I'd gone out for fresh fruit but, unhappy with what I’d found, was on my way back home empty-handed when I stopped to look at a display of early radios and TVs in the window at Reid and Campbell.


One of the early TVs looked a lot like mine at home, which had cost me a bundle way back when. I wondered what a comparable TV would cost me now and decided to find out.


The TVs were displayed on shelves along one wall. I was left to browse these for a few minutes, then a friendly fellow in a lab coat approached and asked if I’d like some help. I told him I was just checking prices at this stage but that I’d been out of the market for quite some time and, to help me make an informed decision when the time came, I’d really appreciate his bringing me up-to-date on what was available these days. Happy to oblige, he showed me a half dozen sets, explained their differences, and recommended one set in particular. Surprising us both, I said, "Okay, I'll take that one.”


This was a major expenditure for someone in my circumstances and, as I left the store and set off home, I had a large knot in my stomach and no feeling in my face. More than once, I stopped in my tracks, thinking I should go back and undo what I’d done. But I didn’t, for the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that waiting till you can afford something is for the young, that when you're 65 and need a new TV, now is the time.


And there was no question I needed a new TV. My battered old Sony had been responding to summer’s heat by, every now and again, shutting down, and nearly always at the worst possible time. Till recently, I’d been able to revive it with a few sharp blows to the top and sides, but this had quit working. I was now having to rapidly plug and unplug the set while depressing its on/off button, and this only worked when humidity was low. When humidity was high, I had to jerk the TV skyward, give it a good shake, then drop it an inch or so onto its dolly. Sunday’s drop had further fractured the undercarriage and set the volume at a barely-audible 3.


Then, the very next morning, I received my first ever Canada Pension cheque and ran out of fresh fruit. Coincidence? Maybe. But I’m thinking it may have been Angela looking out for me yet again. She has a way of showing up like that at the very last minute.

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while out for fruit (2005)