"You'll never guessed what just died downstairs..." my wife said as I walked in the door.
My forehead wrinkled at her use of the 'D' word. The woman's an E.R. nurse fer cryin' out loud. That's when a certain gray box popped into my head.
"The...Tee-Vee?", I croaked.
"Yep," she nodded. "I was watching for your school bus story and it went 'POOF!'"
Shoulders slumped, I turned and walked downstairs to pay proper respects to my fallen friend. It sat there in the cabinet, speakers silenced, 37 inch screen forever dark. Plopping down on the couch, I stared at the fireplace's reflection on the tube's surface. As the flames danced, I thought about the good times...Wrestling it out of the box and into my very first house in 1993...watching home movies of my oldest's first birthday moments after she blew out the candles, marveling at how images I'd first seen through a tiny black and white viewfinder earlier in the day looked in full color big screen color on the evening news...movies, cable, VHS and DVD...
As I sat there, caressing the remote, guilt washed away all my warm feelings. Truth is, I hadn't been watching my old pal like I probably should have. I'd even discouraged my kids from doing so well, often (gasp!) turning it off and demanding they get active. Sure, I still logged an hour or two every other evening, but more often than not I spent my den-time staring at my laptop rather than bathing in my RCA's loving blue glow. But that glow was forever gone now and I guess I knew it was going to happen. For the last month, a small section of the screen had become distorted, then the reds and oranges began to look a little funky. 'It'll be fine', I told my family, 'It gives it character'. But I knew it wasn't fine, for it was apparent to any TV geek that my boxy friend was slowly dying. I just didn't think he would go this quick. As I stared into the milky abyss of the eerily silent screen, my wife came into the room and sat down beside me.
"Honey," she said as I peered into the ether.
"Don't think for a moment you're gonna hang one of those flat things on our wall."