In 2007 I got shit lodged in my TV. Literally. Human feces. Inside the TV.
Has that ever happened to you? No? I didn’t think so. Because shit does not belong inside TVs. Shit is for toilets and fans, or the woods if you are a bear. But inside consumer electronic devices, shit does not belong. (Actually, it was not just a TV. It was one of those small screen combo TV/VCRs that were popular among college students in the 90s. Remember those? Classic. But I digress.)
It was in this moment that I knew my life had forever changed. See, that shit belonged to my six-pound infant daughter, my first child, whose tiny little anal sphincter had the remarkable fortitude to launch a sizable squirt of viscous baby-poo through the air, across the changing table, directly at the nearby TV, with such violent force that it actually became embedded in the plastic grating that protects the speakers.
My wife and I just stood there, stunned. I’m guessing we laughed. We actually laughed a lot during that period of parenthood; far more than we laugh now. Now we mostly stare blankly past each other, like two turtles in a terrarium with nowhere to go and little incentive to even try. Like, maybe if we are still enough, they won’t see us. They. Them. You know who I mean.
I’m assuming at some point we’ll start laughing again. We really want to laugh. We like each other a lot. I’m just hoping that when we do start laughing again it will be due to something funny rather than dementia.
Naturally, I tried to salvage the TV. I wiped up what I could, but there was only so much I could remove. Once it dried I painstakingly and surgically scraped away at it with things like unfolded paperclips, carefully removing the shit while trying to avoid damaging the speaker itself, but I was not able to fully dislodge the fecal matter from the innards of that poor TV. For a year or so, any sound projected through that TV was muted, however slightly, by poop.
Incidentally, this was not the last TV damaged by one of our offspring. Our youngest (you know, the one who would trade me in for a cat) has destroyed two large flat screen TVs. Two!
The first one met the business end of a plastic toy hammer. Repeatedly. That one was straight up first degree murder. No chance of acquittal there. The second instance was more involuntary manslaughter. In a fit of toddler-rage he threw a sippy-cup across the room (nothing spilled!) and the TV was unfortunately positioned around the midpoint of the projectile’s trajectory.
Yadda yadda yadda, we now watch TV through a huge piece of Plexiglas. It’s like being in a bus station complete with loud, obnoxious, dirty people I’d really prefer to not travel with unless absolutely necessary. That said, I can’t deny the Plexiglas’s efficacy at blocking shit, plastic hammers and random projectiles.
So, hooray for that.