What is the proper waiting room etiquette? Do I stop watching television when the car repair is completed? Or do I ask them to "find something else on the car to fix" because I'm so engrossed in the “Today Show”?

What is the proper waiting room etiquette? Do I stop watching television when the car repair is completed? Or do I ask them to "find something else on the car to fix" because I'm so engrossed in the “Today Show”?

"Al Roker has jet lag and he forgot he's home from the Olympics. He's giving the entire weather forecast in Russian!"

I don't want to become one of those guys who is known for exhibiting waiting room rage, but I wonder if I'm allowed to at least debate the worthiness of two different morning TV shows with a guy who wants to change the channel to "Good Morning America."

I suppose we could avoid throwing old waiting room magazines at each other by compromising and watching ESPN's Sportscenter, hoping during the highlights that we're rooting for the same team.

ABUNDANCE OF SCREENS

All waiting rooms seem to have televisions these days. It makes sense. The screens keep our minds off the length of time we might be waiting for our appointments, as well as prevent us from dwelling on what we might have to go through once those appointments start.

My dentist's office has televisions in the actual examining rooms — the work rooms — and I'm in favor of it. I used to drool on magazines while I was waiting for the numbing medicine to take effect. Now I just lean back, look at the screen, and let the spit stay where it's supposed to be.

Such televisions are also supposed to keep you occupied during drilling so you don't mind any discomfort you might feel. Personally, though, I think they ought to tune the televisions to only painful programs, and soothe me by the comparison.

In fact, my next root canal I might ask them to turn the TV to some cable channel that plays reruns of the "Sopranos." It will make me thankful. "Hey, I got it bad, but I'm not THAT guy. At least I didn't get whacked. ..."

A LITTLE WHINING

I've only got a two or three complaints.

They should turn the sound up on the TVs in doctors' waiting rooms. Barely being able to make out what they're saying makes you want to go in and tell the doctor "You'd better check my ears out real good, too, because I think I've got some wax in them."

And, they should move the chairs closer to the televisions in the waiting rooms of eye doctors. If I'm in there for an appointment, I probably don't have real great eyesight.

Finally, the televisions some grocery stores have been putting over the checkout lines should be placed so the entire line can see them, not just the people in the back. Cash register clerks sometimes have to say hello to me twice and wait for me to load my groceries onto the counter while I lean back toward the television screen mumbling, "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, just give me the baseball scores."

I know there have been people behind me who wanted to heave a can of peas in my direction. Checkout line rage. Wait until they get up underneath some interesting program and we'll see if they want to keep waiting, too.