Trapped at home with no satellite

We had quite a situation up on Robinson’s Mountain this week.[cointent_lockedcontent]

ben6-25 Page 4A.inddMy father cut the grass last week, which I know is a difficult job. For many years, when I was growing up, that was my job.

As the old Erma Bombeck title correctly reports, the grass is always greener over the septic tank. But with our lawn, surrounded by acres of woods, the grass grows differently throughout our yard. So in places it was so thick you could hardly push a mower through it, while in other places, it was so thin you couldn’t be sure how far you had already cut.

Plus you had obstacles to deal with. Pine cones and rocks were common.

And there was this one spot where our telephone line runs. It stuck out of the ground, and when the lawnmower hit it, it sparked from metal touching metal. It never caught fire, but it kept Mrs. Robinson’s chubby son Ben awake as he mowed the lawn.

Either way, now my father is retired and says he needs to cut the grass so he will be able to get some exercise. I don’t mention that I obviously need the exercise just as badly. I just accept the relief of not having to cut the grass.

So my father was cutting the grass when he ran over something and the lawnmower stopped. I keep telling him that the proper way to stop the lawnmower is that lever on the handle, but he prefers just to run over something.

But this time he ran over the wires that go to our satellite television. Of course, when the blade hits those cables, our satellite goes out.

When I was young, there was no such thing as satellite television. We could get Channel 4 from Greenville, Channel 7 from Spartanburg and occasionally some glimmer of Channel 13 from Asheville. Channel 16 didn’t exist yet, and Channel 29 was educational (who wants to learn from home?). When Channel 21 came around years later, people started calling it “country cable.” A friend of mine’s mother actually sat up late one night to enjoy the fact she could get a signal 24 hours a day.

Other channels popped up over the years, but while I was away from home at college, my parents bought one of those small satellite dishes, and suddenly our television choices went from 3 to 200.

Eventually, the TV folks figured out how to rig it to where you couldn’t just pick up stations through the air anymore, so we had to buy boxes for even our small black-and-white televisions.

So after my father ran over the satellite wires with the lawnmower, we went from 200 channels to 0.

My father called the satellite people and reported the incident.

“They said it would be next Monday before they could have anybody come and look at the satellite,” he reported.

“What?” I answered. “Are they coming on the Mayflower?”

“They’ll probably use one of those vans,” my mother said.

So for almost a week, I was trapped in a home with no television.

But today is Monday and they’re supposed to be coming to fix it. I have a meeting to cover tonight, but I will sleep better knowing television will be back tomorrow.