Saturday, November 19, 2011


So after better than ten years of no network television and four years of nothing other than Netflix and (recently) Amazon, we finally hooked up an antenna. The reason we had satellite at all was simply because we were in "black hole"--the analogue signal simply couldn't reach us. Thanks to the digital signal, we now have ten channels (half of which are public television stations).  The menfolk were really pushing for it and as it wasn't going to add to our monthly expenses, I decided that it couldn't hurt.

But guess what? 

There's still nothing on. 

The funny thing is--the boys are irritated by the constant noise of commercials and hate canned laughter and talk shows and find much of PBS to be boring. Even funnier--Gary, who was the one who was at all upset about losing the satellite,  is annoyed by everything except the news and PBS.  

This morning I went in search of cartoons (it was Saturday, after all and I was hoping for Bugs Bunny) and found only educational shows and some show with brightly painted people, in bright costumes, sitting on a brightly colored set, talking (with extreme brightness) about jumping and how much they loved it. Sam strolled into the room and watched about thirty seconds. 

"I want to know what kind of crayons the writers of this show were smoking," he said dryly and strolled out. I  agreed, turned it off, and took Story for a walk.

However, later on, I introduced him to Bob Ross's show "The Joy of Painting" (obviously a very old rerun). Bob is a little like Mr Rogers for grown ups; a kind of ordering of the universe takes place whenever we watch his show. Can't pay the bills? No matter. Watch Bob and you'll feel better. Had a fight with your mate? That's okay, Bob will paint right over your troubles.

Sam complained that the show was boring, but didn't leave the room. In fact, his eyes never left the set.

Gary and I were mesmerized as Bob took an empty canvas, put a tree on it, an icy pond, a cabin, and snow--all with just a few simple brush strokes. As he talked, Bob was using welcoming, soft phrases like, "This is your world, you find the place a tree should be and put it there. Ahh! Look, there's one in there, see it?" We nodded our heads. "And I think there's a happy little cloud right over there that just needs a little encouragement to come out. So lets take a little titanium white on our brush and mix it with . . . " We gasped as the cloud appeared, barely refraining from clapping. "See? Painting is all about finding the things hidden in your world and giving them color. Really, a lot things are like this . . . " We snuggle closer. "Sorry about sniping at you earlier." "No. No. I'm the one who's sorry . . . "

I looked over at Sam who was doing his best to look disinterested, but was making no move to get up. "Makes you think you could do it too, doesn't he?" 

"Yeah. Strangely enough," he answered. "I'm bored silly, but I don't want to look away and I'm starting to think I'd like to paint something." Ahhh Bob, even posthumously, you haven't lost your touch.

Honestly, I was trying to understand the push to hook the antenna up if nobody really liked TV, but this afternoon Jeremiah climbed up on the roof and spent two hours adjusting the antenna so that the signal was crystal clear.  

He then came in and turned on football. All five men crowded into the living room carrying sandwiches and drinks and sat in front of the TV. Not a single one complained about the commercials.



Debby said...

We were supposed to have our satellite equipment hooked up Saturday, but the young man could not figure out how to do it. Too many trees.

I think it might be an omen.

Wes Holly said...

Thanks for the laugh and the memories of Bob

Mary O. Paddock said...

It just might be that, Deb. Or you could just talk some tech-savvy teenager into coming over and doing it for you. They seem to understand electronics better than most of the supposed experts.

Wes! You're welcome!