Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Industrial Powers Can Take An Old Cold Tater And Wait

Grandpa used to always say, "Take an old cold tater and wait," one of his many quaint sayings that he must've heard on the radio when he was a young man.

He always told me that back then they treated the radio kind of like we treat a TV, except it just had a big round lighted dial that they sat there and looked at, he said. He heard a lot of programs back then, and he remembered the names of some of them with a lot of fondness.

Eventually, though, video killed the radio star, all the radio stars gave up the ghost, and all the radio dials went dark. You can still see a few in antique stores. I always thought it'd be cool to turn on an old radio from Grandpa's day and have it play an old show ... but they probably pick up whatever's in the air, the latest thing, of course.

The radios we have today are made in the industrial section of a town somewhere, which is a strike against them. But I think "back in the day," when they made Grandpa's radio, they did it lovingly in a little shop. You had a tinker and the tinker's son, with their cute little hammers and curl-toed shoes, and they'd lovingly put all the pieces together. The tinker's son would blow some hot air on the inside of the dial and wipe out any dust and fingerprints, because they knew their customers would be staring at that dial for a good long time.

Then they'd hook up the magical insides of the radio, including an antenna that was a box on a rotating pivot, upper and lower pivots, and it was these insides that would make the radio magically play all those beloved shows that provoked all the staring. They had tubes back then and you had wait for them to get orange. There wasn't any instant on.

We had some interesting things about the TV when I was a kid, that I could regale today's kids with, if any of them would come around and listen. I used to listen to Grandpa, but no one listens anymore. All the kids are busy driving by in their convertibles, which they father paid for, and which they're probably going to wreck, because all of them are drunk. They haven't got time to listen to me tell about what happened when you turned off an old fashioned TV, how there was a diminishing dot in the middle that lingered maybe 40 seconds after the TV was powered off. Yet it's a darned good story!

OK, I must move on ... All that to say that Grandpa probably heard the phrase, "Take an old cold tater and wait" on the radio. It's definitely a phrase that stuck with him and one he swore by. He was comfortable saying it, anytime there was any waiting to be done. He probably thought of it mentally without saying it aloud anytime the subject of waiting came up.

Well, this is my day, and what I'm saying in my day is the same thing they said back in Grandpa's day, "Take an old cold tater and wait!" I'm saying that to the industrial powers, who are demanding an apology out of me. I've sworn it once and I'll swear it again, there will be no apology, not now, not ever.

What was my big offense, really? That I dared speak up as an American citizen with an opinion? Saying that the industrial section of the town is defiled and evil? That their pollution is such that they block out the sunlight on a daily basis? And that their trucks speed by and suck the grass and weeds down into the mud? It happens! It's unsanitary!

But because I said all that -- and posted a few pictures of tires piled up, etc. -- they've been seriously on my case for the last couple of weeks. Get off my case! You want an apology? Here's an apology: I'm sorry, but there's no apology coming! Heh, heh, that's a good one.

I don't feel sorry, not in the least. With all the machinations these blasted industrialists have put me through in the last couple of weeks, in fact I'm more intransigent and dug in than I was before! Maybe they could've wheedled something out of me a couple weeks ago, had they acted nicely. But fireballs shot over the roof of my house and industrial vandalism to my internet hook-up, and so forth, has only hardened me in my position. I'm completely dug in now.

So you want an apology? Grandpa said it best, and I can only repeat it, "Take an old cold tater and wait!" Heh, heh, that'll hold 'em. Let 'em wait!

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