Our 62-inch Panasonic TV, which we’ve christened Pansy, isn’t just a box of electronics, she’s a beloved member of the family. We’re retired. Frankly, we spend more time with Pansy than any other member of the family. Without her, how would we know the mating habits of migrating elk, Whoopie Goldberg’s opinion on global warming, or if Homer Simpson will get his job back at the power plant? When she started to decline, I wondered if we could go on without Pansy.

We believe Pansy’s decline began with the illness of her offspring, Connie the Cable Converter box. Since we signed that contract with the cable company many years ago, the umbilical cord tethering Pansy to Connie has never been broken. They’re inseparable. Recently, Connie began behaving erratically. We’d be engrossed in a quality classic movie like, “Herbie the Love Bug Goes to Monte Carlo,” when Connie would spontaneously change the channel, flipping rapidly until she came to rest, usually on the travel channel’s documentry featuring chimpanzees grooming each other. It was getting annoying.

As much as I hated possibly traumatizing Pansy, I disconnected Connie the Cable Converter Box and drove her to the cable store, where, to my surprise, she performed flawlessly.Three times I repeated the trip, to no avail. Perhaps Connie just had a yen to travel. It reminded me of when I used to take my toddler son, who was lethargic and burning with fever, to the pediatrician, where he’d undergo a miraculous recovery, laughing, running, and climbing the curtains as I protested to the doctor, “I swear, he was at death’s door an hour ago.”

At Connie’s last fruitless visit to the electronics store, the technician heartlessly tossed her into a bin and suggested I take a different one.

“I don’t know,” I said, “When I take it home and hook it up, won’t Pansy the TV know it’s not really Connie?When my son’s pet hampster Bernie died, I rushed to the pet store and bought a look-alike. As soon as my son saw it, he said, “That’s not Bernie,” and burst into tears.

“Lady, it’s just a cable box. Get over it.”

As soon as I got the new cable converter box home and connected it to Pansy the TV, I said, “Look, Pansy, it’s Connie and she’s as good as new!”

But Pansy knew. In her grief over the loss of Connie, Pansy began to malfunction. I knew I had to get Pansy to the electronics store’s ER before it was too late. I loaded her into the car and raced through the streets, tires squealing and horn blaring.

Sniffling, I said to the technician, “May we bring popcorn and chairs and sit with her? Maybe if I brought in Connie to visit it would restore Pansy’s will to live. What time are visiting hours?”

“Visiting hours? Ma’am, we don’t have visiting hours. This is an electronics store; not a hospital. Just leave the TV and I’ll see if it’s salvagable”

Every day I sent a bouquet of flowers and a card reading, “Get well soon, Pansy. We miss you terribly.”

It soon became clear that Pansy wouldn’t recover, and the family set up a vigil at the electronics store. Weeping and wailing, we took turns sharing fond memories of our many years with our beloved Pansy and her offspring Connie.

As I sensed the end was near, I pulled aside the technician and whispered, “I want you to know (sniff) that I believe you did all you could. When the time comes, it’s okay to pull the plug, both literally and figuratively. Pansy wouldn’t want to live like a vegetable.”

“A vegetable? Get a grip, Lady!”

“Also,” I added, “I’m willing to consider organ donation. If Pansy’s computer chip will allow another TV to live a long and meaningful life…”

“Ma’am, you’re scaring our other customers, your recliner is blocking the aisle, and you’ve spilled popcorn all over the floor. It’s just a TV. I can get you a good deal on a trade-in for this brand-new state-of-the-art smart TV, cable-ready.”

“A new one? As if our beloved Pansy could ever be replaced! Why, I’d never…wait…did you say cable ready? What brand is it? Philips? Phil, baby! Welcome to the family! Have you met Connie, The Cable Converter Box?”


2 thoughts on “Euthanasia for Electronics; The TV’s Dead

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