Out of Sight
Off the Wall, Jan 23
, 2014

It goes without saying, any time one has company whether it be for Christmas, Thanksgiving or a birthday, people seem to gather at someone’s house to celebrate, have a meal and virtually comment on another’s appearance.

“Hey Jamie, I love the way you are fixing your hair.” “John, you look as though you have lost some weight since I saw you last.” Finally, the last comment that Debbie may make is, “Haven’t seen you in church lately. Have you decided to visit another parish?”

It goes without saying that anyone of my many readers could add to the three above. There even may be a few unusual statements, but they are not the topic today. I have something else on my mind.

I love to gather with family, the few I have left. Few of the Volkmann relatives are anywhere near me, so I can’t join them for special occasions, just in-laws. I enjoy being with them every so often except certain problems that seem to creep into my visitations – it’s called the television.

I have to admit I would be better off if I junked mine. But then I don’t watch it as much as I used to.

Here is my gripe. If one is going to have people over, disconnect the blanket-blank thing and ask the neighbors if they wouldn’t mind storing it in their basements for the time the people are visiting. Then the time together would be more worthwhile than it’s turned out to be.

Take the Hoseafat family. Their daughter, Cynthia, traveled all the way from Idaho to be with them over Christmas. The idea was to spend a week with the parents. Sounds good, doesn’t it? As soon as she got here, she got off the plane, ran to her mother, father and family members and with open arms, hugged them all. Nothing wrong with that. Hugs are a good thing if they are done with the intentions of love. It should be more than a formality, instead a relaying of kinship love.

Driving home, Josh, her dad asked many questions and she answered cheerfully. Everyone had a wonderful time together. But that would end when the five-day stay-over shifted gears. After eating a fine meal, Cynthia went to the living room, turned on the TV, plunked in the most comfortable chair and preceded to watch numerous programs on the tube. When one of the parents attempted to ask a question, she would state, “Sh…can’t you see I’m watching this program?

David Hawkinslow loved sports. When he heard he had to accompany his parents in visiting his grandmother on a Sunday afternoon, he was incensed. He decided to work out a game plan that would suit his needs. With all smiles, he greeted her with a hug, enjoyed a glass of milk and cookies, and slipped away to go to the bathroom, so he told his kin. Actually, knowing where the television was he slipped into the “TV room” turned it on and quickly switched the station to catch the latest action of the game of the week. After staying there approximately ten minutes, he casually made his way back to the living room and sat down. Everyone was none the wiser. Then after 15 minutes or so, “Mr. H.” would repeat his performance until he was caught.

“David, dear, I wondered where you were. You should be with us out in the “sitting room” with you mother and father. There is so much I want to ask you in as much as I haven’t seen you for some time.”

He reluctantly moved to join his folks.

And this last case is, in fact, a true story even though the names were changed as well as the town and state.

Nothing beats the gall of the Sioficals. Joseph and Gladys and their four sons were invited to a Christmas dinner at the J.D. Dunn residence in Arbigonia, LA. It was a get together the hosting family was looking forward to and had planned for a number of weeks.

When the Sioficals arrived, Joe was seen carting something up the stairs. It was a TV which he set up and plugged in to one of J.D’s reciprocals. He turned it on and the whole family proceeded to watch video games ignoring everyone else.

Here’s an interesting question? How do you this went over?

Now do you see why televisions should be relocated? It just may make for a more meaningful get-together!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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