It’s Not Easy, Screening Green

, , , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, my father used to work as a repairman for TVs, VCRs, and similar. This is a reconstruction of something that happened back then.

Dad: “[Repair Shop], how can I help you?”

Customer: “Every time I close my back door, my TV turns green.”

Dad: *Pause* “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “My TV works fine when the door is open, but when I close it, the whole screen turns green!”

Dad: “This I’ve got to see. I’ll be right over.”

He goes down to the customer’s house to have a look at the problem. Sure enough, when the back door is open, the TV works perfectly, but when it’s shut, the screen turns green. Dad examines the door in question to see if there’s anything weird about it, and as he does, he notices something in the back yard.

Dad: “I see you’ve lost a tree.”

Customer: “Yeah, lost it in that storm last week. It got hit by lightning.”

Dad: “And was that when your TV started acting strange?”

Customer: “Come to think of it, yeah!”

The door was a steel storm door, and the electrical charge of the lightning bolt so nearby had polarized it into a giant magnet. Opening it put it just far enough from the TV that it wouldn’t affect it, but when it was closed, the magnetic field was enough to warp the picture and make it turn green!


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