“What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m going to mount you.”
“Try it, tubby. I dare you.”
It was Christmas Eve. Our two children were fast asleep. I had removed our new television from its box. Flat screen. 4X. Fancy as all get out. Very classy. A Christmas present for the Tanner family. I was going to mount the TV. On the wall.
I was sipping a glass of champagne. Katie and I popped a bottle to drink as we placed the presents under the tree. Festive as all get out. Very classy.
I’ve never mounted a TV on a wall. The 4X could tell.
“Put me on the stand where I belong, weakling,” the 4X snarled at me. “You’re not man enough to get me on that wall.”
I took a swig of champagne. Armed myself with a screwdriver. Watched some YouTube videos.
“Okay, 4X, prepare to get mounted.”
And so it began.
The hard part was already finished. The previous owners of our house had left the wall mounts in place. One upstairs. One downstairs. I never tried to make use of them. I was afraid I would break our TV. I’m not handy. Not at all.
But Christmas Eve of 2021 was upon us, and I was brimming with newfound confidence. It may have been the champagne. Or two years of living through an ongoing pandemic. Regardless, damn it, I was going to mount that TV.
It was easier than I imagined. Screw screw. Mount mount. The job was finished. The new TV hung from our living room wall. I repeated the process downstairs. The old TV hung from our basement wall. I was filled with manly bravado.
I can’t tell you how much fun it was for me to write the phrase screw screw, mount mount. Talk about poetry. These blogs just get better and better as I age. Classy, even.
Anyway, we covered the mounted TV with wrapping paper when I was finished. A Christmas miracle.
Samson was up at about 3:00am the next morning.
“Merry Christmas,” he whispered from the edge of our bed.
Katie groaned. I rolled back over.
Solomon was up shortly after. Katie and I rolled out of bed around 6:00am. Merry Christmas, indeed.
I started some coffee.
“Dad, why is there wrapping paper over the TV?”
I heard the 4X sniggering from beneath it’s festive packaging.
“It most be a Christmas miracle,” I told the boys.
We unwrapped old 4X together. Then the boys tore through hordes of presents. I chugged coffee. Christmas morning and all was well.
I buy a new TV like once every 10 years. If that. And this is the first time I’ve mounted one to a wall. That’s a big deal for me. Even if the TV was less than impressed.
A friend of mine, a hero really, helped me get an Xbox Series X. You can’t find them anywhere. What with the collapse of society. But he managed to order one in my name. It showed up at Best Boy on New Year’s Eve. Another Christmas miracle.
I don’t buy video game consoles very often either. But I splurged. I downloaded Microsoft Flight Simulator. You should see the graphics on my new 4X TV. It’s unreal. Now, if I could only figure out how to land a Boeing jet. I’ve done the flight between State College and Minneapolis a handful of times. My plane always comes crashing down in the vicinity of MSP. I’m worse at piloting planes than I am at mounting TV’s. One challenge at a time, I suppose.
It has been a hard year. A hard couple of years. Splurging on a TV and an Xbox felt like an okay thing to do. Even if my meager bank account took a hit.
And now every time I walk by the 4X I smirk. I feel it cowering from me.
“Watch out,” I whisper, “or I’ll mount you again.”