This story of hope sprouted from a story of rejection.
As you may have read last week in my interview with stand-up comedian Chad Daniels, I have a new television, which means I have to find a place for my old TV and when I say old, I mean 2004 model, at least 80 pounds old.
See for yourself:
If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I’m reluctant to throw things away, particularly things that still serve their purpose, and despite this TV’s age, it still works just like the day I got it.
However, by 2017 standards, it is no doubt an ancient picture box, operating in its bygone low-definition glory, all big and weirdly shaped and heavy.
I tried to sell it before moving in late February. One woman said she was going to come take a look, but she never did and since I couldn’t bring myself to just leave the TV by a Dumpster somewhere, it came with me to my new place.
As of this writing, it’s still here, sitting in my kitchen floor, which is where it was when I tried to give it away on Monday.
Cue the rejection music, but keep a hopeful tune nearby.
After learning that Goodwill wouldn’t take the TV, I called a local school program which accepts donations, thinking the group would be thrilled to receive a teaching tool as effective as my 13-year-old television. The struggle of carrying this behemoth down the stairs to the trunk of my car would be worth it knowing bright, young minds were going to be shaped watching an educational DVD on the same TV that broadcasted “The House Bunny” six or seven times in my old apartment.
Upon getting connected to the nice lady who answered the phone, I gave in to my occasional urge to over-explain, but not for long enough to have her request that I get to the damn point already.
Me, expecting an immediate yes answer: “I have an old TV that still works just like the day I got it and it has a good picture and great sound. Do you guys want it?”
Nice lady, in a nice lady voice: “Hold on a second and I’ll check.”
Three seconds pass.
Nice lady: “I’m sorry. We really don’t want to encourage watching TV in classroom so we can’t take it, but thank you for offering”
Me, stunned that my electronic gift has been rejected: “Oh. OK. Thanks.”
After hanging up, I smiled, and the smile stayed on my face for most of the next couple of hours because although the old TV wasn’t going anywhere, I was happy it wasn’t going to keep a kid in my town from learning about biology or history that day.
Much newer, lighter, smaller screens were probably doing that, but still I smiled at the thought of the nice lady and her crew standing guard against technological intrusions in schools.
I’ll call her again the next time my bookshelves overflow, or in 13 years when I’m ready to part with another television. Maybe the policy will have changed by then and even though I’ll be an old man, it’ll be a lot easier getting the TV down the stairs.