I use television as a distraction, a sort of ambient noise and I confess to wondering if I could keep my sanity if the world should become like Stephen King’s, Stand.
I’ve been watching the Young and the Restless since I was in High School. In college, many of us chose our courses around this soap and gathered in the Women’s Lounge for a daily fix.
Television has changed during my lifetime. I remember when a tv was furniture. We had to cross the room to change the volume and the channel. If we did change the channel, we had to adjust the fine tuning and sometimes go outside to give the antenna a turn. Rabbit Ears, coat hangers and tin foil made our living rooms look like a mad scientist’s laboratory. I also remember the horizontal and vertical hold knobs and how a good slap on the side could help settle things down.
It is a wonder this gadget caught on. People who remember shoe store x-ray machines also remember the tube booths. If your television was behaving badly, you could open the back, remove a tube, stick a number on the tube and the place it belonged. Then you would take the paper bag of tubes into the tube testing booth. If a tube was blown you could buy a new one, then go home and put your television back together.
This is something my Aunt and Uncle did not do. They opted to call in a television repairman, who made a Saturday house call. It was early morning on the 13th of October. My Mom had called the doctor and he insisted she couldn’t be having a baby because it was not her due date.
My Mom, Dad and brother showed up while the repair man was working. By now, everyone but the doctor was convinced of my impending arrival.
The tv repairman, having several children of his own, is credited with my delivery as he poked his head into the room and proclaimed, “Yes, that’s a baby, you should get that stuff off it.”
I was born in a caul, probably not a pretty sight. The doctor made a house call of his own and seconded the announcement of my birth and went on to panic about the germs that were all over me and the house, he rushed me to the kitchen and found nothing but dirty dishes. I am thankful my family did not put the infamous water on to boil or I might have been a poached baby.
Well, I see, my mind has wondered and not in a straight line, either. I haven’t mentioned the advent of cable, solid state and remote control and how they have changed our lives. I’ll save that for a future topic.
The way I use television hit a turning point on 911. Advertizing took a back seat to traumatic events on the 11th of September. Since then, I turn on the tv every morning and if I see a commercial I know that all is right with the world.