Two Evening Encounters

Another pleasant spring evening high upon a limestone bluff by the Mississippi. I set out on a walk and found my elderly neighbor Beulah doing something with an empty plastic trash-can in the driveway.

“Larry, I raked up some leaves and I thought I’d put them in this can, but then I banged my leg against a tree branch. I’m injured; I need to go inside and doctor myself!”

She went back into her apartment; I was worried about her and I knocked on both her front and back doors but got no response. I never did see the pile of leaves she was talking about. I hope she’s all right!

While I was out front I noticed a couple of boys, perhaps 14 years old, inspecting a big TV set out by the curb. After repeated entreaties, my landlord had sent a handyman and his assistant to move the heavy thing out of my apartment — it had been left behind by my renter predecessor Debbie.

I said, “You want that thing?”

“Yeah, but does it work at all?”

“Well, kinda. The picture tube works, but someone tore out the cable and antenna socket. There may have been a fight.”

“We’ll take it!”

“How are ya gonna move it?”

“On a skateboard!”

The boy’s friend had left during this conversation; he came cruising back down the sidewalk on a skateboard and before long the TV was gone. That’s cool! Maybe Albert at his shop down on Maine St. can fix it for them.

Larry

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Two Evening Encounters

  1. Joan

    I know you are not a particular fan of TV, but it’s a shame you couldn’t have gotten it fixed for yourself. We have never had cable, because of both the cost and the redundancy of most of their programs but the converter box is magic for those of us who just learned to live with TV ‘ghosts’ over the years. (for those of you too young to have heard of this..it’s a shadow image of an on-screen object that exists right next to the main one. Annnooooyyyinng)
    The converter box is magic. St. Louis’s PBS channel 9 has 4 (well 3 if you don’t count the kiddy channel) stellar channels dealing with everything from the history of memorial day to how to cook a mean BBQ. Yesterday we watched the story of Openheimer’s contribution to the A. bomb. followed by our ill fated 1961 tests of the H. Bomb in Bikini Atole. (shudder). BTW, I knew Russia had developed Sputnick but I had no idea, let alone memory that Russian developed the first H. Bomb. (double shudder)
    Other channels have dealt with their 3 new outlets in creative ways. Many show MTV stuff all day. (yawn) Some opt for infomercials..(double yawn) But One shows pretty decent 1950’s and up movies, and the newest entry is something called Antenna TV which reprises shows such as Archie Bunker, Maude, Cosby, and just last night, one of my all time favorites, “Mad about You” featuring the New York Buckman newlyweds. this is the show starring the irrepressible hyper Paul Riser and Helen Hunt as his long suffering wife, Jamie . (sp,?) . Surprise! These shows are still funny and so far very little commercials.
    Well..almost. Now the only commercials they have aired so far are ones for insurance in which “nobody can be denied because of age.” They emphasize that it’s for death benefits. The other is for a hopped up hover-round electric chair for the disabled. Hmmm. The inference is that if you like these oldies but goodies shows, you must be pretty close to the grave. My 36 year old son got a chuckle out of both the shows and the ‘inference.’ Me, not so much on the ‘inference’. 🙂

  2. The handyman who removed the old CRT TV told me that it could be fixed, but that it would cost more than the cost of a new TV. I thought, “If those boys can derive some some value from that old beast of a TV, more power to ’em!”

    Really, the TV part of the post was insignificant compared to my continued interactions with my 87-year-old neighbor, who’s name really isn’t Beulah.

    I bought a cheap flat-screen TV which doesn’t need a converter box but I still can’t get a local signal. I rent DVDs of TV shows from a local store, about three blocks away, for about fifty cents apiece. Suits me!

  3. Joan

    Hmm. I didn’t know the newer TV’s included the converter box. But then, I don’t know much about newer anything. We just keep inheriting video equipment that my eldest son has found redundant, so the newest flat(ish) big screen TV we have around here is about 8 years old.
    I’m surprised that Quincy, as large as it is, does not have towers that handle converter boxes. Surely everyone in Quincy does not have the money for cable. Do you have any kind of antennae? Rabbit ears? That is all we need, but we are on top of one of the rolling hills that Brentwood is situated on.
    I’m sorry I posted on the ‘insignificant’ portion of your post, but I really didn’t know what to say about your neighbor. Have you checked today to see if she is alright? Does she have someone you could call?

  4. I’m coming to believe that the whole mandatory switch-over to HDTV was a big-business conspiracy; the cable people, I suspect, lobbied for the move. The result is that local TV access has become more difficult, and cable TV becomes more attractive. I’ll stick with my local video store!

  5. As for 87-year-old Beulah, I’ll keep an eye out for her. She still does drive, after all.

  6. Joan

    Well, frankly I love the switch over, as long as there are actual network programs being produced, and I could get by pretty well with just PBS as long as the Republicans don’t defund it completely. This is the first time in my life I can actually see ghostless clear TV and I don’t have to pay for it. If it was, indeed a plot by cable TV people, the government sure had to fork over a lot of money for converter boxes to help out the cable guys, and so far I haven’t had any urge to get cable.
    Sooo 87 year old Beulah drives, does she? I would really keep an eye out for her if I were on the road. (grin) Has she been out of the house since she hurt herself?

  7. I haven’t seen Beulah lately. If she needs help she knows where to come.

  8. Joan

    Well, the problem with people that old is that when they need help they can’t get where they need to come. Do you remember the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” ads? They also get confused. I don’t mean to alarm you, but our neighbor down the street was dead 5 days before anyone thought to check on her. They noticed she had not put out her trash can, and you could plot the time and date each week when she did this. Sooo . I’m just saying.

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