November 2007


Early Objector

TelevisionI did not learn how to drive until I was at least 20 years old. It was probably more like 21—and then I made up for all the driving I didn’t do between 16 and 21, by driving more in the next three years that most people drive in their entire lives.

Soon after getting my license, I borrowed my mothers Ford Escort Wagon and went somewhere—it was an automatic and the day was warm, so I turned on the air conditioning—only to be rewarded with the car making a very odd sound. I turned off the air conditioner and told my mother about the problem when I got home. Instead of thanking me, she berated me: “It’s not hot—why’d you turn on the air conditioning?”

Three weeks later the car was at the mechanics: the car was making the noise without the air conditioning turned on: apparently I’d objected too early.

I bring this up because it was a metaphorical three weeks ago (being away from home doesn’t really count for time here), when the brand spanking new satellite system was installed and we started decoding signals from the sky. My electronics colleague expert was helping me and we noticed right away on one of the screens that the satellite dish was not properly aligned: the building is getting 40% signal strength with 60% quality.

The hausmeister was notified—and since I wasn’t home when he investigated, he checked with my neighbors—none of whom were having troubles, so he did nothing about it, instead asking me, through an intermediary, which channels weren’t working. The answer to that is difficult, because I have trouble determining between unsubscribed channels and channels that are not coming in because the dish is disoriented. Apparently the fact that I say it wasn’t oriented correctly and that my colleague explained this was not enough.

I let sleeping dogs lay for a spell because I wasn’t home and I didn’t have the time to deal with it—until the weekend when I noticed that the channels I have been surfing to started to become fuzzy, and I resolved to do something about it this week.

That said, last night was a snow flurry kind of evening—tree branches swaying strong—certainly strong enough to push a small satellite dish on the roof around. It was about 8 o’clock when the door bell rang. A neighbor downstairs wanted to know if my television signal was working well.

Probably one of the neighbors who told the hausmeister two months ago that their TV was fine and that I was nuts.

Apparently I was right, I just objected too early.

2 comments to Early Objector

  • Well I dont know how to fully drive yet since I stopped on my driving lessons because I was so busy but then I have to take it being that it is very important for one to know how to drive.

  • Ed

    I was 18 when I tried out for my license. The instructor had me drive into an area I’d never been. Past some warehouses and narrow streets. He then informed me that I had driven through a stop sign. We circled around and came up alongside a building with vans parked along it. Sure enough there was a stop sign about 3 feet tall right in front of a van. So I failed and didn’t try again for a year.