Death of a Television: Six Months Without the Tube

One afternoon our television quit working.

It was alive and chattering the day before. But that afternoon it wouldn’t click on. Wouldn’t speak to the satellite or dance with the DVD player. It had expired during the night, never to be heard from again.

remotes at rest

That TV was a monolithic dinosaur of technology and size. Ancient at only five years old. As rigor mortis set in, it became apparent a proper burial would not be easy.

Time of death occurred when my husband was out of town on business. The most interesting things happen when he’s not here. No way was I hauling that carcass to the dumpster alone.

So guess what happened when he came home? Ladies, you know the answer to this one. The TV remained exactly where it died for the next six months.

I have to explain. As you know, our house is for sale. The TV made for good staging. Prospective buyers didn’t know it was dead. They just thought it was off.

The perils of the housing market left us unsure we could afford another TV. Turns out, replacing it immediately was one of the best things we didn’t do.

The first few weeks were tough. Withdrawal and separation anxiety raged.

hobby in waiting

We pouted when we couldn’t watch Dinosaur Train or the new Ken Burns special or Top Chef. I agonized how I would occupy my child for the entire two hours after school and before dinner.

Gradually, incomprehensibly, we stopped missing it. I’d like to say we started some fantastic hobby like oil painting or guitar. Those are still on the list of things we’d like to do someday.

What we did when the TV died was simply live. We survived to tell the tale. It is possible to live in America today without a television.

Don’t get me wrong. I was raised on TV. It was always on in our house, a constant whirring of background noise. We do enjoy a good movie or show. And when we absolutely have to get something done child-free, our son’s favorite DVD comes in handy.

the new slim shady

So after six months of watching movies on a 13-inch laptop screen, we decided it was safe to replace the television.

The new TV is smaller and slimmer than its predecessor. Light enough to pick up and throw out the window if it misbehaves.

We watch our selected shows or movies and turn it off. We have mastered it, at least for now.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16 NIV

Enjoy the very first video played on MTV, Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles. Still campy and still a blast.

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Filed under America, humor, life

6 Responses to Death of a Television: Six Months Without the Tube

  1. Aimee,

    Loved this one and certainly can relate. Given my affinity for sports, however, I think I might go stir crazy eventually. Also, I loved your post but your link to MTV beginnings sent me off into an musical misadventure not seen since the earliest days of 1982. I started off with the Buggles but ended up hip deep in Duran Duran (Did I really wear those “Miami Vice” jackets and collars?) and Devo. From there it was an easy jump to Journey and memory lane (When I want to remember anything from the old days they take me there easily)…… There goes my afternoon. (Thank you)

    Can’t wait for your next post friend. Excellent as always.


    • Rodney, it’s so fun (and addictive) to watch those videos now. The music is still kickin. Steve Perry should be crowned the American Tenor!
      Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. You won’t have to wait long for the next post. Come back Monday. Different topic. Liable to be a doozy…

  2. Christel Oliphant

    Sounds like you had a good afternoon , Rodney! The 80’s truely have the best memories ! :)

  3. Congratulations on surviving! I know your pain, as we haven’t had a tv in the house in 4 years. I only mourn during Grand Slam events, but a gracious neighbor lets me hang for Wimbledon if I look too depressed. Just bought Apple TV and netflix, so we’re working our way through Season 1 of Glee, and other significant programming.

    Guess we’ll never get around to oil painting or guitar now.

    • Wow, Lisa! No tv in the house for four years. That helps explain how you have time to kayak, run marathons, build a business and all the other cool things you do. I think you’re my hero.
      Keep me posted on Apple TV, will ya? Sounds very cool. It’s another small victory in the battle for us to control what media we take in rather than it ruling us and our time.