Monday, May 14, 2007


A little while ago a friend of mine referred to my TV as an "idiot box." It was a joke and I didn't take offense, but later I felt as though I should have defended my TV against the insult.

My lack of fortitude was brought into focus yesterday when I had the sad duty of putting an old TV in the garbage. It's heavy-items-collection week where I live and the TV is heavy and it doesn't really work any more, and it takes up valuable space in the closet, and so it has fallen victim to spring cleaning. But that TV was special; it was the first TV I ever bought, one of the first big things I ever bought on my own, in fact, and so that TV -- my first TV in a sense -- was part of the gradual, inexorable process that one day finds us as grown ups and wondering how it happened.

But through it all, one TV or another has been there. Keeping me company when I was alone, entertaining my friends when I was not. When I was a little kid we were just about the last family in my neighbourhood to have cable, and we begged my parents to get it to no avail. Then one day I came home from school for lunch and my mother suggested I eat my lunch at the TV, which was unusual. So I went downstairs and found the TV already on and tuned to a channel that we didn't get. And yet we did. We had cable! Of course, it's not the cable that gives this story a special place in my heart (I don't have cable now), or even that my parents caved and got it for us. It's that my mom knew how happy I would be and set it all up in advance so I could have a happy surprise. Thanks, Mom. And thanks, TV.

Not counting the one on the curb, I now have three TVs at my house -- each of which has its job. One anchors my movie obsession; one serves as a workout partner; one plays music for me on surprisingly good speakers. They never judge. They never complain. And the next time someone calls my TV an "idiot box" I know what I will say.

You can't talk about my friends that way.


James said...

Amen, brother. Amen.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by Telegy? There is no such word.

Pettrichor said...

Perhaps I was too subtle. An "elegy" is a poem written on the occasion of someone's death. So even though this is not a poem, it's sort of an elegy for my television.


Anonymous said...

do you mean eulogy?

Pettrichor said...

A "eulogy" is an address made at a funeral. An "elegy" is, as I said, a poem on the occassion of someone's death. See

I guess I could have called it a "teulogy," but that would not have been as funny.