“Be careful what you ask for…” Mom always said. Mom is almost always right about these sorts of things and I would be wise to listen. I’m bored flopped out on the couch sucking down pain medication and watching television all day long. People come and visit and that is awesome because it breaks the monotony. Being the whiner that I am, I tell folks about how bored I am. The drugs make focusing hard, but I know more about President Obama’s state of the union address and Tom Brady’s deflated footballs and the weird relationship between Andy and Barney in the fictional town of Mayberry than any human being ought to know. I try to read books on my Kindle, but I fall asleep before I reach the end of the chapter or sometimes before I complete the paragraph. Newscasters rattle on about Yemen or Cuba or whether some movie is Oscar worthy. Republicans yelp about how the President is going to pay for free college for everybody and Democrats seem to forget that they just took a drubbing at the polls. If I suffer from erectile dysfunction or owe the IRS lots of money or need to find a place for Mom, golden throated hucksters are offering me all kinds of help every seven minutes twenty four hours a day seven days a week. My world becomes intertwined with the drama, comedy, and other entertainment that pours out of the flat screen television on the wall opposite the sofa. I’m so bored that I find myself talking to the cat about world affairs. She meows a lot, but we don’t really communicate. Sometimes she rubs up against my legs and I’m not sure if she is trying to trip me when I try to grab some leftovers for lunch or if she is fearful of Isis and trying to stay close to me in case jihad includes doing away with cats. Her brother just sleeps on the back of the chair. He might have gotten into my muscle relaxants since his body is spread all over the chair back in impossible to achieve positions.
I’ve told people that I’m sick of television. It’s true. It is my not so subtle way of hinting and hoping that folks will come over and entertain me so I can ignore the drivel that flows across the screen all day and all night. I’ve really just been asking to be freed from the monotony of television.
Last night the cable went out. No television. No home phone. No internet connection. No white noise. No droning newscaster mumbling in the background of my drug fogged brain. No pasta dish cooking demonstration from Giada or the Pioneer Woman. No cool new product being unveiled on the Shark Tank. Nothing. Nada. White screen. Suddenly the house is very, very quiet…
It is interesting to get what you ask for. It is interesting to be flopped on the couch with no noise whatsoever. At first it is great. Wonderful. I pop a couple more pain pills and drift off into a peaceful, quiet oblivion. Rest, sweet drug induced coma-like rest.
The pills wear off and I wake up a bit. I grab some iced tea and a can of Pik-Nik brand original shoestring potatoes and have a little snack as I swallow a couple more Oxycodone. Shoestring potatoes are the perfect snack. Nothing but potatoes and salt and oil. They scratch a bit in a scratchy throat but it is so worth the pain. My wife never lets me buy them since they are horribly unhealthy and not organic and the potatoes weren’t raised in a free range environment where each baby potato had plenty of space in which to stretch out and become all that it can be. A while back she bought me some organic tofu chips that had been lovingly chopped by humanely paid vegans, but I’d rather die than eat those. I was surprised when she came home from the grocery store with a couple of cans of Pik-Nik brand shoestrings. I think it was very loving of her to allow me to eat snacks that will probably kill me, but give me so much pleasure in the meantime. The television was still nothing but white screen. Nothing to watch. I sat in the silence eating shoestrings, sipping tea, and popping pills…
This morning I woke up and the tv was still dead. I started to realize that I didn’t know what the NFL was going to do to Tom. I realized that I had no idea what the remade restaurant looked like after the Restaurant Impossible guy finished working his magic. Was Yemen’s president in charge or not? I had no idea. The lady who cuts my hair stopped by to say hi and pray for me and I told her about my tv woes and she asked me what I thought God was trying to teach me by taking away my cable. I had no idea. I’m not sure God cut cable access to 8% of their Tucson customers just to teach me a lesson, but I could be wrong about that. She left and I took some more pills.
The house phone rang and woke me up. In the drug fog I was trying to figure out how that could be possible since we have a ‘bundle package’ and nothing was working, but it was too hard of a problem to solve so I went back to sleep. The caller id hadn’t id’d the caller so I didn’t feel obliged to pick up. When I finally came to, Derek told me the Internet was working again and I reset the cable box and suddenly I had a working television once more. Sweet.
Tom Brady says he has no idea who deflated the footballs before the big playoff game.
I thought you might want to know.
You were probably expecting something profound and important at the end of this, but I think when one of us suffers we all suffer so I’m only vaguely sorry that I took so much of your time reading this for no apparent reason. My television is working again. I thought you would want to know. I’ll try to keep you up to date on what is going on in Yemen.
You can come visit if you’d like. Bringing shoestring potatoes is optional.