From Dallas Doctor’s “World Without Love ~ A Collection of Short Stories that Together Tell a Story” (pages 41-42):
The Day We Got TV
by Dallas Doctor
We didn’t have a television set in our house until I was almost ten-years-old. And we wouldn’t have had one then, if not for an unexpected phone call.
“Quick! Run get your dad!” Mom got all excited. “He needs to come right now.”
I found Dad in the backyard doing something with the flower bed. He was always doing stuff like that.
“You have to call KPOJ.” Mom announced. “Right now! Here’s the number. I wrote it down.”
“What are you talking about?” Dad was as confused as I was.
“That was Frank on the phone,” she could barely get it out. (Frank was Mr. Dixon, one of the teachers at Dad’s school). “Frank said they just broadcast your name on the radio. They picked your name out of the phone book. You have fifteen minutes to call in. Here’s the number. I’ll dial it for you.”
Dad looked at me and I looked at him and Mom danced around the room like it was Christmas.
But it was better than Christmas. It turned out to be real.
A few days later, Dad picked it up from the radio station and put it on a folding-tray in our front room. And just like that, we had a TV. It was black-and-white with a 13-inch screen and it was made of plastic, but it became our portal to a whole new Universe.
I never wanted to leave the living room again.
Right away, my favorite program became the daily syndicated re-runs of Leave it to Beaver. Because obviously, me and the Beaver were exactly alike.
I immediately recognized that, just like the Beaver, my life centered almost entirely around how to get through each day without getting into trouble.
I figured I could learn a lot about life from the Beaver. So I watched every day.
At first, I thought I wanted to grow up to be like Wally. Wally was respectful and everybody liked him. He seemed to know so much more about everything than the Beaver did. I think that’s what my mom wanted too – for me to grow up to be like Wally.
But the more I watched the TV, the more I realized that it was Eddie Haskell who was having all the fun…
Thank you for reading.
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