A Short Story – Jan. 12, 2010 – “The Boob Tube”
The Boob Tube
A Short Story
By Chris Hibbard
‘It was not the right time of year for those birds to be out’, he thought. He was watching a small chickadee or other little finch as it hopped delicately on the branches of the bush outside. It was only January and most other birds had flown south long ago. ‘Could this little bird be a tiny sign of that global warming that everybody makes such a fuss about?’ he wondered to himself.
Though the last month of winter days had recently been interrupted by some warmer winds, there was still an enormous pile of snow that was obliterating access to one of the already limited parking stalls in the rental community. There had been no harsh words spoken, but it seemed as if an unacknowledged spirit of competition had settled over the residents in the whole area. Tiny glares and glances were caught and sent out of the corners of narrowed eyes. Some days it had seemed like snow shovels were being used by some and then hidden from others, a commodity of amusement. By removing snow from one’s own sidewalk only, renters could then watch slyly from behind their uniform condominium windows, as unfortunate plights befell their stranded neighbors.
Stretching his aching lower back muscles, he rose from the couch and reached for the ceiling. Lately his posture had gotten worse, thanks to a couch that needed longer legs. Subsequently, he was suffering from a stiff neck and what felt like a deep hollow soreness in his bones. It didn’t help that three nights a week in the last while he had woken up on the couch; sometimes in awkward and uncomfortable positions.
‘But not tomorrow’, he thought. ‘Tomorrow I will be like that little bird, going against everything that comes at me, priding myself on being unique and forthright; an unusual explorer of my own world.’ Looking back at the television, he watched another high but loose shot trickle past his favorite goalie, then watched the replay, before a beautiful redheaded actress appeared showcasing the newest shampoo and conditioner two-in-one. ‘Tomorrow’, he thought, leaning back and relaxing one more time.