A friend of mine posted something today about people revealing spoilers to currently-airing shows. Currently airing what-now? See, we have this miraculous device that I made fun of not too many years ago. Who the heck needs to pause TV? Sheesh. Who needs that kind of luxury, really? Now I am utterly in love with the fact that I never, ever have to see a commercial again. (Except the Christmas one by Hershey Kisses where the kisses are a little handbell choir playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." I love that commercial. But that's it.)
So what we have is a TiVo knockoff and it will record, and pause and fast-forward and make lunch (but only if you know how to program it correctly, which I don't) so that you can save all your favorite shows to watch at your convenience. It is almost always "Nearly Full!" Red-letter status. I'm not sure "when my convenience" is, but I think it's limited to about 20 minutes a day, and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste that precious free time watching TV. (I've got solitaire to play, you know.) Somehow we managed to program it to record every "The Office" ever shown and save them till the Second Coming. We never watch them. So there they sit, taking up ever more recording space, taunting us.
You see, we can't erase them. They might be funny! We can't watch them separately since we both sorta like the show, which doesn't happen that often, and J found a really funny one once that I had to see, only it didn't save right and it's gone. So we wait till it's convenient for both of us to be sitting down at the same time, ready to watch this show and don't have anything better to do. There's always something better to do. (Have I mentioned my kitchen?) And we can't erase them because... because.... well, we did the work of recording them in the first place. Or, the computer did the work. Someone did something and it seems impolite or wasteful or something to not watch them now.
Now that we have this technology that I never actually needed in the first place, it's not good enough. If two things are recording at once, we can't watch something else. But, I hear you say, why not just watch one of the things you're recording? Because one of them is an episode of Backyardigans I've seen 57 times and the other is an episode of Dora the Explorer. Or Team Umizoomi. Or Sesame Street. Or Curious George. Or Max and Ruby (where the hell are Max and Ruby's parents?) And if we tell it to stop recording, the machine takes that to mean "stop recording this forever and ever and don't come asking again" and we wind up with no saved episodes of Dora the Explorer which causes our children's heads to explode.
This is the real reason we don't ever watch any grownup television that we've recorded. It's because we're always watching kid's shows. This is not a new phenomenon. Just ask Bill Cosby about Frufie the Dog.
When I was younger, my mother used to put a note on the TV saying it was "broken." I knew then that she wanted us to quit watching TV and go outside and play already, but I couldn't figure out why. TV was the greatest, bestest thing ever! I'm inching ever closer to wanting to just pitch the whole thing all together.
But then I'd never find out what happened on "The Office."