All day Sunday the television in the living room just sat there with a big, black, empty screen, not even hinting at all of the treasure trove of information and entertainment being beamed to us from outer space, just a look of foreboding and doom. The quiet was nice, the incessant obnoxious ads were not missed, and I felt no deprivation of knowledge, wisdom, or enlightenment as a result of this blackout. We stuck the venerable old Monkey Ward TV with its rabbit ears on the kitchen counter so we could watch the late news, as if we cared, but at least it provided a feeble reminder of normal happenings.
My wife watched the Osmond Family with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or at least the parts she could stand. We neither one were quite sure why we had to endure Osmond rock and roll with the Tabernacle Choir, and especially we failed to understand why we had to watch and listen to fawning tributes to the seemingly incredible Osmond family when the program was supposed to be honoring pioneers. While never discrediting the talent of Donnie and Marie, I never could stand their television program when it was on the air and about threw up every time there was "a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll." Osmond lovers, please do not clog my email inbox with hate mail. I am just an old retired school teacher. There is no law that says I have to fall all over Donnie and Marie and their hundreds of talented relatives and descendants. I couldn't stand Elvis Presley or the Beatles, either. I never graduated from Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra. From the raucous and prolonged applause from 22,000 people following the concert, obviously I am mentally defective and culturally challenged not to appreciate the event. It might have worked in Branson Missouri, but it will take me awhile to get the Osmond images and sounds out of my mind the next time I watch the infinitely wonderful Tabernacle Choir.
I will have to do without Matlock at 1:00 o'clock, and all the blather on MSNBC, which is not a local channel, including Olberman's Countdown at 6:00 o'clock, a program some of my kids detest, but which I love watching to see who the "Worst Persons in the World" are for the day, hoping for another blast at "BillO". O.K., BillO lovers, spare me another deluge of hate mail. I won't be able to check through several dozen premium movie channels and sports channels to verify that nothing is running that I am even remotely interested in, but which takes up part of each normal day and which my monthly Direct TV payment entitles me to do. My sister Liz is suggesting that I ask for a refund for days missed. Is it worth waiting hours through their automated phone system, arguing with two or three phone techies, being put on hold two or three times while "my call is important to them, please stay on the line"?
By not having access to TV, I don't have to wonder "what's on" a dozen times a day or night. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious, with jerky reflex movements simulating the need to reach for the remote, cuddle it in my hand, thumb at the ready for the mute button to get rid of the idiots yelling at me from Southtowne Auto Mall, or Malone Toyota. They recently showed a picture of Karl Malone, recent immortal Jazz player, standing in front of Malone Toyota, thus ensuring us that Karl at least knew where his auto dealership is, just a short distance from where I live. But I have serious doubts if the retired basketball wizard is there each morning checking with the service manager or the parts department to see if all is humming smoothly.
My wife actually wrote a letter last night, not being chained to the TV. We didn't even have access to the soaps on Lifetime, LMN, or Hallmark, or vintage reruns of Beverly Hillbillies and Three's Company. I finished reading two books, pondered a number of deep philosophical issues, and polished off the Friday NYT crossword puzzle, which was a beast. When they have stuff on those things that you can't even Google, you know you have a sadistic and evil crossword puzzle creator. Now I can spend half the week doing the Saturday puzzle.
So with no apologies whatsoever for Osmond and BillO fans, Monday is moving on, just 48 hours or so from deliverance so we can get back to wasting our usual inordinate amount of time. I probably spend more time flipping channels than I spend watching, at least until football and basketball seasons start. I hope we are up and running by then. College football kickoff is only about a month away. Then the good life begins again, and summer whining over the dog days July and August are over, the tailgates begin. Break out the hot dogs, fire up the grill, and be sure you get some relish.
At least my computer is up and running, so I am not missing out on anything. The Dow is declining nicely in the 100s again today, eating up another chunk of my retirement savings. It is possible that I will not be able to afford to pay my TV cable bill any more and just have it disconnected. Trouble is, they never even come and take away the dish, so at least I'll have something to scare the birds away from my tomato plants. Thus, another glorious day is piddling away, another day without TV.