I’m an old school man, and my old habits die hard. We do have a television, but I refuse to pay even one dime to watch TV. When we moved into our home, I bought an antenna, assembled it, and drug it onto our roof. With that antenna, we can pick all three major networks, and we get several public access stations that carry my very favorite shows like “This Old House” and “Home-Time.” With the addition of weather channels and the “oldies” stations, I get plenty of television.
For the last month or two, every time the wind blew our TV reception would get very weak. I assumed something was amiss up on the roof, but I ignored the warning signs, and last week we lost all reception. I went out to the porch and used a pipe wrench to move the antenna, thinking maybe the wind just changed the direction of the antenna. I cranked in one direction slowly, as my youngest son ran back and forth from the porch to the living room, each time spouting the same thing: “Nothing, Dad.”
Just when I was getting frustrated, the cable came crashing down around me, with the broken adapter landing exactly on the top of my head. As I pulled the frayed wires from my scalp, my son ran out to the porch, proudly stating, “You fixed it!” My wife came out to see what all the commotion was about, and my son told her, “Mom, we’ve got some good news, and we have some bad news.” I don’t know where he got his sense of humor, but he and his mother got quite a chuckle out of the fact that my head made a pretty good antenna.
With a band-aid on my head, I went to several stores in an attempt to find another adapter, but no one seemed to stock that part. I finally asked for help, cornering a store employee, showing him my broken, bloody old part. He called another guy in, they called the front, and all agreed I was living in the stone age. “We haven’t carried that part for ten years,” the guy said. “Do they even sell antennas any more?” he said with a laugh. He finally dug around in the back and came up with a replacement.
When I got back home I grabbed a pair of pliers, a screw driver, and some duct tape, and headed for the roof. The window I used to crawl out of seemed to be much smaller than the last time I went on the roof. “I don’t think windows shrink,” my wife said quietly as my son smiled and turned his head. In spite of them, I stuffed myself through the window and replaced the now blood soaked old adapter with a brand new one.
It took me a while to put the new part on, and half way through the job my son showed up with a sandwich and some chips. He was nervous, as his cartoons would be on soon. When all was fixed, I shimmied back through that shrinking window, catching my belt loop on the handle, leaving me temporarily “stuck.” My son said nothing, instead choosing to embarrass me further by humming the theme song to “Winnie The Pooh.”
Soon, things were back to normal, and I figure it’ll be another ten years before I have to tackle that chore again. By then my son will be old enough to crawl out on that roof by himself. He owes me that much, doesn’t he?