No, we did far better than that. We adopted ourselves a DirectTV guy! He’s handy to have around. Okay, okay. Before anyone alerts the police, we did not kidnap this man. We haven’t actually adopted him, and he is able to come and go on his own free will. The problem is, he just won’t go.
It all started a week ago when we thought we were finally going to have TV in our room. We’ve been living here for over a month now, and we’ve had no TV to watch in our space. (It’s a sad story, isn’t it?) Mr. DirectTV (we’ll call him DT for short) was coming, and his arrival was anxiously anticipated by three out of four members of my immediate family. I didn’t really care, because I have no time to watch TV. Besides, when I actually do sit down long enough to watch a show, I just go to sleep anyway. The other three family members, however, were very excited to see DT arrive.
The first time DT came, he was the bearer of bad news. Since my mother-in-law’s house is the height of a three story, although it’s a two story (confused yet?), he could not get on the roof to install the dish. I think union rules were involved. Either that, or he was just a chicken, I’m not sure which. Regardless, DT said he could not install the dish without the proper equipment. Mr. Everything, being who he is, just happened to have a friend with a bucket truck. (Doesn’t everyone have a bucket truck?) He asked DT if a bucket truck would work, and DT said it would. They made their plans and the date was set for Thursday, 12/27. That was great, except for one problem. We already had somewhere to be that day, and it didn’t involve waiting at home for the cable, excuse me satellite, guy. (Does cable even exist anymore? Do our children know what cable is?)
Anywho, all week, Mr. E and DT have been calling each other back and forth, making arrangements for the big day. You would’ve thought they were pre-teen girls planning for a sleepover. They arranged for DT to come today. Today, we would have TV, and all would be right with the world.
We waited around all day. DT called and said when he thought he would be here. Then, he called again and bumped the time to later. Finally, around 5:30, he arrived. This was just in time for it to get dark outside. So, here was this man, climbing the ladder of a bucket truck in the dark. Great planning, boys.
After about an hour, dinner was ready, and I told Mr. Everything he would have to leave his new friend and come in and eat. He obeyed, sort of, but DT interrupted us in the middle of dinner. Just like a kid, Mr. E left his plate of unfinished food and dashed off to see what kind of trouble he could get into. Together, Mr. E and DT went up the stairs and down the stairs and up the stairs and down the stairs. At least they got their workout today! The problem was, every time DT came back down the stairs, Captain, my mother-in-law’s dog, would go crazy barking. Then, Pepe Chihuahua would join in the fun. Then, Captain would bark at Pepe because he doesn’t like it when Pepe barks. Then, Pepe would bark back, and quickly, it would turn into a dog fight. Hair would be flying, teeth would be showing, and it would get ugly. Luckily, Pepe Chihuahua did not lose any teeth this time. He usually does, bless his heart.
So, after a few hours of up and down the stairs, my mother-in-law and I were weary. She was ready to go to her bedroom after a long day of work. I was ready for DT to get out of the house. My mother-in-law asked Mr. E, “Can’t I just go to my room?” but he told her she couldn’t. He said they were going through her room to get to the attic upstairs.
Soon, the Beetle started hanging out in my room. I wondered what was up, because he never hangs out in my room. I asked him what he was doing. With wild eyes, he said, “I can’t play X-Box.” (Oh no..emergency!) I asked him why not. He said every time he started a game, DT would come in and need to look at something on his TV. He said he was going to die if he didn’t get back to his game soon. Somehow, because of the look in his eyes, I believed it was that serious for him.
The Goose soon came in and told me she couldn’t get ready for bed. She said Mr. E and DT had furniture stacked in her room. I was beginning to wonder what was going on up there, but I decided not to investigate. I would have to climb those killer stairs if I wanted to find out. (A two story house the height of a three story house equals a very long, steep set of stairs.)
Soon enough, DT and Mr. E came to my room. They both stood in front of the TV, looking at it, switching channels and looking at it some more. This did not seem like a fun play date to me.
Somehow, our stations were still set to Jacksonville, although we live much closer to Tampa. After an hour of looking at the channels, and establishing over and over and over that they were, indeed, Jacksonville stations, the boys decided they didn’t know what to do about it. By this point, the kids kept whispering and asking me when DT was going to leave. I told them I wasn’t sure. I began considering fixing him a pallet of blankets on the floor so he would have somewhere to sleep.
I wondered what his real name was. “DT” was sufficient for him, so I didn’t ask. The man was obviously a native Spanish speaker. I was getting excited about having a live-in Spanish tutor for the kids. He was going to be quite useful in our family.
The funny thing was, as I was considering what to name him after we adopted him, DT kept referring to Mr. Everything as, “Sir.” “Sir, is the channel still on Jacksonville?” “Sir, can you hand me my phone?” “Sir, can I just live here?” “Sir, sir, sir.” I knew good and well that Mr. E had told him our life story. I’d heard part of it, so I wasn’t sure why DT was being so distant. I thought we were closer than that. I told him, "DT. If you're going to live here, you'll have to call us by name." (Okay, I really didn't but can't you imagine the look on his face if I had?)
Finally, after another half hour or so of looking at channels and discussing it some more, DT and Mr. E established for the final time that the channels were, you guessed it, from Jacksonville. Then, DT said, “Your box is probably out of date.” Ya don’t say.
DT and Mr. E made plans to talk the next day. DT said he would call him at 9:00 in the morning. I wondered if they would brew coffee so they could drink it together while they chatted. Finally, at 10:00 PM, DT decided it was time for him to go. Luckily, the Beetle and the Goose were not nearby, because I’m pretty sure they would have vocalized the, “Oh, thank goodness,” I was thinking. So, just as quickly as DT came into our lives, he left us. He promised to call tomorrow, though, so we’ll still be in touch. Maybe he can come to our New Years Day meal. We’ll teach him how to eat southern. For now, I guess I’ll hold off on making a stocking to hang for him next year. We’ll see if he comes back to us first…. For now, we have the promise of a call. -Al