Sunday, March 19, 2006

The TV weepy

Iwaya sked for this. This is the piece dude. few changes but...

In Africa, the death of someone special is a very hard thing to handle. Unlike other people who can callously throw the dead away without a second thought, here we make it a very big ceremony when someone eventually goes to meet the creator.

I try to be an African through and through when I can. When the TV decided it had shown its last movie, I wanted to scream at it, pull its wires and generally cause it to reconsider. But then, such behaviour is not African. It would cast the whole of Africa in a bad light. So I decided to just swallow the expletives I had lined up for it.

At the moment, I was thinking that I could not handle not having TV. How was I going to sit through the day on weekends just staring at nothing? How was I going to start up conversations with Crazy Clyde from the neighbours? It was all so depressing. All the options I could think of were thwarted as soon as they were conceived.

My fears were born of not knowing what lay in the future. I had never not had TV in my life. I grew up watching TV. For crying out loud, as soon as I had my first suckle after birth, I asked my mama where the TV was at. Other kids remember skipping rope and playing cops and robbers; I remember racing home after school to watch Daktari and his pet Judi. Of course most of you will not remember these two most adorable characters but they made my evenings back when.

I will admit maybe I was a little bit of a loner. But what could I have done when everyone else around was more interested in raising dust and throwing stones? I have always been more civilized than your average small town kid.

When the TV died I thought that the rupture was upon us. We were just warming up for another feel-good movie when it just went blank. I can imagine what was going on its wiry head. Probably, it saw us all expectant and not caring what it thought about being worked day in and day out. Had anyone thought of taking it for a checkup lately? No.

Being African, I decided to turn my attention to other things. Maybe, just maybe I would learn to live without the box. I discovered that the dog had grown old. Wasn’t it just yesterday that this thing had come in as a pup?

I noticed that my dad did not come home early anymore. In my childhood, he used to come back after work and give me a piggy back. That was before I really got into watching the box, before I forgot about everything else.

I got a rude awakening. My Utopia was really a desolate wasteland. TV was not all that. In a few short years, I had managed to turn myself into bleary eyed psycho who lived, ate and slept for TV.

This week, we are going to give TV a special send off. We shall call all relatives and in-laws. All friends and people with a stake in the whole matter, namely those who want to sell us a new TV, girlfriends, who’ve been locked out of our lives because of we were too busy watching fiction to give a fig about what building a stable relationship, parents who had given up on having mature conversations with us because we had turned into Homer Simpson and all other such people.

We will talk about all the good things that TV has done, and the bad ones. Come to think about it, there’s actually little we have got out our association with TV. So we’ll be there to say, “so long old pal, it was good knowing you but if there’s any such thing as reincarnation, please relocate to Siberia, stupid box.”


Blogger Jay said...

I do remember daktari, and clue club, scooby doo, blue falcon and dogwonder, papenheimers....feel free to stop me any time now

12:38 AM  
Blogger Mataachi said...

i have been lucky four times. steve was the second editor i had who made a bad job bearable. i never got to say thanks. thanks a million and i'll pay in dollars one day!

now that post...oh second thought...give this guy another column, damn it!

2:35 AM  
Blogger Degstar said...

blue falcon? dogwonder? scooby doo? didnt y'all have cable? we had Bop Tv growing up in Jinja. think Santa Barbara, Cartoon Network, like that.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Undo said...

I see the request line is open...hmmm! You should blog the whole of "On Second Thought"...what was that you once wrote about the passion with which you honour Kaloli territory...

3:04 AM  

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