Dear Dad,

You were wondering how Aunt Helen was doing, what with her 101st birthday being today. Draw your own conclusions:

Sometime last winter her TV stopped working. I mean for good. (Ed. Note 1: Remember that on countless instances o’er the past decades H has been summoned –at all hours, I might add — to “fix” her television. Recall further that on each occasion it was a two-second job. She just had to be reminded not to hit a certain button again, or not to unplug it, or that perhaps…just perhaps… people should consider replacing their TVs every thirty-five years). (Ed. Note 2: She never called me, by the way. “You’re not good at this,” she’d articulated. Bothered I wasn’t. After all what did I ever do but call Dickie Lomaz?).

Anyway, Thanksgiving the thing just died. Done. Fartik!

— So in December we debated…

“Your brother thinks we should go to Target. I’m not certain.“
“He knows those things,” I confirmed.
“How do you know what he knows? Perhaps Margie told him.”
“Margie knows those things,” I concurred.
“How do you know what Margie knows?”
(Yet before I could frame a response she continued):
“How often do you talk to Margie?”

— And in January we planned…

“When we go shopping this week might we look for a new television?”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I will call your brother. Perhaps he has thoughts.”
“OK, whatever he says.”
(Then on Game Day):
“Your brother wants to make this simple.”
“What do you mean?” I inquired.
“He thinks it doesn’t matter.”
“It really doesn’t,” I assured. “They’re all the same.”
“How would you know?  When did you last buy a tv?”
“Whatever my brother says — that’s what we should do.”
“I think I shall wait.” (she concluded).

February turned March turned April. Her silence was golden. Indeed, if my Aunt Helen wasn’t bringing up going for a television, neither was I!

Ah, but then came May…

Renewing her focus on what, when and where to buy a set, she again spoke with Harold. (Ed. Note 3: You know, H: her “good” nephew—the Ray Romano to my Brad Garrett).

“Let’s go to Target!” she pronounced that week.

(Ed. Note 4: A fool I’m not; I was going to take her WHEREVER my brother suggested. This would not end well (odds were), so a Sgt. Schultz mode was best. I knew “NOTHING”.

—And so it was that one Friday mid-May, per directive of H, we went to Target (Ed. Note 5: the same Target he’d suggested a half year earlier), purchased a tv and antenna, and …

Conducting me up her stairs, pointing to a spot in her living room, in her female Colonel Klink:

“Leave it there,” she directed. “Your brother is better at plugging things in than you are. He will come over.”

(Once again, if she didn’t want me to—-who am I to object? As I said, this would not end well).

Placing the unopened box per her orders, I smiled, kissed her, and left. It was Raymond’s to deal with, to plug in, to program.

He called me, he did…your son… late that night:

“The TV’s going back,” he said (laughing). “She never let me open it.”
“Did she say why?”
“She said she likes her old one better.”
“You mean the one that doesn’t work?” I asked him.
“Apparently so.”

That was three weeks ago, Dad, and she’s still without television. She did call Carrie the other day and inquired about her old monstrosity—the one still sitting in her basement.

We shall see.

I guess when you’re 101 a TV of 35 doesn’t sound so old.

Again, we shall see.

In the meantime, that’s what’s going on. Draw your own conclusions.

I miss you,


2 Responses to “TV OR NOT TV”

  1. alan wieder says:

    Really great blog — AN ANTENNA????

  2. Up From Dysfunction says:

    UPDATE: Within then past week the following occurred:

    1. Aunt Helen took up Carrie’s offer of her extra tv.
    2. Carrie and I delivered the television.
    3. Carrie purchased a remote control for the television.
    4. Aunt Helen decided she did not want the television, as it
    “didn’t look right” in her living room.
    5. Carrie returned the remote.
    6. Aunt Helen is asking when Carrie can return to help me carry out
    the tv. She doesn’t trust me “not to drop it” and doesn’t want “to
    bother your brother”.


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