A few years ago, after an alien life form apparently took over his body, my husband announced he was going to rearrange the furniture in his den. We have not so much as budged another single stick of furniture in this house in twenty years so you can imagine my shock at his decision.
Steve usually views moving furniture with the same enthusiasm he shows for commenting on hair styles or clothing choices. Which is to say somewhere between distain and frank horror. Given his living conditions, he is amazingly good-natured. But it is utterly unlike him to move furniture without large and continuous complaint. That he did it of his own volition passeth understanding. My best guess is that under some newly relocated chair is about a gallon of spaghetti sauce soaking into the carpet.
In any event, he unhooked the score of electrical gizmos in his den, including the TV, and started shuffling stuff around.
An aside here about televisions. We live in a seven room house. We have six TVs. Just to save all you potential burglars a trip out to the wilderness, these six televisions are not the sleek, high-tech TVs on today’s market. These are the behemoths of days past. These are TVs on the scale of compact cars except compact cars are more energy efficient. These are TVs that are two feet deep but with a screen eighteen inches across. These are TVs that have never shared a room with a DVD or a DVR or a DV anything. These are substantial machines that do not lend themselves well to being spirited across the back yard fence.
Because we live out in the nether regions, we have a satellite dish which requires a receiver hooked up to a television. In a rare flash of foresight, I insisted on having my own receiver for the television in my office lest I be at the mercy of a TV that never wanders from ESPN-land.
Steve therefore did not unhook all the receivers. He just unhooked his receiver. This is the one that ran his den TV, the kitchen TV, the basement TV and the bedroom TV.
Once all the dust, literally and figuratively, had settled, so did Steve. He sat right down and tried to watch the kitchen TV. Except it wouldn’t work. He tried the bedroom TV. No dice. With a look on his face mirroring that of the steerage passengers on the Titanic, he ventured to the basement to see if there lurked a metaphoric iceberg below. His SOS was in full siren. Obviously, in the course of the great furniture adventure the satellite receiver did not get hooked back up correctly and now only his den TV was getting a signal.
Not only are we a little backward in our appliance technology, we are also extremely frugal. Friends say those two circumstances are not unrelated. So we tried to fix it ourselves. This was not, shall we say, an unqualified success. We have more wires and cables coming out of the wall than a NORAD missile silo. The do-it-yourself approach did not go well at all.
So we lived for three years minus three of our seven TVs. Just in case you think squeaking by on four TVs is a hardship, let me remind you of Steve’s middle initials: ESPN.
Feeling sorry for him (and for myself, not being able to watch Jeopardy while on the treadmill downstairs), I finally called the dish customer service number. A real live person answered the phone (!). She booked a technician to come out at noon the very next day (!!). At 10 the next day, the tech called to say he was ahead of schedule and could he come early (!!!). He walked in, took one look, hooked up two cables, and within 4 minutes fixed the problem (!!!!). We got the bill. It was $180 (!!!!!). This comes out to $2,700 per hour (!!!!!!).
It was worth it.
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.