Everyone has their linguistic pet peeves. One of mine is misuse of the word “literally.”

So when I tell people the story of how my mother literally kicked the TV out of our house when I was four, I have to explain. She pushed the TV off its stand on the sunporch, the place to which it had been relegated months earlier. It was previously on warning. Once it crashed to the tile floor, she opened the french doors to the garden and literally kicked the TV off the porch with her foot. It crashed and echoed for three years of my and my brother’s childhood – the years we went without television. That week was when I got my first library card. By the way, thanks mom.

You may consider this a violent and unexplained act. Have I mentioned I am the youngest of eight children?

At one point my mother had six children under six, with surprise twins.

We all survived and mostly got along. We were fed and clothed and educated through high school. We each put ourselves through college.  We learned that when my mother had to tell us to do the dishes for the fourth night in a row after dinner to complaints and little action, and instead watch TV while my mother did laundry for eight! children, there would be repercussions.

But it’s important to reiterate, we all survived. There were a few casualties, but only one death. Late at night after the TV was determined to be no more, and unsalvageable amidst a family of engineers, the eight of us gathered solemnly in the garage to say our goodbyes.
The TV was no more.

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