When In Doubt, Unplug The Set And Start Over

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2011

At home Monday night I faced the worst of problems: How to turn on the TV.
I pushed the red button over and over to no avail. The screen was black.
Elizabeth was playing bridge with the girls. Michael had already gone to bed.
I was stuck alone with the remote. Three remotes, actually. One for the TV. One for the video player. One for … well, I’m not sure what it’s purpose is.
The little green light indicated the TV was on, but there was no picture, no sound, no indication that anybody was at home inside the set.
We are at a sorry point in the history of mankind when it takes a rocket scientist to operate a television. When it comes to operating the set, I defer to my wife and children. I try to avoid the remote.
Faced with a dead TV, I did what any husband would do: I picked up the house. Straightened the bookshelf. Picked up the toys. Picked up stray pens and pencils. Put away the dishes … and stewed.
Finally, the solution came to me: Unplug the set and wait 10 seconds. It’s the very trick taught to me by various computer gurus who come to the office to work on our computers charging $100 per hour.
It worked. The TV came on promptly. But the set was frozen on one show: “Castle.” We used to watch that, but the character Rick Castle has spent three seasons mooning over his pretty police detective friend Kate Beckett without getting to first base. We’ve switched allegiance to the new show “Harry’s Law” starring Kathy Bates. But I was stuck with “Castle” like it or not. There was Rick and Kate, freezing to death, huddled together for warmth. She turns her blue face to him as if for a kiss … and dies.
OK, maybe she didn’t die. Maybe someone opened the freezer and rescued them. The show broke for a …