I finally entered the 21st Century last week and my metacarpals couldn’t be happier.
For the last several months I have been living (suffering) with a hopelessly outdated TV that has been in our family since the 1990s.
It was a good set back when Bill Clinton was president and I must say that it did hang in there for a very long time.
But recently the picture tube started to go seriously bad. The image would shut down to a single straight line across the screen before snapping back to normal. Then it got worse.
That line would be the first thing I saw when I turned the set on and I had to apply some “percussive maintenance” just to get a picture, which is to say that I smacked the living bejesus out of the thing to keep it from turning into a radio.
I felt like a character from some kitchen-sink drama or a lifelong trailer park inhabitant. All I needed was a sleeveless t-shirt.
Naturally this behavior did wonders for my mental health. I’d finish my morning meditation and qigong sessions, feeling all mellow and spiritual only to turn around and rock my chakras from pillar to post as I fumed, cursed, and bashed the ailing appliance into submission.
It got so bad toward the end that I actually cracked the top of the set—and severely injured my wrist in the process.
Yes, obviously I had to get a new TV, but you’re talking to someone who dodges the obvious the way Count Dracula avoids garlic.
On top of this I have an irrational fear of modern devices, convinced that I’ll never be able to figure them out. And I proceed to confirm that dread by studiously refusing to educate myself about their usage. Vicious cycle, anyone?
Better Living Through Television
I was certain I would waste a pile of money on the “wrong” TV—whatever the hell that means.
I also have this propensity for staying in lousy situations much longer than necessary. Jobs, relationships, you know name it. If it sucks, I’ll pitch a tent right in the middle of it all and put out the welcome mat.
This year’s lack of job security didn’t help matters any, of course, so when I landed my old gig back again, my sister very kindly drove me to Best Buy where we picked out a dandy Samsung flat screen.
There were more complex—and expensive—models available, but I got jittery about that “wrong TV” thing and went for the low maintenance machine.
And it will do just fine.
We sprinted over to Costco to get a new DVD player and I was ready to join the machine age.
My new TV is such a blast. I can get YouTube, NetFlix and other great stations without dope-slapping the thing all over the living room. I feel like Flash Gordon.
I don’t have the dread in the pit of my stomach when I reach for the remote now and I can stop terrorizing the neighbors with my low rent Stanley Kowalski impersonation.
Now when the time comes for this TV to go to that big appliance store in the sky, I will act quickly and decisively to get a replacement.
My wrists can’t take any more abuse.