Many months back I vowed that, with a big fat stimulus check coming from the federal gubmint, I would put a plasma-screen TV of 40 inches or greater in my living room by the time football season arrived. After several months of pinching pennies, I made good on that vow, and I will now have this to stare at in gleeful thrall throughout football season and beyond.
At present, it is the only thing in my apartment that works.
Well, let me back up: one of distressingly few things. I came home Thursday afternoon to find that neither my microwave oven nor my already overworked window A/C unit, both of which were plugged into an outlet in my kitchen, had stopped working. The next morning, I realized that in fact none of the electrical outlets in my kitchen were working, a discovery I arrived at after eating a bowl of cereal with lukewarm milk and then opening my freezer to find that all my ice cubes had melted. An entire fridge's worth of food, thawed, spoiled, and summarily tossed. My stove and microwave are getting enough power to light their "on" lights as if it's cooking something but not enough to actually cook. My toaster isn't even getting enough juice to do that. (And anyone who knows my history with toaster ovens knows that this appliance is playing a dangerous game. Suppose the toaster had been the first thing I'd tried to use Friday morning? I'd probably still be sweeping chards of Chefmate out of the courtyard.)
I managed to plug my air conditioner into a working outlet in the living room, so it's once again cooling the three square feet directly in front of it every bit as faithfully as it was before. And I bought an extension cord as thick as a string of Polish sausages to run from the refrigerator to yet another outlet (I was able to plug the coffeemaker into it as well). So I now have a refrigerator full of food I can't cook, and I can only consume hot coffee as I sit and sweat my balls off in an 85-degree apartment. But I can watch 42 inches' worth of high-definition TV.
Some, not knowing the exact circumstances, might call that a case of misplaced priorities. I call it taking your blessings where you can find them.
But I was reminded of those blessings Sunday night, when I got to watch snippets of the Redskins' 30-16 victory over the Colts in the 2008 preseason opener. The win was keyed by, of all people, sixth-round draft pick Colt Brennan, who -- just months after having his central nervous system reconfigured by Marcus Howard and the rest of Georgia's front seven -- threw two touchdown passes in the second half. Yeah, it was only a preseason game, but given the choice between winning an exhibition march or losing one, I'd just as soon win. And it capped off a weekend in which Darrell Green and Art Monk, the very first individual I can remember referring to as "my favorite football player," finally got into the NFL Hall of Fame.
So readers, y'all are welcome to come over and watch the games now that football season has (kind of, sort of) started. It'll be hot as hell, and there won't be anything for you to eat, but there'll be a big TV. And the beer, at least, will be cold.