Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Squawk Box Ain't Squawking

     When I was back in Richmond, we'd wind down a long day by sitting on the front porch with a nice glass of shiraz, relaxing as we watched the poodles romp on the front lawn. As we read the paper, friends driving by would honk and wave; some would stop to chat for awhile. On spring evenings, deer from the adjoining field would wander through the yard to nibble on the grass, oblivious to the posse of poodles frollicking nearby.  The calming sound of the fountain was the perfect music to end the day.
     Things are a little different since arriving back home. Now, at the end of a long day, Sissey and I come home from class, and she finishes up her studies while I help Mom in the kitchen. After  supper, we all sit in the den, and watch my father watch TV. On mute. Silent. No Sound.  He sits in his easy-lift recliner, king of the remote, flipping through channels full of  movies, talk shows, news feeds, comedies, dramas. All on mute.
    There are a thousand channels on their cable guide, but Dad only watches two things: all sports ( football, hunting, wrestling, baseball, fishing, basketball, etc.) and  westerns. On mute.
     We keep telling him they have "talkies" now, but he  watches his 54" plasma big screen-- on mute. Don't know why he invested in that Bose surround sound system.  He turned it on one time, but it came on with such a loud POP! that he never used it again. There are eight speakers filling every corner of the room. Speakers hidden in the bookshelves. Speakers mounted on the ceiling. Speakers tucked into the corners. He prefers mute.
     He usually has some hunting show on while simultaneously playing a game of Klondike solitaire on the split screen. On mute.  We get to watch someone field dress a deer while Dad stacks cards.  On a lucky night, we get to watch something exotic like an African antelope being eaten by a lion or the mating habits of wild turkeys. All silent, of course.
      Then comes football, basketball, and baseball seasons.  You can imagine where that's heading.  Split screen with solitaire going on, while switching channels back and forth  between 16 different ball games. On mute.
      Don't even consider touching the remote.  It is so complicated that one needs a PhD in physics to operate it. I tried once to change channels when Dad left the room, and it took a fleet of technicians to reprogram the darn thing.
      So now I blog, Sissey's on facebook, Gans has her book, and we just sit, watching Pop watch TV. On mute.

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