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Having returned home to my parents' house for Turkey Day break, it is considered appropriate for me to help out around the house in return for free room and board. Today's chore list consisted of a single task: dismantle an old television set I had begged my mother not to toss out in the interest of "takin' stuff apart." After goofing off for most of the day (much of it spent playing video games) I noted the time and decided it would behoove me to get to work before either parental unit returned from work.

Sliding the television across the floor on its screen (it being a 1989 Ericsson model and a right gigantic bastard, I was decidedly unable to carry it), I scrabbled my way from a spare back room used to store my mother's extensive collection of comic books to our computer room. Fetching the toolbox and a piece of newspaper upon which to place any removed guts, I brandished a Phillips head screwdriver and set to work.

That is, attempted to set to work. The screws, it turned out, were both made of a metal only a few degrees harder than solid lead and almost entirely stripped. Several curses later I had only freed a single screw. The television still needed to be taken apart, however (our garbage collectors refuse objects over a given size), and it was apparent that dissection was completely out of the picture.

Back into the closet went the toolbox. Out came the handheld sledgehammer.

Pushing the television was fine until the carpet ended and the kitchen began. A brief bit of brainstorming resulted in the troublesome appliance being "rolled" end-over-end to the garage. The steps leading into the garage proper were conquered by bracing the glass front of the television against their edges, the majority of the set's weight being supported by my legs and (admittedly ample) tummy. Pushing the beast out next to the trash cans was simple enough. Girding myself in fearsome armor (a scrunchie, my heavy coat, and some old sneakers), I approached the dormant set, hammer in hand and thoughts of violence on my mind.

One would expect the screen, being glass, to be fairly easy to break. Four or five resounding blows after I began (with the occasional meek look around to see if I was disturbing anyone), all I had were a collection of whitish dings in the front. I mentally smacked myself for underestimating my opponent and circled around to its backside. Noting the ventilation slits in its backing, I gripped my trusty sledge with both hands and smashed into the back with a moderately ferocious overhanded swing. Cracks and the faint snap of plastic zipping into the bowels of the television rewarded me, and I renewed my efforts. It was not long before the top rear had been completely sundered, allowing a marvelous view of the inner workings. I allowed myself a few moments before returning to my butcher's work.

A stray hammer-blow revealed that the inner copper-colored portion of the glass screen (it--the screen--was shaped something like an iMac, all in all) was quite breakable, and I set to smashing. Its air pocket lost and its foundation broken, the previously iron-hard front screen began to crack and shatter as the hammer's head applied itself appropriately. The glass turned out to be surprisingly thick, as well--a good one-third to one-half inch or so--and produced two main types of fragments: small, scale-like bits that looked like pieces of ice; and large, heavy chunks waiting to be thrown at someone's head. Their backs were coated in a sort of metallic powder, which I (being lazy and uninclined to research at the time) assumed was used to aid in displaying the picture; it turned out to be phosphor.

Overall, the experience was invigorating and interesting. The sides and foreward top of the set proved the toughest, while the back and insides were most delicate. Beating the living hell out of an inanimate object also taught me the value of a good whack-bonk and sufficient momentum. At times I felt much like Thor (although a valkyrie would have been more gender-appropriate, I did not need food badly at the time, nor had I shot any potions), which was a jolly ego-trip.

The part that amuses me is that my parents had no problems with this, and have assigned me to further pulverize the television tomorrow. There truly is no place like home.

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