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The TV Blackout

Art Buchwald


A week ago Sunday New York city had a blackout and all nine television stations in the area went out for several hours. This created tremendous crises in families all over New York and proved that TV plays a much greater role in people's lives than anyone can imagine.

For example, when the TV went off in the Bufkins's house panic set in. First Bufkins thought it was his set in the living-room, so he rushed into his bedroom and turned on that set. Nothing. The phone rang, and Mrs. Bufkins heard her sister in Manhattan tell her that there was a blackout.

She hung up and said to her husband, "It isn't your set. Something's happened to the top of the Empire State Building."

Bufkins looked at her and said, "Who are you?"

"I'm your wife, Edith."

"Oh," Bufkins said. "Then I suppose those kids' in there are mine."

"That's right," Mrs. Bufkins said. "If you ever got out of that armchair in front of the TV set you'd know who we are."

"Oh! they've really grown," Bufkins said, looking at his son and daughter. "How old are they now?"

"Thirteen and fourteen," Mrs. Bufkins replied.

"Hi, kids!"

"Who's he?' Bufkins's son, Henry, asked.

"It's your father," Mrs. Bufkins said.

"I'm pleased to meet you," Bufkins's daughter,Mary, said shyly.

There was silence all around.

"Look," said Bufkins finally. "I know I haven't been

a good f ather but now that the TV's out I'd like to know you better."

"How?" asked Henry.

"Well, let's just talk," Bufkins said. "That's the best

way to get to know each other."

"What do you want to talk about?" Mary asked.

"Well, to begin with, what school do you go to?"

"We go to High School," Henry said.

"So you're both in high school!" There was a dead silence.

"What do you do?" Mary asked.

'abI m an accountant, ' Bufkins said.

"I thought you were a car salesman," Mrs. Bufkins said in surprise.

"That was two years ago. Didn't I tell you I changed jobs?" Bufkins said.

"No, you didn't. You haven't told me anything for two years."

"I'm doing quite well too," Bufkins said.

"Then why am I working in a department store?"

Mrs. Bufkins demanded.

"Oh, are you still working in a department store? If I had known that, I would have told you could quit last year. You should have mentioned it," Bufkins said.

There was more dead silence.

Finally Henry said, "Hey, you want to hear me play the guitar?"

"You know how to play the guitar? Say, didn't I have a daughter who played the guitar?"

"That was Susie," Mrs. Bufkins said.

"Where is she?"

"She got married a year ago, just about the time you were watching the World Series."

"You know," Bufkins said, very pleased. "I hope they don't fix the antenna for another couple hours.There's nothing better than a blackout for a man who really wants to know his family."


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 1712

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