Recent Blasphemy

Random Strange Memories

“To turn the channel you needed to use pliers, which needed to be crammed into the open hole where the dial was.”

Every so often, I’ll get a random strange memory. Today’s flashback is TV related. Allow me to put on my old guy hat.

The acceleration of technology in my lifetime has been overwhelming. I’m in my early 40’s now, and grew up in an age where we only had a handful of TV channels. Yet, I still remember being aghast that my parents spent the early part of their lives without TV at all. Contrast that to the level of technology today, and it’s staggering. In an interesting turn of events, I may live long enough to see the end of traditional TV. Nevertheless, my story isn’t necessarily tied to that directly, but it does tip the cap in that direction.

We had a TV in our basement, tiny as hell, but it was a colour TV at least. It was the TV I spent a lot of time in front of, since our main TV was usually monopolized by my older siblings. Plus, our basement was kind of gross, damp and spooky. I could at least watch what I wanted, even with the limited selection available.

Anyways, this TV had no remote. It had the usual, for the time, channel dial. As you may expect, we broke the dial. Broke that sucker right off. Here’s where the random strange memory kicks in. To turn the channel you needed to use pliers, which needed to be crammed into the open hole where the dial was. You had to grab, with the pliers, the remaining metal part of the dial and twist it to switch the channels. We did this for ages, but here’s the rub. If you happened to touch any metal part of the pliers, you got shocked. Think about that for a second, and maybe extrapolate that to today’s coddled, safety-first, bubble-wrapped generation. I risked electrocution every time I switched channels on the TV. Not only that, but the plastic on the pliers we used was frayed at the ends and therefore exposed more metal increasing the shock risk.

I shocked myself quite often.

So I was working today and overheard a casual conversation about TV. For some reason that memory came flooding back to me. The kids today think they have it rough? In my day, we’d get electrocuted changing the damn channel!

This has been, a Random Strange Memory.



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