Thursday, November 1, 2012

The downside of cheap skatitude

Hey guys!  I hope your Halloween's been spookilicious!  As the witching hour approaches, I thought share a little story about the first TV I ever bought.  I know, it doesn't sound spooky, but it kind of is, just wait!

I think we all know I'm a cheapskate, through and through.  I rarely pay retail for anything, unless it simply can't be had any other way.  So that's where the story of my new TV starts.  I had a hand-me-down TV that my parents had given me when I bought my house.  This was the 90s, and the TV was heavy, and old, and the picture was a little fuzzy.  Some channels were more than a little fuzzy, and it was getting progressively worse.  If it had been a fabulous mid-century console TV, I'd have searched around for someone to repair it, but it was an early 80s utilitarian set with no design aesthetics, so it was time for a new TV.

Now, back in the day here in St Louis, there was a place called (I swear I'm telling the truth here, although I've scoured Google for photographic evidence and come up short) Grandpa Pigeon's.  Now, it may have been called Grandpa Pigeon, but it was definitely the kind of place you'd put a random S at the end of, regardless.  Grandpa Pigeon's was a discount store, at it was cheap.  My best guess looking back is that it was the old-time equivalent of Big Lots, where they bought huge batches of closeout stuff.  What I do know is, they sold refurbished TVs.  I know this, because I bought one.  A whopping 24-inch television!  Well, it was bigger than the one I had before!  Actually, it's bigger than the little 19-inch I have now, since someone kicked my front door in and stole the nice big flat screen I used to have.  I refuse to replace it because... you know, I'm cheap!

So anyway, it was late October when I bought my fancy "new" refurbished TV at Grandpa Pigeon's, and I have a certain favorite movie that I like to watch.  Abbot & Costello meet Frankenstein:

Now, if you aren't familiar, get thee to Netflix on the double!  Abbott & Costello are comedy icons of the highest order, but this film goes way beyond that.  The classic movie monsters are all in attendance - the original actors!  Well, it's Glenn Strange instead of Boris Karloff, but that really is Bela Lugosi playing Count Dracula, and Lon Chaney Jr. as the wolf man.  Even hometown hero (the Lou loves him!) Vincent Price made an "appearance" as the Invisible Man!  It's funny, it's spooky, it's all around awesome, and I recommend it to pretty much anybody over the age of 10.

Unfortunately, on the Halloween night in question, nefarious characters were plotting against my enjoyment of my favorite goofballs.  Before digging in to the main event, my friend and I sat down with our popcorn to watch a Simpsons episode (who didn't love the Treehouse of Terror episodes?!?).  And that, my friends, is when he did it.  Bart Simpson really is the demon child that Homer suspects you guys!  He came home and plopped on his couch, facing my friend Robert and me, and he raised his remote control.  He clicked, and nothing happened.  He clicked again... still nothing.  So he rummaged around in the couch cushions, and came up with this:

Bart's plutonium

Aha!  The remote's batteries were dead, but surely the spare plutonium that fell out of Homer's pocket would work!

And it did.

Cartoon character Bart Simpson stuck a glowing stick of cartoon plutonium into his cartoon remote control, aimed it at us, and Turned Off My TV!

I promise you, I'm telling the truth!  Robert, if you're reading this, comment - back me up.  Bart Simpson turned off my new TV, and that was the end of it.  I had to go right back to Grandpa Pigeons and return it.

Spooky, huh?

Aha, and the witching hour, has arrived!


  1. This really happened. It is 100% true. I was there.

    And it is a night I will never forget.

  2. Hahaha. That's a good story. I totally believe it...and I totally remember Grandpa Pigeons. My dad would always take us kids there to do our clothes shopping. Yes, cheapskatiness runs in my family.