The terminal geek

dark TVI was enjoying my fancy schmancy new HDTV the other evening — my first modern television — and the screen looked like this, except entirely dark, because it was night and the display was turned off.

It sounded like this:

I had discovered, among many arcane streaming choices, several channels  that broadcast shows from radio’s Golden Age — the 1930’s and ’40s — before the advent of commercial television.  My pulse quickened.

Before he became the Boy Wunderkind of Hollywood with “Citizen Kane,” Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air were renown for high-quality aural storytelling, including Welles’ Halloween Eve, 1938 adaptation of “War of the Worlds,” which induced hysteria around the country.  So there I was,  using my digital television debut not to watch high-definition TV, but to listen to a crackling Mercury Theatre broadcast recorded nearly 80 years ago.bonanza, first episode

I am, apparently, incapable of hipness, even when provided with all the proper equipment.  After listening in the darkness to “Dracula”,   I turned the TV display back on and tinkered around until I found an old Westerns channel, and happily watched the first-ever episode of “Bonanza.”  It was thrilling:   Hoss had hair! Little Joe looked 16!

I have hoped for a long time to become one of the cool kids, but it seems now that it’s never going to happen.  Both of my parents were popular when they were young — especially my mother — but each apparently carries the recessive nerd gene, and I got both copies.

This expresses itself in various ways,  including knowing way too much about old-time radio,  classic movies and chickens, and knowing way too little about current TV,  movies, singers and dancers.  When I imagine myself busting a move,  I think of Sidney Poitier in “To Sir With Love”:

That’s me:  Sidney getting down with the pretty blond girl as the cool kids look on admiringly.  (While it is true that I lack Poitier’s panther-like grace and am, additionally,  a middle-aged white woman,  I have totally mastered the arm movements.)

All for now:  Must practice dance moves, then listen to my TV.



  1. Susan Lukwago · · Reply

    Hysterical … I do not have your nerd gene as this dancing is cracking me up! Enjoying it yes, but cracking me up … glad you have the “arm movement” mastered/mistressed …


  2. I love this. I wonder if you can get shortwave radio on that thing?


    1. If there’s a way, you know I’ll find it.:)


  3. It’s like using the microwave to boil water for a cup of tea (which I confess to having done). : )


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