grumpy about modern technology (the TV ain’t broke)

We have a high-def TV that’s really, really old. It’s ancient. it’s at least eight years old, which in modern technological timelines makes it a veritable dinosaur.

Sometimes it acts up and doesn’t like to turn on. You turn it on, and nothing happens. It just sits there with its little red light switched to green, teasing you but refusing to light up. Or tonight’s variation: you turn it on, you see the words “PLEASE WAIT” on the bottom of the screen (which is normal), and then nothing happens (not normal).

Whenever nothing happens, no one knows what to do except to inform me of the crisis.

“Mommy, the TV is broken.”

“Carla, something’s wrong with the TV.”

Expectant stares and long lashes blinking.

My usual solution is to turn the power strip off and on. It does the trick most of the time. I’m apparently the only one who can remember to do this. A person apparently doesn’t learn the turn-it-off-and-back-on trick while obtaining a Ph.D. in economics. Anthony is lucky to have me around to make up for these sorts of educational deficits.

Tonight, the off/on solution didn’t work. Anthony shook his head sadly. “It looks like the TV might really be done this time.”

I thought for a moment. I grabbed the TV and leaned it to the left. I leaned it to the right. I jiggled it this way and that. Then I turned the power strip off and back on.

The TV is fine. We’re watching an episode of Farscape on it right now.

Anthony was a mixture of impressed and bemused. He doesn’t understand how I fixed it.

I explained my thinking. There’s wires and stuff in there. Something must be loose. If I wiggle it this way and that, the loose thing can go back where it belongs.

You ever wonder what those peeps at the “Genius Bar” actually do when they take your advanced technological device into the back room to “fix it”? I think I have a pretty good idea.

I’m a freaking genius.

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