Things to do in the Midwest when your satellite dish is dead

One of the joys of home ownership is that you and you alone are responsible for fixing things. This means that when the roof leaks, you either have to get up there and fix it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. When the leak is the result of hail damage, you get to call your insurance company and get a rather large check in order to pay someone else to come out and fix the roof. When they fix the roof, they take all the old stuff off and put new stuff on. This includes removing and re-installing your satellite dish.

Why am I boring you with all these details? Well, when the roof people re-install your satellite dish, they may or may not get it lined up correctly. If it’s not lined up correctly, you spend days watching a blank television screen. While watching a blank screen, you may learn something about yourself. Here’s what I have learned. I want my, I want my, I want my HDTV. Apparently, I have become addicted to television. I was blissfully unaware of my addiction until my dish went dead.

My television is almost always on, whether I am watching it or not. It provides the background noise to my life — the soundtrack, if you will. Well, without a dish providing a signal, my television has become a large box in the corner staring blankly outward to mock me. In order to get the television to stop its mocking and provide me with picture and sound, I’m relegated to "rabbit ears." For all you youngsters out there, that’s how we old folk used to watch television when we had four channels and our youngest sibling was the remote.

Really, this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Just call the satellite people and have them come out to realign my dish. If only life were that simple. OK, it is that simple, but apparently they don’t care that I can now only watch the Packers beat the Vikings through snow, despite the fact that it’s not actually snowing inside the Metrodome. The first available date they can get someone out to my house to fix the dish is Oct. 10. Did I mention that I pay extra for a service plan? Grrr. Argh. I think Ernestine was the actual operator I spoke with.

So, now the question is what the heck do I do to occupy my time and attempt to recover from the withdrawal symptoms? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1. Re-grout the bathroom tile. I tried channeling Corky in the process, but I didn’t get much grout work done. Channeling required a white tank top. My wife likes white tank tops. I got somewhat sidetracked.

2. Actually watch the DVDs Blockbuster sends me in the mail. My better half and I finally got around to watching Loving Annabelle. It wasn’t Casablanca or anything, but it wasn’t Howard The Duck either. Of course, it was also highly distracting and did not aid in the completion of any tile work.

3. Take a road trip.

No, not that kind of road trip. I was thinking more along the lines of driving to someone else’s house and taking over until my satellite works again. This also keeps me from having to finish the tile.

4. Practice cooking. I love to cook, and I love to eat. So this should work well. Until my wife and I decide it might be fun to recreate the foreplay, I mean food fight, scene from Fried Green Tomatoes.

Again, the bathroom tile does not get grouted.

5. Howl at the moon. Hey, it worked for Veruca.

You should see the looks my neighbors give me when I sit on the roof next to the dish and start howling. I especially love the looks I get from the ones who don’t like me anyway, due to my habit of shacking up with a woman. Ah, life’s simple pleasures.

Help me out, people. If I howl at the moon one more night, I may actually get committed. And I really, really don’t want to grout the bathroom tile. Got any ideas?

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