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January 10, 2007

How to fix a television

Yesterday, my TV broke.

Obviously, this is a catastrophe. TV, in addition to being my BEST FRIEND, is also my connection to the outside world. When I turn it on, it's like I'm leaving my house and going out on all sorts of wacky adventures. Except I don't have to wear pants.

So here's what happened. My old TV was working fine. I walked out of the room for a minute to get some corn chips, and when I walked back in, the picture was gone! Well, not totally gone. There was one really bright line across the middle of the screen, but the rest was black. I still had audio, but TV without video is radio. And radio is BULLSHIT.

Usually when something like this happens, I panic. I hyperventilate, get heart palpitations, call up my ex-girlfriends to see if any of the guys they cheated with while they were dating me know how to fix a TV. However, on this occasion, I stayed calm. I focused on the problem, considered my options... then I fixed the TV!!!

psa_fxtv_mdna_1.jpg

All right, 'Like a Virgin' era Madonna... I admit that I'm not a handy-man. I never took shop in high school, I don't know how to change a flat tire. And, despite CONSTANT pleas from Sally Struthers, I never did get my correspondence degree in TV/VCR repair.

But I've found that it's seldom necessary to "know how something works" in order to fix it. In my experience, most malfunctioning devices can be repaired through intuition and guile, even when actual knowledge is totally absent.

So, I'm sure you're all wondering exactly how I fixed my TV. SHUT UP YOU ARE SO WONDERING! Without further delay, here's how I fixed my broken set:

I hit it. Repeatedly.

Now, before you all go beating the crap out of your glitchy plasma widescreens, be warned: there is an art to fixing technology via the application of blunt force trauma. It's taken me YEARS to perfect my skills, so don't expect success on the first try. But, if you want to try and you've got some broken TVs or stereos around, here are some tips to get you started.

Rule #1: don't hit in anger. In the film "Enter the Dragon", Bruce Lee tells a young karate student that he must strike his opponents -- not with anger -- but with Emotional Content. What is true for Kung-Fu is also true for electronic device repair. Obviously when your TV malfunctions, you're going to get angry. I know I was! But I was smart enough to take out my anger on my friends and family... NOT on the TV. Only after I calmed down did I start hitting my television. You should only hit the TV hard enough to let it know you mean business, and never so hard you leave visible damage.

psa_fxtv_fnzy_2.jpg

Dammit, Fonzie, that is NOT COOL!

Though some like to use a closed fist when hitting a damaged machine, I prefer to use an open-fingered, backhand style (most commonly known as a "pimp slap"). Be sure to remove any diamond rings, bracelets or other assorted hand-bling you might be wearing before attempting this. If an open handed strike proves ineffective, then you may try punching the machine. If that doesn't work, try kicking it. In certain tough cases, I'll resort to pounding the machine with a crowbar or lead pipe until it starts working again. Or at least until I get bored.

Does this method of fixing broken equipment work every time? Yes! Well... no. But, really, what's the alternative? Sending it back to the company for repair will almost certainly cost MORE than replacing the broken machine with a new one. And if you're going to have to buy a new one anyway, why not take the opportunity to send out your old machine in style. Sorry, did I say "style"? I meant "pieces".

Any hey, you never know -- hit your TV just right and it might start working again. It's like I always say: there's no problem in this world that can't be solved with some form of violence.

Posted by Joey at January 10, 2007 02:26 AM

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