Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Day My TV Died by DR Fraley

DR Fraley's ode to his beloved television.

Toshi was your typical 60" Smart Flat Screen TV. He was purchased on Black Friday back in 2001 as a family Christmas gift after the previous unit blew a tube. He was mounted on the wall above the fireplace to provide viewing enjoyment for everyone in the house. Many who visited us commented on how big and beautiful he was. His sleek matte black finish with chrome accents made him a prominent attraction in our home.

In the mornings, he tended to keep to himself. It was always busy at dawn and few members of my family had time to watch his numerous channels. Sometimes, my wife would turn him on to listen for school closings or weather advisories while she got dressed, but most mornings he was left to himself. Evenings were when he shined.

After dinner, my family would gather round his magical frame to watch and listen. When the kids were younger, the shows were pretty tame. We would watch shows like Freaks & Geeks, The Simpsons and Friday Night Lights. Sometimes we would even watch those classic TV shows like The Andy Griffith Show, The Muppets, The Carroll Burnett Show, Home Improvement, or Little House on the Prairie on Toshi's plethora of channels. But as the family grew older, our viewing habits changed. YouTube videos, American Idol and The Walking Dead started grabbing more of his time. And when the writers went on strike, everything turned to reality television. The Anna Nicole Show, The Kardashians and Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire replaced those wholesome family TV shows of years prior.

I think it was the reality TV shows he really didn't like. It was all he could do to hold focus and sound as Honey Boo Boo danced around his screen. I mean who really cared about Kate Plus 8 anyway? All those DIY home remodeling shows made our home seem bleak in comparison. The vast cooking competition shows made us look like slackers in the kitchen. And when AMC decided to start airing Small Town Security, he knew his end was near.

How long could we put up with this crap on television? Toshi knew he wasn't in control of the remote, but he also knew he had to do something. I think we both hoped that HBO and Netflix would bring back some redeeming value to his life, but the good shows were few and far between. Must we continually wait six to nine months for a good run of ten episodes? This all seemed so hopeless. So he waited for just the right opportunity to make a statement.

It was a Wednesday night viewing of Duck Dynasty on A&E that finally pushed him over the edge. My family was watching the show cuddled on the couches in our usual places. He looked warmly at me and my daughter snuggled closely together while my other daughter lay asleep on my wife's lap. I think he wanted to remember us as we always were. Visualizing the good times we had together. Remembering the laughs and giggles he had provided us through the years. The tears from the touching dramas like Call The Midwife or Downton Abbey. The joys and shocks from local news and national elections. He knew he had been a good unit to my family. I think he also knew we would probably just get a newer model when he was gone, but at least he could leave us on his terms.

I came downstairs the following morning to find a horrible image in our living room. Toshi was NOT hanging on the wall as he always had. No. Instead, he was lifelessly dangling inches above the floor. He had used his own cord to hang himself that night.

I ran to Toshi to help him down and see if there was anything I could do. I untangled his power cord and gently laid him on the sofa. His screen was pitch black, much like the dark sky of this early morning. My wife and kids still weren't up yet. I didn't want them to see him this way. I hesitantly plugged him back in hoping for some spark of life. His screen simply popped and flickered, but no image was available. In the quiet of the early morning, I leaned in close and heard the muffled theme song from MASH playing as his screen finally faded to black for the last time.

"Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please."

5 comments:

  1. A sad but funny truth. One would have hoped that with the lack of anything even remotely entertaining, folks would find the opportunity to read, or get outside and discover some of the wonders of this world. Funny little story.

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  2. nice Story, nostalgia ain´t what it used to be?

    Michael McCarthy

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  3. Entertaining, quirky story. I had to send my little blue telly to the tip because it was horribly old fashioned, but it must have been happy at my house playing Disney videos, it didn't commit suicide like the one in the story did. I can certainly see why that enormous TV was feeling a bit depressed :) Joy Snelson.

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  4. Good fun! I enjoyed the humor and satire. I laughed..and felt sorry too. Nicely done.
    --Wendy

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  5. I laughed so loud at the line, "He had used his own cord to hang himself that night." This is one of my favourite stories on this site, I could really relate to it. A lot has changed. This was a well written piece with great descriptions. PS: I don't like reality shows.

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