“Oh, I am so sorry,” I comforted my friend on the telephone on Sunday evening, after she informed me that her nonagenarian grandmother had recently passed away.
“Was it sudden?” I enquire, with sensitivity and interest (they say women like those).
“What? Your family had only just bought her a brand new 42 inch LCD TV?”
Grandma’s passing had, clearly, not been anticipated.
“They paid over 4,000 shekels for it, but only want two and a half?”
I sit up.
“When can I come and see it?”
My very own “Mivtza Savta” (Operation Grandma) was underway . . .
And Savta’s Sharp LC-42SH7E – or, to be completely accurate, LC-42SH7EBK (it is the black model) – is already enjoying pride of place in my living room (with the trusted Sony CRT which accompanied me on aliya way back in January 1996 having been semi-retired to my bedroom).
Do I feel bad? No.
Was it wrong of me to have negotiated the price down even further, to 2,000 shekels? Perhaps.
Then again, I had been thinking in terms of a 50 inch and, thoughtfully, chose not to trouble the bereaving family with the fact – gleaned from hastily conducted Internet research – that the LC-42SH7EBK doesn’t exactly distinguish itself on AV review forums.
Moreover, I had both the respect and decency not to enquire whether Savta was one of those old dears who would have the telly on in the background from dawn till teeth-out time without so much as five minutes on standby (and what could that do to a Liquid Crystal Display?!)
So, far from being a shameless opportunist – like those so-and-sos who could hardly wait until the end of my grandfather’s shiva to enquire about his house – I have done the grieving family a real favour, and might even be a genuine contender for my very own “Mensch of the Month” award.
The Ashes series “Down Under” gets underway in a couple of weeks’ time, and I am having a private satellite dish installed just to enable me to watch that greatest of sporting rivalries from the comfort of my Melchett couch (while also using the opportunity to finally rid myself of the curse that is HOT). And when Andrew Strauss takes guard for the first ball, or Jimmy Anderson charges across my living room wall to deliver it, I will spare a loving, appreciative thought for Savta . . . zichrona livracha.
Ashes to Ashes . . .