"Yes, I'm ending my career of watching television."
"Is this an irrevocable decision?"
"Yes, the way I feel now," he said, "although, in some future time slot I may change my channel."
"What's the matter, son?" I cried. "Didn't we get you the color set you demanded?" I asked. "Didn't we get you the remote-control gadgets? Didn't we get you the Cablevision? Don't we spell out the words phonetically for you in the TV Guide so you can deal with written English? Didn't we agree to your demands to increase your viewing time from a minimum of 18 hours a day to 20? Didn't we put the Sony portable in the bathroom? Didn't we take you out of what you called the 'live-audience' school and let you major in the 6 a.m. Spanish lessons on Channel 79? And now, with the reruns coming on in legion, when we need all the help we can muster before the set, now you quit."
"It wasn't an easy decision," he said, "but I believe it is best for all concerned."
Later, in prime time that evening, Trevor spoke to the other youngsters from the neighborhood who had gathered at our door. "I don't want to let anybody down," he said, sobbing. "I'm still only 8, and I thought that I had a lot of good years of watching ahead of me, but overnight, my eyes seemed to go."
"Are you sure," asked little Walter Lippincott, "that you aren't getting out now for a while, but will be back fresh later on in the season when all the big specials come on?"
"Getting out?" Trevor cried. "Why would I want to get out? This has been my whole life, watching television. I don't want to quit. What else can I do? I don't move about very well, I am losing my peripheral vision, and while I am still only 8 years old, I sound like the voice-over for the Eastern Airlines ads. Besides, although I speak beautiful Spanish, I am otherwise totally uneducated. Sabe usted?"
It was a moving scene, and 6-year-old Dede Whitaker asked me for my views. "I know that Trevor has not been at his best lately," I began, draping an arm about my son's shaking shoulders. "Sure, he's been in a slump, but part of the trouble has been in the set, and you can't blame that on any one viewer. I'll take the blame for that. Me and the missus have been burning the wires trying to get a repairman who can improve this set, but nobody is offering the kind of deal that can help this family. We're going right down to the shopping center to buy Trevor a new set."
"Do you think?" ponytailed Hope Carroll asked, "that if you were shifted to another set, Trevor, you would reconsider your quitting?"