So there I am, munching some pretzels, sipping a perfectly chilled Grain Belt Longneck, sitting in my favorite chair, it's the end of a long day...ahh, relaxing, watching my Minnesota twins.

And then it happened.

Blink. Blink. And Black.

No more TV. It didn't die a long, lingering death. No sir, when it went to TV heaven, it left in a flash. Well, correct that, not a flash. Just a...I'm dead.

This wasn't a big fancy television. It was a 32-incher, big enough for the bedroom. And now it was dead, and soon to be gone. Ugh. I hadn't bought a TV in quite some time, and I knew this was going to be painful.

32 inch, whatever brand, I suppose I'd be looking at $300? Maybe close to $400 or more? OK, just suck it up old man, you know you want to see those Twins and of course those great old re-runs (I'll take Radar O'Reilly, Jim Rockford and Barney Fife over reality TV any day).

So into the car and...oops, need a little gas.

Well, gas has gone up again...and again. Yikes, we're starting to sniff three bucks a gallon. This may be a bad omen for getting that TV. I'm beginning to feel like my dad (rest in peace, pop, you were a good man) when gas hit 75 cents and he said he never thought he'd see the day when that happened! But, into the car went the petrol and now for the...gulp...TV.

Now, I know very little about these new TV's (Definition of 'New TV': Anything made in the last 20 years). The nice gentleman at the store if I was looking for anything special. I told him I'd sure like it to be color. He gave me a courtesy chuckle that young folks do for old folks. Then I said just so it comes on when I hit the power button and gets me the half dozen or so channels I watch.

And then, OK, here it comes...the dastardly news of the price. I braced myself. I spread my feet and put one hand on the wall for support. I took a deep breath and said the two words that I knew would cause pain and frustration.

'How much'?


Huh? $198? And what was that, young man? Did you say $198 for a 39 inch, not a 32? So I can get a bigger screen and pay $198?

Yes, it was true. He started going into a bunch of details about how it could do this and how it could do that. And I made sure it could do what I needed it to do, bring me Columbo and the Twilight Zone when I hit the power button...and bring them to me in 7 more inches than it did before.

It's not often a guy can walk into a store and pay less rather than more. of life's little blessings.

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