Channel Surfing

Since Mom fractured her humerus in September, she’s been babying her left arm.  Even now, three months later, she still complains about the pain.  It’s a mystery to her doctor and to Bill and me that it should still hurt as much as she claims it does, but I give her an occasional aspirin and that seems to help.

A consequence of only having one fully functioning arm is that she no longer reads the daily newspaper.  She says it’s too hard to hold it and turn the pages with her ‘injury’.  Personally, I think it’s because the newspaper raised its rate from $20 to $26 a month and she didn’t want to pay for it anymore.  So now, Bill and I are getting just the Wednesday and Sunday papers so we can go through the ads – mid-week for groceries and Sunday everything else, plus the comics and puppies in the classified section.  The one thing we forgot to sign up for, however, was the TV magazine.  Here in Arizona, if you want the weekly TV guide, you have to pay extra for it.  Since we use the satellite on-screen guide, it didn’t even make a blip on our TV viewing radar.  Mom, on the other hand, is another story.

With the arrival of our first Sunday addition, we realized our oversight and rushed to the grocery store to buy a TV Guide for Mom.  The problem with the TV Guide is it only lists prime time shows – no daytime listings.  Don’t ask me why they couldn’t put in one page of daytime shows, since it’s always the same, but they don’t.  So I told Mom she needed to start using the on-screen satellite guide.  It’s always available, pretty much 100% accurate and the show times are set for Arizona – unlike her old printed TV magazine, which listed her daytime satellite channel shows using Eastern Time Zone times.

Later in the afternoon, I wandered into the living room to find Mom pushing buttons on the remote control.  I stood next to the couch and watched the screen change from one pay-per-view channel to another.  When a porn channel popped onto the screen, I interrupted her random surfing expedition with an abrupt, “Mom, what are you doing?”

“I’m just looking to see what’s on TV,” she replied as she continued randomly pushing remote buttons.  We both watched briefly as the TV changed to channel 145, which was showing Madagascar 3 followed by channel 196, which offered Hot Horny Amateurs Caught On Tape.

“Do you plan on going through all of them, one at a time?” I asked.

“I don’t know.  Maybe,” she replied, switching to the 200s.

“You know there’s a few hundred channels.  You could be at this all… .”

“Yeah, yeah,” she muttered, moving on to two-digit channels.

“You know, there’s an on-screen gui….”

“Yeah, yeah,” she interrupted again, returning to pay-per-view.

“Mom, you have to pay for tho… .”

“Yeah, yeah,” she murmured, flipping through the music channels in the 800s.

“Fine, do what you want,”  I said over my shoulder as I turned to go.  “But Law and Order is on 245, if you’re interested.”

As I walked down the hall toward the office, I could hear Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy ranting about an unreliable witness followed by Mom’s rejoinder, “Yeah, yeah.”


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