Let me start out by saying I'm not very proud of the story you're about to read. But it's good public service because at the end you'll be able to feel better about yourself. How's that? Because you'll know that you're a much better and more mature person and I.
---------------If you've read my blog before, you know that I love University of Tennessee football. With a passion. I love Saturdays in the fall because I know I'll get to see about 10 UT football games on television a year. Plus I get to go to Neyland Stadium about once a year to see the Vols in action. I tend to buy orange things, from shirts to boxers and toothbrushes. I love me some Tennessee football. But sometimes my passion for the game can get out of hand.
I especially love the third Saturday in October. UT and Alabama. The history. The rivalry. All that stuff. Although I was disappointed that CBS had chosen not to air the game at 2:30, part of me was glad it was an 11:30 game so that I wouldn't have to wait as long to see the game.
It started with the onside kick and our front line not being ready. Then the poor kick-off coverage. Then the "Swiss cheese" defense - too many holes. Finally, at the end of the first half, we'd pulled to within 7. I still felt pretty good about our chances in the second half, despite all that had gone wrong up to that point.
I'd brought my notebook computer home for the weekend to work on some job descriptions and the 2008 budget. At the end of the first half I thought of something that needed to be added to the budget so I got my notebook and did about 2 minutes worth of work. The phone rang so I picked up the remote, hit the mute button, stood up from my recliner, put the computer in the recliner, and went searching for the phone. After hanging up, I went into the kitchen and fixed some lunch. I watched the halftime show as I ate.
The second half started and I was still in the kitchen. I cleaned up my dishes and went into the den to continue watching the game in there. The television was still muted so I picked up the remote and hit the mute button.
(Let me pause here to say that I keep remote controls out of my hand during UT football games. For a very good reason. I've been known to "lose my grip" on a remote control or two in my lifetime during a controversial call. So I always keep it in reach, but never in my hand.)
Just after hitting the mute button, Ainge threw the ball to a receiver running a post pattern. The Alabama defensive back made a great play on the ball and intercepted the pass. Now remember, I have a remote in my hand and I'm not supposed to. Without thinking, I slung the remote into the recliner. The cushion of the recliner was supposed to soften the blow and prevent it from going anywhere. The problem was that it didn't hit the cushion. I'd forgotten that I'd left the computer in my chair. Open.
The remote struck the LCD screen. The screen went blank. All the blood drained from my face. I hit key after key. Nothing. I could tell that it was on, but there was no video. I was suddenly sick at my stomach.
After a few minutes of calling myself every imaginable name I could think of, I got on the phone with Dell. Randall was helpful but informed me that I didn't have the "complete care" service. He transferred me to the parts department. That's when I began my very frustrating talk with Zuka. I had a hard time understanding her. I had her repeat about half of everything she said. I've got a pretty good feeling she wasn't sitting at a desk in Austin, Texas.
I spent about 30 minutes of going back and forth with Zuka, but I finally got the new LCD screen ordered. I swapped out the new screen for the old one myself Tuesday night, and the job took about 45 minutes. I could have had Dell send a technician out to do the repair, but the price more than doubled when the tech got involved.
To make matters worse, I orginally told the bride that it was a complete accident and I didn't actually throw the remote out of anger but rather went to pick it up, lost my grip and it hit the screen as I tried to regain a good hold on the remote. Later that night at supper I confessed that I'd actually lost my temper and thrown it. Of course her comment of "Do we need some anger management training" didn't help that much. But to be honest, I'd already beaten myself up more than she or anyone else could have by that point.
I want to say that I've learned my lesson. I really do. And I think I have. Expensive mistakes tend to wake me up.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the remote doesn't work any more either.....