Snow On The Screen
by Marian Allen
“Now, don’t overdo.” His wife, Sylvania, said the same thing every time he went out to shovel the walk. She added, as she had taken to doing the last few years, “Neither of us is getting any younger.”
He didn’t need her to tell him. The foil extensions on his rabbit-ear antennae ached whenever the weather changed. He was always losing his off-on knob and having to crawl all over the floor to find it, and his fine tuning knob had been gone for decades. Back when he was still in service, his boss had kept a pair of pliers up top, right behind the reproduction statue of End of the Trail.
That was before his blue/yellow color balance had blown.
Even then, the boss had moved him to the workshop and turned the saturation all the way down and watched the woodworking programs in black and white. Yeah, that was a boss! He had put up with the occasional snow on the screen, thumping Emerson on the head in a friendly sort of way to shake him back to full reception.
That was before this digital stuff. After that, there was no snow on the screen with faint sound and ghostly pictures that you could kind of follow until reception came back. With the digital, you either had reception or you didn’t. And even then, you needed some kind of gizmo to translate the signals from digital to analog or some damn thing or other.
Emerson sighed and shoveled.
And the Missus was in the same shape. Sylvania had been a fine figure of a television in her prime. But times had caught up with both of them. Plenty of good years in them yet, but here they were, in forced retirement.
He reached the end of the walk and went in for a warm-up.
“Why don’t you rest a bit before you do the drive?” Sylvania felt his back. “I think I can smell overheated circuits.”
“That’s your toast,” he said, patting her hand. “I’m fine.”
In the garage, he fitted the snowplow to his front and, conscious of the irony, clicked the remote to open the door.
The snowplow made short work of the driveway, and Sylvania’s strong coffee was still perking through his wires.
What good does it do sitting around feeling sorry for yourself? At least we can still manage. Not like poor old Mrs. Ironing-Board, or the Pogo Sticks on the corner, or the Sony brothers who could only sit around bragging about what state-of-the-art transistor radios they used to be.
Sylvania was watching him from the picture window. He gave her a wave and a thumbs up, hitched his snowplow firmly around his middle, and went to see how many driveways he could clear before he wore out.
I’m blogging today at Fatal Foodies about some mighty good leftover fiddlings.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM THE SPAM FILE: TV fitted with a snowplow decided to go up and down the road and clear everybody’s driveway