Cable television is entertaining but what’s even more entertaining is catching the reaction on my kids’ faces when they hastily point the ergonomic metal clicker at the boob tube and, oops there’s no holler back with its “PHOOM” greeting. “Phoom,” an audible winded rush of bloodless wirey life for the eternally ready magical mind bending television.
No doubt about it I know their pain.
No doubt they don’t know mine.
No don’t they don’t know the difference between their pain and mine.
First the face appears be blank from one too many Botox injections. Quickly the Botox look vanishes and the eyebrows begin to furrow, their jaws drop expressing surprise which quickly evolves into a look of “go blank” and their eyes start twitching as their blinking eyelids accelerate, and the jaw begin to slowly drop along with the beat of the red seconds hand on an old school clock.
I know their pain and their state of confusion and bewilderment. I understand those horrifying moments of dead silence from the “thing” that was supposed to react according to a simple expectation.
“Mom!” The first cry for help.
“Mom!” The first scream filled with anger.
“Mom!” The first yell for “this is an urgent matter!”
Our house—home of the brave and the loud. Amen.
In our house, when the cable is not functioning properly and the citizens of the home become severed from all the glories of the television’s twinkle and blitz, all residents under eighteen are immediately launched into a state of military code red. They alert me, the neighbors and the random kids that walk by the house with an inquisition about the status of their television. I don’t respond to the S.O.S. cries about a television in crisis, usually I wait seven minutes after I have been debriefed. After I have digested the information, I remind the kids that the Television is just a production of metal, glass, and wires; it doesn’t bleed, it cannot get its feelings hurt and it isn’t easy to physically warm up to, it’s machinery. I try to convince the oldest child that our television is not a living part of the family; it has no name and lacks health insurance. In this case it’s okay for all of us not to care about something that is not behaving. However the children take its welfare overwhelmingly serious, much more serious than the lives of each other. To them I am the Dr. Kevorkian of our household electronics and all things that require a warranty. The children cannot conceive how cruel I am to the computer, television, Ipods and cell phones. To them I’m absolutely awful and if there were Nuremberg trials for the cruel and unusual punishment of our household electronics, I would be found guilty as charged by a jury of soda sipping, pouty pre-teens.
When the cable person showed up at our house to remedy the situation, the kids sat quietly and respectfully, they offered him endless soft drinks and all the snack food he could eat. One child promised to write a story for her English class about her new hero, the Cable Person. Another child on a cell phone continuously touted the coolness and the amazing ability of the Cable Person. Neighborhood children started loitering by our house and near the Cable Person’s truck, a few had balloons or flowers and Teddy bears all this for the Cable Person. When the cable and television where finally restored the kids rolled out and extended a red carpet from our front door to the cable company’s van. They cheered him on as he started the van and hit the dusty trail. When he was long gone and into the distance, the kids shared a moment of silence for the health and well being of the Cable Person and worldwide electronics. And then the most amazing thing happened the clicker was misplaced.
To be continued...