Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Boob Tube Karma
Its in the nature of Amee Barn life that you never know from day to day what will suddenly show up on your doorstep with little or no explanation. I’ve spent hours investigating the appearance of slightly irregular couches with jungle print upholstery that give off an aroma that’s a bit off. But then they’re there in your living space and before you know it you don’t remember a time that they weren’t. Before you can locate the dubious benefactor to either thank or dump the offending furniture in their back yard, the ugly couch has completely insinuated itself into your life.
Yesterday morning, it was a TV, a very nice one actually.The fifth one I acquired in the last year. One thing I’ve noticed about Vermont rural life is that there’s very little room for squishy philosophies. Spout on about, say, attraction theory all you’d like, the fact of the matter is that you’d better stop wishing for things to happen. If you don't get off your ass and move endless piles of wood to feed the various boilers around the farm, you won’t have an ass to sit on. It will have frozen off. That cantankerous dyed in the wool Yankee up the road was right!
But I’ll make an exception for a very specific case. The attraction theory is completely valid for televisions, especially crappy ones that have been obsolete for the last decade. Last summer was difficult for the barn. A bookshelf and television stand were repossessed, long story, but even prior to that a whole television just simply disappeared. I was on the road for a month working the Montreal Spartan Race and by the time I returned the barn had been denuded, transformed into a rustic barracks, a lovely wooden frame furnished with stiff plastic cots, old crates and the aforementioned ugly couches.
So trying to cut my losses I sent out a general inquiry into the universe. Did anyone see the barn television? Unbeknownst to me, I was also sending out an invitation. Pittsfield closets were raided, basements were dredged, curbsides were scavenged and before I knew it I was up to my eyebrows in discarded televisions in various states of disrepair, perfect if I were a postmodern sculptor prepping for the next Burning Man Festival or if I wanted to audition for the next season of Hoarders, but a drag otherwise.
This particular TV was in the financial office behind the Bikram Yoga Studio and literally appeared on our doorstep after an office remodel. In terms of attraction theory, the strength of my magnetic field must have burgeoned considerably. It went from collecting tiny, malfunctioning and obsolesced junk to a twenty inch flat screen in mere months. Sure there’s no cable, and we have exactly one DVD worth watching, Napoleon Dynamite. But surely one version of the modern American Dream is to be able to work at your computer in your underwear all day while eating tots and watching Napoleon Dynamite on an endless loop. Or maybe I dream too big?