It’s kind of embarrassing, but the long days of isolation have forced me to turn to television. I haven’t even plugged my television into an outlet for five or 10 years, maybe longer.
Friends have often asked if I was watching one TV series or another and when I’d respond that I was television free - there was always a long pause and a pointed stare. No TV? They looked at me like I was a neanderthal, sloped forehead and all.
The creepy germ COVID-19 has put an end to my television bias. With the library closed I had nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide. It was the painful end of my steady supply of books and my voracious reading.
Really, what was my choice? The black box sat quietly in the corner without being called on to entertain. I have always had lovely conversations with my dog Ivy Claire and she’s a pretty good conversationalist, but as the lock-down went on and on, she seemed rather bored with my blathering. I quickly ran out of things to say. I lost my sense of humor early on and resorted to staring out the window. She curled up and went to sleep, not wanting to yammer on with me. It was almost too much attention for her.
So, when youngest son, Kyle came to visit (one of my two visitors for the duration) he jiggled around and re-installed the Roku wireless thingie and the TV shook off its dust and came back to life.
After such a long absence I was glad to see the offerings on the screen. I was always kind of ticked off when the choice of free television became barely a choice. People put up big dishes (remember those behemoth dishes filling up the backyard?) There are only a few left now.
But, still remaining, are the skeletons of big antennas on the roofs of homes. My neighbors had one and somehow they could crank it around from the inside of their living room searching for a connection. From inside our house, we could hear that squeaking as they turned it looking for the mother ship and it always made us laugh.
Then the world of cable and tiny connectors that could pick up various stations and of course the hometown venue of the Green Bay Packers was finally brought inside where friends lined up on the couch and ate special snacks like Packer football-shaped cheese loaves and Packer cupcakes until it turned the snacker’s tongues green. It was a new era.
Now televisions hang on the wall as big as drive-in-movie screens. They cover the wall and have crystal clear audio surround sound and behemoth, albeit rather pixelated images.
There are movie nights. Documentaries. Cooking shows and everything from learn to play guitar to how to build your own log cabin. Some stations drone on with political talking heads and can be missed without regard.
I have recently been able to get some books from the library with an appointment and a half-hour window - but certainly a welcome respite. As far as my new television connection, I have to say I am hooked on the medical show “Grey’s Anatomy.” It is perhaps a bit more realistic than I’d like (gory and bloody) but, I have actually learned a lot about how some diseases are treated. It isn’t just one minor surgery after another. It is heavily filled with the oddest inflictions, like the morbidly obese gentleman who was delivered to the hospital in the back of a truck, or the guy with a knife stuck in his head to the logger who sucked in a tiny tree seed which somehow grew in his lung. There were car accidents, fires, and train wreck victims. Interns were always being sent out to look for severed legs or arms to possibly salvage (once bringing back a left leg for a patient who’d already lost the left).
So, I have made friends with my television again. I don’t know how long my new interest will last, but at least it is something to entertain my tiny mind.
I hope everyone has found some outlet to enjoy - probably something more productive than TV - but if there is one thing this terrible virus has given us all - it is time.