Don’t Bark at the TV

I have always watched television. My father told me that from the time I could stand, I would place myself right in front of the bulky old screen and stare at the black-and-white images that danced across it.

Over the years, I have cut back on my television viewing. I limit myself now to a few series and some old movies. The dogs are pretty much always in the room where our only television sits and so they get exposed to whatever we are watching.

Most of the time, they aren’t watching, but when a dog on the TV barks, they are on their feet in an instant. The probability of my quieting them in less than ten minutes is just about nil, so I usually have to pause whatever is on and wait them out.

I remember watching the old Gary Cooper movie, Friendly Persuasion, when a scene with a honking goose showed up. Boy howdy, that was a major barking event. Nobody believed me when I told them that it was just a goose in a movie.  “IT’S ON THE TV! IT’S ON THE TV!” Why did I bother to repeat myself? They heard the goose (which probably went to its reward decades ago – that movie was released in 1956) and jumped right into the conversation.

I know good and well that nothing has ever come busting through that screen in spite of what horror movie producers would have us believe. You wouldn’t be able to tell that from listening to our dogs.

Their bulldog barking is silly, loud, and disruptive. Nobody on the TV can even hear them.

So why do I bark at the TV?

Yes, I have caught myself standing in front of the screen, talking (loudly), laying out my “perfect” wisdom to someone on television who cannot hear me or see me (unless there really are secret cameras and microphones embedded, but I won’t speculate about that), and likely wouldn’t care a jot if they could.

At least the dogs have an excuse. They are dogs. When it comes to understanding television broadcasts, they don’t have the sense that God gave a goose, on screen or off. But what about me? I should know better than to argue with an image.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


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