Recently I got a new TV– one with a mute button. “Don’t all TVs have a mute button?” you may ask. Well, yes, I imagine they do, but the one on my new TV actually works!
I’ve known for some time that I needed a new TV. I noticed that often Pat Sajak was only half a person at the edge of the screen, or people would be looking off to the side at something I was unable to see. For the amount of time I watch TV, it wasn’t really a big deal. After all, I know what Pat Sajak looks like, and I know that if I can’t see what’s off to the side of the screen on NCIS it’ll soon be made clear. But the last straw was when the remote stopped working. First of all, the up and down arrows wouldn’t work to scan the channels — I had to put in the number which didn’t help when I was idly flipping through to see if there was anything interesting on. Still, I managed.
The last straw, however, was when the mute button ceased to work. I put up with it for quite a long time. The most annoying part was when I got a phone call while I was watching TV. I couldn’t mute it, so ha to turn the TV off entirely while I talked. No muting it and following the action while giving my (almost) undivided attention to the phone call. I mean, I can watch Jeopardy even if I can’t hear the answers — er, questions.
It’s only since I got the new TV that I realized how much garbage I was hearing. And even now, I still listen to most of the commercials simply because I forget I can mute them!
Many years ago, before such a thing as a remote control, when I was still a teenager, I saw an advertisement for something called “Blab Off!” It was a button you wired into the back of your (then black-and-white) TV, and when you pushed it, the sound went off. I got it for my dad for Christmas. My dad was not a handy-man. In fact, he could barely tell one end of a screwdriver from the other. I don’t remember him ever fixing anything around the house. Oh, wait, I lie. My mother had a small table that she put her sewing machine on and he somehow, almost miraculously, managed to affix wheels to the legs so that she could easily move it out of the way when she wasn’t using it. I still have that little table to this day. And when I sew, I use it. So he could — when pressed — manage something simple. And he did manage to connect the Blab Off!
I can still see him laughing as he pushed the button that muted the commercials. He loved it. “Best present I ever got!” he told me several times.
I think of him now as I push the mute button and only then do I realize how much useless trash has been poured into my ears over the past few months. Especially those horrible political “he’s lying – she’s lying” ads. Thank heaven I got the TV with the magical mute button as we descend into the campaign season. Even now, since I forget I’ve got it, I listen to far more garbage than I need to. the advertisers ramble on and
then — OOH, I remember I can mute them! Blissful silence.
And to the person who invented the Blab Off, if you’re still out there — a thousand thanks. You made my dad very happy! And the rest of the family, too. I hope it made you rich!