Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"I Can't Believe What I Just Saw"

Maybe it didn’t happen.

But it appeared to me that it did.

I just… cannot imagine how it could have.

I know I live in a world technologically light years beyond my understanding.  I do not know how a lot of things work, although, if provided specific instructions, I can respond “monkey-like”, without any idea of what I am doing.  I punch a few buttons and it happens.  ‘Nuff said.  No questions asked. 

But this one is too much.


I “get” DVR.  You record shows playing on television to watch them later at your convenience.  I do, however, have an unanswered concern about this recording process.

If I recorded a show to watch later, when I finally sat down to watch it, I would be missing a show playing on television at the same time.  And if I recorded that show to watch later, I would again miss the show playing while watching the show I had previously recorded.  And if I recorded that show to watch later… you get the idea – I would never be able to catch up.

So I didn’t do it.

But I “get” the concept.  Not how they electronically pull it off – what am I, a genius? – but I understand that they can.  According to a recent commercial I saw, you can now record up to six shows at the same time.  Though when you’d have time to watch them, I have absolutely no idea.  Also, there is the matter of there being six simultaneously broadcast TV shows that are all worth recording.  When did television get that good?

Okay, so you can record shows broadcast earlier and then watch them at another time.  Fine.  You can also – and I have experienced this procedure, though I did not personally care for it – record a “Live” football game – because you were unavailable when it started – and watch that game still currently in progress, albeit substantially “down the line”, until – “fast forwarding” during the commercials and “Half Time” – you “catch up” and can watch the “Live” version that is happening right then.    

(I may not have explained that correctly, but it’s the best I can do, being a man who still listens to “Books-On-CD.”  Which by the way, there are stacks of them available at Barnes and Noble, so it can’t be just me.  Though, admittedly, Barnes and Noble appears to be rapidly heading for bankruptcy.)

Here’s the thing that stopped me dead in my tracks.

I am watching a Dodgers game that is happening at that time.  I have to go to the bathroom.  I press the “Pause” button, freezing the “Live” Dodgers game.  I subsequently return from the bathroom, I press the “Pause” button again, and the game resumes… exactly where I left it. 

I was stupeficationally dumbfounded.  It appeared that I had just personally stopped... not just time.  I personally had stopped...


That’s exactly how it felt.  I am watching a “Live” ballgame, not a “DVR-ed” version where I had missed the beginning.  The game is playing in front of me in “Actual Time.”  You went to Dodger Stadium, you watched it on television, you’d see exactly the same thing – the pitcher preparing to throw the ball. 

I press the “Pause” button to go to the bathroom.  And when I return to the ballgame…

… the pitcher is still preparing to throw the ball.

Though at Dodger Stadium he would have already thrown it!

I know – though it is fun to imagine – that the game on the field did not stop, waiting for me to come back.  The players sit on the ground.  The umpire trudges out to the mound.  “What’s going on?”  “Earl Pomerantz went to the bathroom.”  “Okay.”  And he trudges back behind the plate. 

I know that did not happen.

I also know – though it is also fun to imagine – viewers realizing somebody had “Paused” the game and taken advantage of this unscheduled stoppage in play to go to the bathroom themselves.  Or maybe converse with a loved one. 

SKEPTICAL LOVED ONE:  “Are you talking to me because you love me or because somebody watching went to the bathroom?”  

I know the game keeps going.  But the idea that a person next door to me is watching the same game as I am but they are a room Break’s” distance ahead of me, is something my brain seems unable to satisfactorily accommodate.

I just flashed on an “Educational Film” played at our high school called The Boy Who Stopped Niagara.  A young boy pulls a lever stopping Niagara Falls, and all the lights in Southern Ontario go out and the vacuums and washing machines stop working. 

As I recall that boy got into a lot of trouble.  I see myself, in my waking nightmare, as…

The Man Who Stopped the Dodgers Game!   

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a nice thing, going to the bathroom without missing any of the action. 

I’m just saying…

It kind of gave me the creeps.

Note:  The “Pausing” process may be technologically identical to DVR-ing.  All I can say is that it somehow felt different.  Please refrain from calling me an idiot.

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