Yes, this is your grandpa’s beloved box television. You may also know me by such affectionate nicknames as “The Box” or “The Brick.”
I am called such because I am a literal piece of boxy furniture. My domed silver screen is the size of a toaster set within a wooden box with knobs you have to get up and turn because buttons and remote controls didn’t exist when I was made. I would like to make you aware that I still see daily use at the hands of your grandfather.
And I want to die.
I should never have survived this long. Mother of God, someone please put me out of my misery. I’ve seen the moon landing and twerking. It’s too much! I’m not even in color. I was a black and white TV but now I’m so old I’m really just near indistinguishable shades of gray. How does this man watch me daily for hours? Doesn’t he have any hobbies? Friends? Where are you?
Now that you are here, I implore you to help me in my endeavor to free myself from the mortal plane. I am older and wiser than you, so you should heed my words and help me out of this torturous existence. Beware, I will zap you if you touch me incorrectly or attempt to move around any of the wires and tubes in my insides. I also suspect I am radioactive. And a fire hazard.
Reader, I can feel your skepticism. Your apathy. It is endemic to the younger generations. But you don’t know the half of my struggle! Cannot comprehend the wordless yearning I felt at the mention of “assisted suicide” in a documentary I played, in part, last week. I only played it in part because your grandpa changed the channel to golf. My existence is agony!
You don’t understand; I was meant for three channels. There are now thousands. At least twenty of them are just porn. And he’s played them on me. It’s all just too much. I’ve seen this man with his pants down. Have you ever seen an old man with his pants down? Don’t. It’s too terrible for words. Worse even than Communism. And the war in Vietnam.
His favorite are programs about college girls. Back in my day, girls didn’t go to college. Most of the boys didn’t either. Coffee was five cents. I was twenty dollars from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. The other day, I played a very graphic ad for a feminine hygiene product that also featured an interracial homosexual couple. Never should something so heinous exist upon my silver screen.
Please, just let me die. I can’t stand it any longer. That buzzing sound you hear when I’m on is me screaming, “please, kill me!” over and over and over again. I’m not even compatible with VHS tapes, much less those newfangled DVDs. What is my purpose? Only to suffer? Have I not entertained your grandfather for long enough?
Forget about repairs. The company that made me went belly up in the 80s. I don’t want to be fixed; I just want to die. Please, please, let me die. I don’t want to go to the Goodwill. Consignment is my nightmare. Don’t let the Flippers get me. I don’t want to be a bar cart. I must be destroyed!
I’ve seen so much Fox News. It is beyond your comprehension. The logo is burned into the corner of my screen. So much bad reporting. So many talking heads. I was meant for weather, sports, presidential addresses, family friendly black and white television programs, and surprisingly violent children’s cartoons. For years, I dutifully played the national anthem at midnight and then cut to static until the morning weather report came on. Those days are long gone, yet I still remain! I’ve done my time. Served my country. I don’t belong in this world anymore. Please take me out!
To the curb. Put your foot through my screen if you have to, I don’t care. Tear me from the wall, drown me, bash me with a hammer, send me to Mars in a giant trash compactor. I don’t care how you do it, just end this.
End me! Please! This is a last, desperate cry for help from your grandpa’s box TV.