don’t always need to be totally comfortable?
What if I’m happier when I have a better balance between my gadgets and
the world outside, cuz it turns out and I’m more than just a couch potato.
I’m an amusing potato, I’m a smart potato.
I’m a kind of potato.
I’m an entertaining potato, and I’m gonna sit on a hill and
watch the sunset potato.
Yes, there’s a great big world out there, and
I want to be part of it in person.
But don’t get me wrong, at the end of a long day after I’ve run, and played, and
talked, and laughed with my friends.
I still think it’s awfully nice to slouch on the couch.
- Have you tried doing something that makes you feel a little scared or nervous lately?
- Have you gone outside to play and see new things around you?
- Have you learned something new that you didn’t know before?
- Is it better to play with toys or screens or go outside and play in the real world?
- Is it fun to play with your friends and family in person or just online?
- Is it good to pay attention to what is happening right now instead of thinking about other things?
- What can we learn from the story about a person who sits on the couch all day?
- Can you try doing something different today that you haven’t done before?