These are the Sundays of dolor and dinge in which none dare to dream. Where the ceiling hangs low, like a slow-falling sky from which i cannot escape. Warped cardboard held up by sagging strands of weathered packaging tape dangle overhead full of dust and debris. Much like the threads of tinsel that snag on the splintered doorway as its once proud conifer is dragged out to be laid to rest alongside an 85″ flatscreen that couldn’t be much older than a year.
Why is there such a proliferation of discarded oversized TVs in these downtrodden residential areas? Are my neighbors truly that transfixed by the endless stream of palpable horrors that seep into their surrendered subconscious? Or did they finally see one too many commercials jauntily pressuring them to call: “♫Cellino & Barnes ♪ Injury Attorneys – eight hun-dred eight-eight-eight ♫ eight-eight-eight-eight♪”? I mean, seriously, that many fucking eights? Could that shit sound any more ridiculous? Probably. Either way, if it drove someone to banish their TV to the curb, it wouldn’t be surprising.
Then again, it might have been a case similar to the time i left my miniature die-cast airplane on top of the living room TV [bear in mind that these were the old-school TVs and thus, were shaped like a box]. After which, my mother came along attempting to place a full glass of lemonade directly on top of said plane, causing it to spill into an electric fizzle-pop of frayed television circuitry. I was forever given shit for that. What I want to know is who in the fuck goes around placing overflowing beverages on top of TVs, to begin with? Nevermind the fact that she couldn’t be bothered to so much as look to ensure there was a stable surface, to begin with. Honestly, that about sums up my family’s sense of logic.
Back then, appliances weren’t yet condemned to the 6-month forced obsolescence that seems to pervade the market nowadays, so it was a bit of an outrage to have been the one “responsible” for having murdered the one source of entertainment in the entire household. Not to mention the fact that we were poor as fuck. I’m pretty sure we were on welfare or had received food stamps or some such form of governmental assistance.
I do recall being very young and going to some strange building with my mother in which she was given a large two-pound brick of cheese wrapped in white plastic with big, bold lettering that said something like: “U.S. CHEESE.” It kind of tasted like regular cheese, only if someone had siphoned out most of the flavor and color. And don’t even get me started on powdered milk. Talk about an affront to gastronomic convention. I can only imagine what they put those cows through to get them to produce powder…
I have to wonder though, how many people have their childhood memories destroyed by the realization that they or one of their siblings had been molested by some depraved uncle or family “friend.” Judging from what I’ve seen, at least as many people that have watched TV at some point in their lives.
As it turns out, we’re all living in an unfolding episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Perhaps now I know why all those giant-screened TVs have been put out to pasture. When your life actually becomes the tragic storyline that once kept your family entertained it loses its appeal I suppose. And I don’t seem to hear any jaunty jingles directing me to call their law offices so they can help to prosecute our abusers.