Posted in Miscellany


The other day I wanted to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS. What you have to realize is that we have one TV, in my bedroom, and that it’s 12 years old. I got a converter box so it can receive a digital signal, and the box is hooked up to an indoor antenna, which looks something like this. No cable. Wind, rain, and leafiness of trees affects the signal.

So when PBS wasn’t coming in, I knew what to do. Just move the antenna around a bit. I turned it south-east, angling it in just the right way. No signal. I really wanted to watch Antiques Roadshow. I was tired, and it’s a show I can watch with my kids, who were also tired, and wanting to cuddle in front of the TV. The alternative was The Berenstain Bears or, worse, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

So I employed my advanced antenna technique, revolving it, flattening it, lifting it in the air. And that did it! All I had to do was stand about an arm’s length from the TV, my face to the wall, holding the 3 foot high antenna in front of my chest. No–it wasn’t exactly what the moment called for. I was ready to give up.

But my younger d offered to hold it for a while. She’s a TV enthusiast and, given where the TV is, she doesn’t have as much opportunity to enjoy it as she’d like, so she suggested she’d take the first shift and then we’d take turns.

I sat the bed with my other d, and looked from the TV, perfectly tuned in to PBS, to H, who was standing stalwartly holding the antenna in the air. It was so low tech, so 1960’s (I remember thumping the old TV). I started to laugh, and my kids began to laugh, until we laughed so hard tears were streaming down my face.

You can’t get that for $30 a month on basic cable.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “Hilarity

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