Living Retired –‘Learning To Channel Frustration’
Living Retired — ‘Learning To Channel Frustration’
By Gary Chalk.
Last week Jan and I did something we had absolutely no business doing whatsoever!
It was a moment of weakness. Jan didn’t realize the gravity of the decision we were about to make. And I was, well, asleep at the switch; err, remote.
“Gary, I think we should do it. We have talked about this for quite awhile.”
“Dear, I know this is an important step forward in our relationship.”
With that we threw caution to the wind and handed over our credit card to the salesclerk. We were the proud owners of — brace yourself! — A SMART TELEVISION! OMG!
In Ontario you have to be 18 years old to vote. Same age to join the Canadian Armed Forces. You must be 19 to purchase alcohol. BUT they allow 70-year old’s to buy a smart television. There is no quick cognitive test. If baby boomers wearing relax-fit jeans yanked up under their armpits with compression socks and memory foam, air-cooled Skechers can say ‘Netflix’ we qualify to buy a smart TV!
When we arrived back home the reality of what we had done suddenly hit us.
“Jan what the hell did we just do!”
“It will be fine, Gary.”
I called my friend Chris. “Hi Gary, what’s up?”
I didn’t know where to start. How should I tell him what we did?
“Gary. I can’t hear you. You all right?”
I put my hand over the phone to muffle what I was going to tell Chris, “I um, ahh, bought a smart TV.”
“Sorry Gary your phone cut out a bit on me. Did you say you bought a fart TV? Whoopee!”
“Gee Chris, I tried to cushion the blow and all you can say is Whoopee?”
When I explained we had a new smart television Chris said, “So you’re telling me that until somebody under 40 shows you how to use it, you want to spend Sundays this fall at my place watching football.”
Our smart TV comes with a very sleek remote that with the press of a button we can instantly access YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video. It also has a button ‘Jump.’ I thought it would take a leap of faith for me to press it. But then…
“Jan, I give up! We have been trying to change channels for an hour now. I’m going to stand over at the window and you press the ‘Jump’ button!”
The next day I overheard Jan on the phone with our son. “Tyler we purchased a smart TV. How soon can you come to show us how to use it? I wouldn’t bring your girls because Dad is having a rant!”
Tyler arrived and before you could say ‘summer reruns’ we were in business — now instead of having nothing to watch on a bazillion channels, our smart TV ensures we have nothing to watch on a gazillion channels.
But it gets worse…
Tyler suggested we should upgrade the television in our bedroom with — here it comes — another smart TV.
“Tyler, it is bad enough having one smart TV. With two smart TV’s I will be twice as stupid!”
I swear that within ‘60 Minutes’ Tyler and Jan returned from the store with our second ‘easy to hookup’ smart TV.
It is now a week later. The smart TV in our bedroom has great colour — red. And terrific sound — fire crackling. This is because we still don’t know how to change the channel and we are stuck watching the Fireplace Channel.
“Jan. I never thought the day would come we’d complain about being too hot in bed.”
“Gary, last night I dreamt we were snorkeling in the Caribbean among schools of colourful exotic fish.”
“No Dear, you were watching the smart TV in the family room. Its stuck on the Aquarium Channel.”
‘Living Retired’ is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.
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