Back in the mid 1980s, when I was a poor graduate student living in the armpit of America, I finally had the funds and the opportunity to replace the only TV I ever had. It was a 13-inch, black and white beauty that got THREE WHOLE CHANNELS! Four on an exceptionally good day.
There were no remotes or anything new-fangled (or old fangled) about the set. Two telescoping antennae things, and two channel dials. One for "regular" and one for VHS. I was going for color and I was going for cable, baby.
TinyTuna's dad and I trudged off to the television emporium warehouse. We walked in and just stared, open-mouthed and a little drooly at the walls of television sets. Finally Mister Television Uber-Retail Dude (TURD) sauntered over for the big kill.
Mr. TURD: Well, how ya doing? Aren't these great?
The Tuna: Yep. They're great.
Mr. TURD: What are you looking for today?
The Tuna: Televisions.
Mr. TURD: Do you currently have a television?
Now, I realize that some people do not own televisions. Some people do not watch television. It's an interesting concept, but one I am not ready to embrace, unless I am either paid to be without one, or living four houses away from the ocean.
The Tuna: (slowly with squinted eyes of the distrustful) Yesssss.
Mr. TURD: Great!!
The Tuna: Can you give me some information "Cable Ready" TVs?
Mr. TURD: Why sure!
Cable was new and of course, Mister 13-incher black and white wasn't a cable TV. I hadn't purchased a "Cable Ready" TV, so I wasn't sure at the time what kind of equipment I was going to need for cable.
Mr. TURD: Let me tell you a little bit about cable tv.
The Tuna: OK.
Mr. TURD: Do you have cable now?
The Tuna: No.
Mr. TURD: (in a quiet, conspiratorial type voice) Have you ever SEEN cable?
The Tuna: (in a loud, annoyed type voice) No. I live in a cave.
Needless to say, Mr. TURD did not get his sales that day. I don't remember where we bought our first cable ready TV, but it was a workhorse and I have it to this day.
Tonight is summer television perfection: 1.5 hours of Big Brother followed by 1.5 hours of Amazing Race. I will undoubtedly be mentioning both shows from time to time, but the bulk of my BB (Big Brother) comments will be over at Hamster Time.
I just wanted to let you know in case...you know...you live in a cave or something.