Gerald Hallmark

My TV died. Now that is a sad statement for any man to have to make. There I sat contently watching the news when it made a loud pop and the picture just went off. It was a frightening experience to say the least. I just sat there staring at its large 60-inch blank dead screen and a trickle of a tear rolled down my cheek. I believe if I could have just said goodbye it would have made it easier to take. This dear old friend had finally succumbed to age and use and moved on to that great TV land in the netherworld.

Oh, I did all the CPR I could to revive this beloved part of the family. I unplugged wires, reset cables, changed batteries and a host of other lifesaving techniques, but alas to no avail; death had taken this electronic friend in an instant. I applied all the Red Cross training I had ever taken to this machine, but its strong faithful diodes and capacitors had played out. It’s a sad sight to have to stop all these lifesaving measures and admit it was gone forever. I had to just unplug it, sit back in my chair and look at its sleek beautiful frame with a dead screen staring back at me.

So first thing the next morning I set out on a quest to replace this integral part of the family. After all, the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full bloom and college football is just getting to the nitty-gritty of who will play for the national championship. Finding a new TV isn’t just an exercise in finding an electronic appliance; oh no, this is an adventure to find the highest definition, brightest picture that can be produced. It has to have the clarity of a microscope, the vividness of an old master’s painting and the sound of a symphony orchestra.

Of course my sweet wife has to insert herself into the process about price and warranties. She also had to mention it really didn’t make that much difference about the brand because I was normally asleep in front of it most of the time. Boy, she sure misses the point about TV buying and watching. Just wait until one of her cooking shows looks fuzzy then we’ll see about cheap TVs. 

By the way, I told her this would be her Christmas present this year so she had better enjoy it. She made some mumbling remark about not getting anything last year so this was at least a gift. I guess she forgot about that nice card I printed off the computer and gave her.

Isn’t it ironic how we can take things for granted? I’ve had that TV for 10 years and every time I turned it on I expected it to work. Yet there came a time when it wouldn’t and I was sort of taken aback by the suddenness of its demise. 

There are too many things — and people — we take for granted and assume they will always be there then suddenly they’re gone. Don’t you think we ought to tell people we love them, share ourselves more and realize this world is temporary? An appliance can be replaced, but a friend and family member can only be remembered. Take time today and tell someone you love and appreciate them. Let’s stop taking things for granted before it is too late.

OK, they delivered my new extra large screen TV and it’s a beauty. It took two men to handle it. It runs on a 220-volt system and makes the local movie theater look sad in comparison. Yes sir, I’m back in business, so let the games begin.


Dr. Gerald Hallmark is a retired minister who lives in Alexander City. His column appears here each Friday.