Die, TV, Die!
It’s amazing how well-made a lot of consumer electronics have become. How good they’ve always been, for example.
Twenty years or so ago, we had a television. It was an okay television at the time, or at least for most of its life. No one expected high-falutin’ things called remote controls. Or, at least, our family didn’t. Dad got it in his mind, however, that he wanted one of those “big screen televisions.” They were coming as large as 50″! The problem was the existing television. It just kept soldiering on. And on and on and on. We kept waiting for it to die. And it just wouldn’t.
Finally, Mom decided it was just time to get a new one. So she did. The TV at the time got tossed back to the computer room. We didn’t need one there, but it was a perfectly fine television and it was not in the Truman family ethos to junk (or give away or sell for a paltry sum) a perfectly good television. No matter how much its continued functionality aggravated us.
This turned out to be a good thing, because the following summer we got the Foreign Exchange Student From Hell. A guy who was seventeen and too immature for a twelve year old girl he was… interested in. We didn’t even know about the trolling-the-swimming-pool-for-girls-younger-than-twelve thing he was probably up to. We did know very quickly that we didn’t like being around him. We resisted this sentiment for as long as we could, because we were hosts, but one by one we started huddling more and more in the computer room, around the old television that (thank god!) wouldn’t die.
Some time later, my roommate Karl and I purchased a TV set for our apartment. It was good, but not great. When I moved to Deseret to be with my now-wife, it didn’t fit in the Escort. I ended up taking a TV bequeathed to me by my grandmother. It was very functional, but not only did it not have a remote, it didn’t have a dial. There were thirteen buttons on the front and you had to program them with a screwdriver. Not only was there no RCA cable imput, but there was no coaxial cable either (the solution there, too, involved a screwdriver). That lasted the duration in Deseret, but by the time we moved down to Estacado, I wanted something more durable, like the TV I purchased with Karl. If only grandmother’s TV would die.
My brother ended my dilemma by taking it off my hands. I secretly suspect he put it out on a farm where it could run and play with other TV sets. Whatever the case, I never saw it again. Don’t ask, don’t tell. So I got the Karl TV, which my brother brought on a road trip out when he visited for a college football game.
I still have the Karl TV (purchased in 2002), and it still works almost perfectly. This is very aggravating because I’m ready to go straight LCD. I’m actually wanting a new nice Samsung television and putting the Vizio downstairs. But most of my viewing is through a computer, and it’s hard to manage an old CRT television set through a VGA slot. I have an adapter, but it works imperfectly and it’s hard to read text on the screen. But disappointingly, it soldiers on very admirably. You can’t give away CRT’s these days. The dump wants $10 just to dispose of it. Which I will be glad to pay just as soon as it dies.
Please, TV… die.