If you're the owner of one of the 80 million non-cable, non-digital TV sets in the U.S., you're running out of time: according to consumer advocates, when the government gives the OK to shut off all analog broadcasts — possibly by January 1, 2009 — your set will go dark, and no amount of kicking, shaking or banging will bring back the picture. Serious. To recap, advocates (who've inflated the number of those who'll be affected from 20 to 80 million since the last time they invoked the PR machine) are proposing that the government subsidize the sale of converter boxes for non-digital couch potatoes, at a cost of up to $3.5 billion, to be paid for through the sale of the old analog spectrum. We have a better idea: if you're still using a broadcast-only, non-digital set in four years, the government can give you a VHS deck and a collection of appropriate videos (we're thinking the complete "Welcome Back, Kotter," and "Joanie Loves Chachi"). Chances are, you'll never even notice the difference.