THE OBLIGATORY LILEKS LINK: Having hooked up three DirecTV receivers to four different TV sets in the house (one feeds two TVs), I can feel for Lileks’ lament:


When I went outside to get the mail I tripped over a large box on the stoop: the new receiver from DirecTV. Ah! Now the Battle Bridge would have a signal again. It was a reconditioned $25 RCA unit, nearly identical to the dead slab of crap I had before. Hooked it up, called DirecTV, went through the procedure to activate it – and here we enter mumbojumbo land. I chanted the magic numbers into the phone; the shaman on the other end moved his fingers, and the birds in the sky and the snakes on the land woke as one, and yea: the picture appeared on the wall, and seemed to move; the words appeared as if writ by an invisible hand, and I fell on my knees and said I will order the NFL Total Access Game Package, O my liege. I will! I am not worthy of this package but I shall accept it nonetheless. Blessed be unto you.

Will there be anything else? said the angel from the gray spirit-talker I held to my ear. I said that there was not. And the angel thanked me and bade me a good night. How could it not be good? Everything works again. The downstairs TV has a signal. I’d fixed the family room system that afternoon, so I now have stereo, and the new wireless headphones work perfectly. If ever again I have time to watch TV, well, I am SET.

Actually not quite, as you’ll see if you read the rest of the piece.


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