Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

November 1998

Desperately seeking silence.

After years of accumulating tools, coat hangers and halves of broken sets of nearly everything that comes in pairs (socks, shakers, shutters ..), I had two weeks to clear out. The house that had been my home for longer than any other sold and the "new people" wanted almost immediate occupancy.

Any empty nester who has gone through this exercise knows the sweet and sour of it. You end up throwing away an item you refused to sell in a garage sale (hey, you might have bought it in a garage sale) but immediately need it at your new location. All that's to be expected, but I have a unique problem perhaps someone could help me with.

I have two dogs.

Cocker spaniels.

Parti-colored, sweet little guys.

Joe and Jasper.

Joe Cocker!

Get it?

Because of the dogs, we can't rent but we feel incredibly lucky to have found an enlightened condominium association that allows owners to have dogs. Actually, we were allowed to have one dog. We had to plea, bargain, cajole and grovel to get permission for the other.

It's very popular to do what you want and handle complaints later. A carryover from the old brutal policeman's motto: Shoot first and ask questions later. It is sad to say that it really is easier to obtain forgiveness than permission. Nevertheless, we went the permission route and received an official okey-dokey with a minimum of fuss and tension. So we bought the place.

So here's my problem.

At our new joint, we currently get only one television station and we misplaced the remote in the move. What the hey, who needs a remote if you can't channel surf, right?


You see, Jasper, or Jazz as we have nicknamed him, goes nuts anytime the Hoover vacuum commercial, the theme from "Happy Days" or the commercial that features the title song from the movie "Stand By Me" is aired. He mutates from a cute, little, sad-eyed cocker to a forlorn coyote. Head back, way back, he sings-- or, more precisely-- howls. Joe immediately joins in.

The racket is enough to have us hauled into Condo Court and I sure don't want that after going through all the dance to get them officialed.

Now, WCAX (the station you get when you get only one) doesn't do "Happy Days" (that's Nick at Nite on Nickelodeon) but often double-spot Hoover and Buick (the "Stand By Me" one) during the 6 o'clock news, which we would watch even if we found the clicker. Of course, if we had the clicker, we could just snap onto public television and watch a non-commercial for something without music. Or hit the mute button but that's a moot point until we have the clicker back.

In the meantime, what do we do?

Honestly, I can't face another move right now.