Reluctant Townie: More chum (and chumps) for 'Shark Tank'

Reluctant Townie: More chum (and chumps) for 'Shark Tank'

At this point in my life, I am certain of only two things: 1) fat free hot dogs are not worth it; and 2) the only reason the television show "Shark Tank" exists is because boring old people need a way to determine if they are old and boring.

How can you tell if you've crossed over the threshold from young gun to washed-up fuddy-duddy? (For starters, you use the word "fuddy-duddy.")

Just plug your personal information into my as-of-yet-unpatented "Shark Tank" Lameness Index Equation:

Add together the number of times you watched "Shark Tank" last month. Divide that total by the number of Friday nights you were physically able to leave your home and seek nightlife. The result will give you an approximate percentage of where you land on the Lameness Index.

Ideally, a young buck or young lady buck of good social standing would aim for a score of 0 percent. But maybe he or she broke up with a girlfriend/boyfriend or accidentally spent all of the beer money for the week on novelty posters — and so a score as high as 25 percent is possible. This is within the bounds of a standard deviation and should be no cause for alarm.

My own score currently stands at 100 percent— which means I made the dean's list of being the least exciting person in the room. And even more disturbing than this development is the fact that I don't really care. I didn't flip out and buy a fedora or join a folk-pop ensemble in an attempt to reinvent myself.

Yeah, I'm getting older. Yeah, I'm getting lamer. But it's not so bad. My bed is more comfortable than a bar stool, and at least here they don't call the cops when I pass out in my boxer shorts cuddling a tub of cookies 'n' cream.

But that being said, "Shark Tank" is the worst show anyone could possibly watch on a Friday night — and perhaps the most psychologically abusive show on television, period.

The premise of "Shark Tank" is that real-life multimillionaires listen to pitches from real-life entrepreneurs and inventors and all-around high achievers, then decide whether or not to invest in their businesses.

The show is watchable in that "oops, the TV remote just fell behind the bed — oh well, nice knowing you, TV remote; have a nice life with the bugs!" kind of way, but the issue here is the subject matter.

If you are home at 8 p.m. on a Friday night watching "Shark Tank," it could be a sign of a deeper problem. The last thing you need to see is a parade of highly motivated type-A personalities being handed million-dollar checks.

You need to see a show about people who are doing worse in life than you. People who have less teeth than you. People who eat ketchup straight from the bottle. That is what reality television is all about, after all: self-actualization by way of schadenfreude.

On Friday night, television networks should only be allowed to air shows made for nerds, shows starring Reba McIntyre and shows that feature human beings struggling to complete the most basic of tasks.

Instead of "Shark Tank", somebody should make a show called "Drunk Tank," where people who have been arrested for public intoxication must compete against each other in a series of events designed to test their basic motor skills.

It could be followed by "Lights and Darks," a reality show wherein a bunch of clueless Chads attempt to wash and dry their girlfriends' delicates without ruining them. (Spoiler alert: Nobody wins.)

However, "Shark Tank" is not entirely without merit. It has inspired me to design several of my own inventions in hopes of striking it rich.

The most notable of my inventions is Booze Chips (copyrighted!), the alcohol-flavored potato chip that gets you drunk. Featuring such mouth-watering combinations as mint julep nacho cheese and Zesty Ranch Merlot. Our slogan: "Don't get wasted and eat a bag of chips. Eat a bag of chips that gets you wasted!" Alternate slogan: "Can't eat just one ... because you're an alcoholic." (Status: awaiting Kickstarter approval.)

I will turn 30 this summer, which is stupid and dumb and meaningless all at the same time, and I'm really not too concerned about it, nor I am worried about the downward trending of my party time days, but I do sometimes wonder if I'm being unrealistic about its significance.

Looking back, it would have been nice to have Booze Chips in the bag (if you will pardon the pun) by age 30, but I guess you can't conquer the world in the first act, unless you want to lose it all in the second act or sit through a really boring movie where nothing ever happens.

Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who is superbored all day while traveling the world over in his private zeppelin with a sexy robot butler and hyper-intelligent ninja monkey sidekick.

Nobody would ever watch a movie about that guy's life.

Ryan Jackson is looking for investors who want to get in on the ground floor of his Booze Chips empire, and he can be reached at

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