Thinking Outside the Box

I’m at the age where I have few pleasures in life. I’m not talking about my family and friends, which of course are my greatest pleasures and make life worth living. I’m talking about the small things in my day that I look forward to in order to get me through. Things like that first cup of coffee in the morning or petting our dog Buddy.

One of my major pleasures is watching TV. Let me clarify – I don’t watch a whole lot of television, mostly because there isn’t a whole lot that I enjoy. I think being inundated with reality shows, nothing celebrities and 24-hour news cycles that seem to constantly repeat the story of the moment, have me wanting for something edgy or different.

Of course The Sopranos is long gone and Homeland is between seasons. Recently I’ve been hooked by a new show on Showtime. It’s called Ray Donovan and stars Liev Schreiber as a “fixer” of problems for the elite in southern California. It’s a gritty show with content probably most would not approve. Still, I’m riveted to the show and watch every new episode.

The other night I went home in great anticipation of watching it after my family went to bed. As I walked through the door, our 16-year-old daughter announced, “Dad, the cable box is not working.” Sure enough, no signal and so no Ray Donovan. I immediately called the cable trouble line to see if I could troubleshoot the problem in time for my show.

If you’ve ever had to do this, you know that you must first get through the gauntlet of the automated phone system. It used to be a hassle but they seemed to have streamlined it and so I was able to speak with a technician in no time. She was very pleasant and tried talking me through a series of steps in order to resuscitate the box.

We finally concluded that the patient was dead and I’d have to bring the cable box in to trade for a new one. I had the option of watching it on my computer, iPad or iPhone but being set in my ways like the old man I am, nothing would do except for our living room TV. I decided on my other pleasure, which is to read. I looked for something in the house that I haven’t already read.

You know what? Oprah’s magazine isn’t all that bad.