Here it is, my first Saturday Night Story story!
“The Day The TV Died” is a story about a couple whose TV broke down a few days before CNY eve and the drama that unfolded when they were told that they won’t be getting their new TV delivered on time.
It was two days before Chinese New Year Eve, that our 10 year-old, second hand television, acted up again, and man, were we furious, as we were half way through watching ‘Shutter’ on DVD! First, my husband tapped and thumped to revive it. Usually, that worked. But this time, even as we caressed and cajoled, it didn’t react! Not even a flicker of hope! Instead it gave us a blank, black screen, leaving us agonised and tortured in suspense.
“Arggh! What do we do now?! Stupid, old TV. Of all days, today! And nearing CNY somemore. Damn suay lor!” I let out my frustration. “What to do. Angry also no use. Have to buy a new set lah,” my husband, responded in his usual, calm manner. Nothing gets on his nerves easily. Even I.
Since we wanted to get a new set of TV as soon as possible, my husband decided to purchase one from a ‘reliable’ store. The ever-thorough husband of mine did an ever-thorough research online about TVs and decided on Sharp. So out we went to the ‘reliable’ store. After clinching a good deal and with the promise that the store staff would deliver the TV to us on CNY eve, we left the store, happy as larks.
While having our CNY eve dinner, my handphone rang. It was the TV people, telling us that they’d be arriving earlier than 8pm. I told them that we won’t be at home and to come at 8pm instead, if not, any time after 8pm would be fine. They agreed to come by at 8pm.
We rushed through dinner, and managed to be home on time. Once again, my handphone rang. This time, the salesman told me they couldn’t make it and would have to postpone it. If we want it by tomorrow, we would have to come by their shop to pick it up. In my very rojak Cantonese, I reprimanded the salesman, “We drove all the way from PD after our CNY eve dinner to be home for the TV, and now you tell us you can’t deliver it tonight, and we have to get it from your store tomorrow?! Don’t be ridiculous! I can’t accept this. I want to speak to your manager. Give me his number.” Very reluctantly, he gave the number to me.
At about 10.30pm, my husband heard a car engine rumbling right outside our house. He peeked through the curtains and told me it was the ‘TV people’. I was petrified and was perspiring profusely. My palms were wet. I told my husband of my concern.
“Dear. I scolded them like mad just now. What if they come in and rob us ah? Or they bring in knives with them? How? How??”
My husband, said very flippantly, “Ah, ya lah. Who ask you so hero just now. Scold them so loud somemore haha Now you scared,” and buzzed the gate open.
“Aiyoh! Why you so fast open the gate!” My idea of grabbing a knife from the kitchen crushed. Hurriedly, I took my handphone instead and searched for our Homeguard Security number.
When the TV guys appeared, I dared not look at them, but I had no choice as they had to stand in front of me to fix the TV onto our TV stand. To my horror, one of them was the sales guy I reprimanded over the phone. There and then, I wished I had Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility.
The two of them reminded me of those underground HK gangsters who go around knocking on doors asking for ‘protection money’. One was tall, looked tough as steel, and had long dark hair tied in a ponytail. The other was short and smaller in size, but the long cut across his right eye gave him a ruthless look. They didn’t utter a word while working, or maybe they were conversing telepathically. They could probably hear my loud-beating heart in this deafening silence.
Those 20 minutes felt like 20 hours. When they were done, they just stood there facing us, as though indicating that we should now test it out. My husband, who seemed to understand their very bizarre ‘language’, tested the channels and sound system. I sat there, not moving an inch, hoping to be invisible. My husband’s sudden ‘OK’ almost made me jumped out of my seat.
The two men nodded at each other, then the tall guy reached into his pocket. I panicked and stared at my husband with a I-told-you-they-gonna-rob-us! look. I had no reasons to doubt that; first, because of how I reprimanded the short guy, and second, because just 2 weeks ago, there was an attempted robbery in our neighbourhood. Ignoring my husband’s hand signals that asked me to calm down, I pressed the ‘call’ button on my handphone.
Just when someone answered my call, the TV guy took out of his pocket, a white piece of paper. Unfolding it, he revealed, what seemed to me, an invoice.
Yes, an invoice. I was shocked and relieved at the same time. I saw my husband trying to contain his laugh.
“Halo? Halo? Homeguard Security,” the person on the other line startled me. “Sorry, salah nombor (wrong number),” I said and quickly hung up.
My husband signed the invoice and the men left. Still, no words exchanged between them. After they left, my husband couldn’t help chuckling. “Dear, you really need to learn how to not over react lah!”
“No, I didn’t over react. I was just taking precaution,” I stood my ground.
“Ok…Whatever makes you happy,” he said, smiling all the way to the kitchen.
Moral of the story: Be kind to everyone if you don’t want your conscience to eat you up haha
TV image: Author’s own
Phone image: Google image