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I watch very little TV, so when I do, you can be pretty sure that whatever I’m watching is something I made plans to view. Usually it’s a presidential debate, or something like that, which should tell you just how often I schedule my preferred TV time.

There is something that I don’t have to schedule as it relates to the TV, and it is iconic of a true if/then conditional statement. What I mean is this.

If there is smoke, then there is fire. Where there are rain clouds, rain will follow. If I sit down to watch something important to me, then all four of my children will have sudden, personal problems that must be met by the help of a parent lest the world come completely undone.

Seriously. I sometimes feel like there’s a button on the remote control that I’ve pressed by mistake, and it signals some part of my children’s brains. I do all that I can to press only the button which reads “POWER” followed by the buttons clearly marked for controlling the channels and volume, but somehow in my non-texting and technologically unskilled manner, I manage to hit the “INTERRUPTING CHILDREN” button. And of course, there are mere seconds between the moment I’m situated and the moment the first child comes running in to tell me the toilet is backing up. And even as I’m still gathering enough energy to rise from my chair to seek out the plunger, I can hear the next in line charging down the stairs to announce that the hamster has escaped. The other two children are out in the garage, and while I don’t know it yet, it will only be a moment before one will need to tell me that the other’s shirt got caught on the garage door and he was pulled up into the rafters when it opened.

I think I’m going to scratch off the word “PAUSE” on the DVR portion of the remote and write “WHY BOTHER” in its place. That certainly seems more appropriate.

Well, at least when it comes to if/then conditional statements, I’m learning that if I have a dram of Warengham’s French whisky in hand during these tumultuous events, then they are sure to be much less traumatic to my own inner stability.

Tonight’s edition: the Armorik Single Malt Classic.

A quick sniff of the delightful vanillas, blood oranges, and warmed barley and I’m ready to meet with a stubborn toilet bowl’s contents swirling at its uppermost edge. A sip from the Armorik—one which reveals creamed barley stirred with a sauce of honey and lemon—and I’m prepared to reach into the ductwork to find Fernando, the hamster who considers his benevolent keepers as no better than prison guards at Alcatraz.

The finish—fine, indeed. Its medium cling of lemon zest and cinnamon gives me just enough time to set the folding ladder in place in the garage that I might ascend and work to dislodge my son from a ceiling truss.

And then back to my chair where I press the “WHY BOTHER” button in order to continue in peace.

“Daddy,” the little girl says, tapping on my shoulder. “I accidentally put all of the Crayons into the microwave and cooked them for nine minutes on high. A fire started right around the eight minute mark and now the kitchen is burning. Can you help me?”

“Honey,” I say, sipping my whisky and maintaining my lock on the TV. “The fire extinguisher is in the pantry.”