I Like Words Better than Numbers or Wires

I got scared at the bank today. Annie, my freckled member representative, said:

"How much do you have in that account?" and "Are you working right now?" and "Are you planning on working?" and something about investments and an IRA and a low-credit schmurmur schmammer.

Then I couldn't remember what 9 times 9 was.

81? Something times anything else doesn't seem like the answer would be 81.

Then I tried to multiple it like this in my head:

9

x 9

__

??

and I realized you can't do long multiplication if you are only using two single-digit numbers. The right side of my brain has become mashed word potatoes.

"Is 9 times 9 81?" I asked her.

Annie giggled, looked up at the corner of the room, and said, "I don't know. That's funny. I really don't know right now."

Then, I entrusted her with every cent to my name.

After the transaction, Annie said:

"You are from New Orleans? Groovy!"

Groovy, I found out, is Annie's M.O.

"Is it coming together down there yet?" she asked.

"Yeah, some of it." I still haven't figured out how to answer that question.

"Groovy. I got rid of my TV when Hurricane Katrina hit. I couldn't watch it anymore. It was too depressing."

I still haven't figured out how to respond to that statement.

One of the students in my master's program asked a writer, Valerie Miner, what she thought about how much TV was taking over the world, and Valerie answered that it wasn't her place, as a writer, to downgrade any form of informative media, including TV.

I thought that Miner would have pulled an arrow from a pouch on her back, threaded it through a bow, and sent it flaming through the idea of getting our knowledge from the tube. But she stuck up for it, mentioned the BBC, and briefly touched upon the fact that while most TV is garbage, some of it is important, even artful.

I don't know.

The Hills, as Teenie tells me, premiers tonight.

I'm tired of Michael Phelps's gaping face.

I still don't really know what's going on between Georgia and Russia.

I hadn't watched TV for three months when I got back to Colorado, which was nice. It was also isolating. Then, the opening ceremonies were magical.  I mean, floating rings, glowing flying ladies?

Technology! Why can't you just be bad? You are confusing me!

I guess TV is like all these options for investment. The whole idea of putting our important things in boxes and letting other people take charge of them makes me pretty uneasy.

I applied for my first credit card today, and now I'm sitting in front of a TV tapping away at another screen. I wonder if any evils are really necessary or if we've just convinced ourselves that they are. I'm reminded of that line from The Usual Suspects that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Has TV convinced us we can't exist learnedly without it? Has complacency and the ease of being American convinced (most of) us that if we turn off the TV, our isolated lives won't be as depressing?

I hold a little card in one hand and a remote in the other, like my limbs' extensions. I still can't decide if I want them or not.