Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There Are No Sagging Ratings on this TV

Recently, like many American males, I came to the startling revelation that my big screen television just wasn’t big enough and that I needed an even bigger big-screen TV.  And like many married guys considering an expensive, frivolous, purchase, I had to develop an ingenious sales pitch to gain approval from my wife.

I knew I would face harsh opposition so I waited for the right opportunity and plead my case. I explained that prices were dropping.  I extolled the benefit of moving the current big-screen upstairs to replace the dinky 27” set in the living room.  I then waited for the “push-back”, but instead my wife smiled and said “That sounds like a good idea”. 
I was stunned.  I saw the clouds part and a stream of white light descend.  I thought I heard angels singing.  I was getting my new, honking large, big-screen TV and there was no conflict, no arguing, and no resistance.

Then my wife said “Of course if we move the current big-screen upstairs, we will need to have high-definition capability for it and we will also want to get another DVR.  Wait, what!!!!!!  No, I don’t want that.  I was really outplayed this time.  In this “chess game”, my wife left this square open on the board and was just waiting for me to move to it.
My expense for the TV is fine, but the other costs are monthly charges that last like, forever.  This could be tolerable except that the cable and satellite companies are very skilled at “bill creep”.  Your monthly bill mysteriously increases by a buck or two every so often for no apparent reason.  If you call them to inquire about the higher charges, after waiting on hold for twenty minutes you will be given an explanation that is so incoherent that you wonder if the customer service representative is part of some cable TV cult.  It would be more believable and even more tolerable if they told you that “Fee Fairies” snuck into the system and increased your bill.  “Of course I could correct it sir, but the fairies would just sneak back in and change it again.”
Now why do I need a bigger television?  Because it is your responsibility as a guy to have the biggest TV that will fill up all the TV space available in the room.  I made a late decision when I bought my first big- screen to buy a 46” inch instead of my first choice of 42”.  I worried that the 46” inch would be too big, but soon realized I had “TV space” to spare.  And of course if you visit someone’s house and they have a bigger TV than yours, you experience “screen envy” which means you need a bigger set right now.
It used to be you were judged as a man by the size of the game you could shoot to provide food for your family.  That’s why men spent days hunting in the woods to fire their guns and score the big kill.  Now men are judged by the size of the TV they can provide for their family and the TV viewing experience that results.  That’s why guys search through Best Buy for the perfect set and when they find it, they whip out their credit card and proudly drag their prize home!

Now I am at an impasse.  I still want the TV, but I don’t want the other expenses involved in this deal.  However now that the Super Bowl is past, I am under no pressure to buy anytime soon.  I did buy my first big-screen TV to watch LeBron James win a ring with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  LeBron James may be a fellow Akronite, but if he plays for a ring again this year, I won’t be watching. 
The only sporting event that could cause me to buy now would be the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.  And this is truly a serious competition.  These young women push their bodies to the limit.  They make awe-inspiring moves and the woman who is able to raise her game and lift herself up under pressure will be the victor in this always tight contest.  It would be an insult to these fine ladies not to watch their efforts on the biggest, bestest, full-HD, TV that my credit-limit will allow.

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