Dad ruled our house with firm moral convictions. We were never allowed to swear, but our long-time visitor got away with four-letter words that made Mom blush. Dad wouldn't let us smoke or drink, but the stranger made cigarettes look cool and encouraged us to sample some liquor. He also talked much too freely about sex. These comments were often suggestive and always embarrassing. But let me be honest. I now know that all my early concepts about relationships were influenced by our stranger. He taught me what it really means to "be a man" or to "be a woman." Time after time he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked and NEVER asked to leave.
More than 50 years have passed since he moved in with us. He's not nearly as fascinating as he once was. But if you walk into my parents' den, you'll still see him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to talk to. What's his name?
We just call him TV.
Did I mention that he got married a few years ago? His wife's name is Computer, and they just had a baby named Smartphone, since she's even smarter than her Dad.