Turn Off the TV!

by Bruce Lansky
My father gets quite mad at me;
my mother gets upset—
when they catch me watching
our new television set.

My father yells, "Turn that thing off!"
Mom says, "It’s time to study."
I’d rather watch my favorite TV show
with my best buddy.

I sneak down after homework
and turn the set on low.
But when she sees me watching it,
my mother yells out, "No!"


Text © Bruce Lansky, reprinted from Kids Pick the Funniest Poems published by Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Stephen Carpenter. Any copying or use of this poem or illustration without consent is unlawful.


The Story Behind the Poem:
My mother had strict rules about watching TV. We only could watch a few shows a week. My mother didn’t want me getting home from school and then sitting down and vegging out in front of the TV. She wanted me to go outside and play with friends, do my homework, read a book—just about anything but mindless TV watching. Of course, when she wasn’t home my brothers and I would sometimes engage in some mindless TV watching—but as soon as we heard Mom’s car in the driveway, we’d switch off the TV and run out into the back yard to play.

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