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Cardella: Frustrated

My wife Fran likes to listen to the music channels on our TV. So, she turns on the OLDIES channel. Oldies. Fran’s expecting to hear Chubby Checker or maybe Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Instead, she gets The Doors singing LIGHT MY FIRE.

“Isn’t that song still on the Billboard Top 100,” she wants to know.

“That song is not exactly cutting edge,” I tell her. “It’s 52 years old.”

We’re older than the Oldies. Is there a music channel for Prehistoric?…

Neither of us likes the new Comcast remote control we’ve been given. Fran complains that the new voice-activation feature doesn’t understand her South Philadelphia accent. The other day, she tells me, she asked for The View and the remote device thought she said, “Love you,” and sent her roses. We’re both in the habit of yelling different simultaneous commands at the TV, forgetting to press the “LISTEN” button on the remote. Our remote has malfunctioned and been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Another thing about these new remotes. Why are all remotes black? The remotes are not only black, the buttons are black. The same buttons on TVs. How am I supposed to be able to see which button does what? I have cataracts! I have to turn on all the freakin’ lights downstairs to figure out which buttons to press. The Comcast guy who answered my complaint, bragged that the new remotes light up. Stop right there. Only HALF of the remote control lights up. Who designs these remotes, cataract surgeons? How much would it cost to make the ENTIRE remote light up?

Another thing. The power button is a tiny sliver of raised black plastic. I dare you to press the power button without touching four other buttons below it. Not even Trump has fingers that small!

I’m not sure about this voice activation craze, either. Why am I screaming commands at my TV instead of just pressing the “off” button? All the young people love this crap. Take the Amazon Echo. People yell at this electronic gadget to turn off the lights, the dishwasher and God knows what else. How much effort does it take to press a couple of buttons? The future of our species is that all our unused body parts fade away, and we become one large voice box with a pair of eyes.

I’m frustrated. That’s what I am. Here’s another reason. Fran gave me a down coat a couple of Christmases ago. I like that it’s warm, but the damn thing keeps shedding feathers.  I’m afraid to go into any area where hunting is allowed. Especially with Dick Cheney.

As it is for other folks my age, the Obituary page has become required reading for me. I run down the ages of the people who died and discover that I’m older than 90 percent of them. That is not the best way to start your day, no matter how good the coffee tastes. Ever notice that there are twice as many obituaries in the newspaper as we head toward the weekend than there are in the rest of the week? Do more people die as we approach the weekend? Maybe if we did away with Saturday and Sunday, many of these folks would still be with us.

I hate reading the rest of the newspaper anymore. Especially the Letters to the Editor. I’m worn out by the arguments over Trump’s Wall. Readers point out that rich people all live in homes that are protected by walls. Of all the things we can be jealous of, it’s the wealthy and their walls? We don’t care how many tax breaks Trump gives them. Or how they write off stuff on their expense accounts. Or even how they pay off politicians to get favorable treatment. We’re pissed that rich folks live behind walls and we don’t.

I know South Philly folks who want to build a wall around East Passyunk Avenue. You don’t believe me? Ask them. They don’t like that BARBIE’S CORSETS has been replaced by some new upscale coffee shop that grinds its own beans. At midnight. Every midnight. They use only beans grown in a remote village that does not appear on any map. Beans found on the lost Island of Atlantis (the beans grow under water). It’s not the noise, or even the price of the coffee that scares these wannabe wall builders. No. They feel threatened by the clientele. All tattoos and tongue piercings. In South Philly, they don’t give a crap about undocumented immigrants along the Rio Grande. John Wayne will take care of the problems around the Rio Grande. Give them a small, affordable wall to keep out young people with purple hair, and they’d be happy.

This division in our country is getting worse. One guy I know thinks all Democrats need an exorcism. Fran agrees, at least for me.

“You twist and turn so much in bed at night, I expect the next thing you’ll do is spit green pea soup, while your head swivels, and you speak in foreign tongues.”

How do I solve this problem? Maybe if I speak in domestic tongues?

Question. Did James Patterson really write all 63 novels that bear his name? How is that possible? Read the fine print on the cover –“ As told to James Patterson.” “Overheard by James Patterson on the subway.” I couldn’t COPY 63 books, let alone write that many.


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