I just checked into my hotel in Chicago, and when I walked into the room, the TV was on and tuned to their generic channel, which shows bucolic country scenes and plays soothing music.

I felt like Albert Brooks watching the weather channel in his room in “Defending Your Life.” If the coffee shop here brings me an omelet fifteen seconds after I order it, I’m in trouble, even if it turns out to be the best omelet I’ve ever had.