Thursday, September 25, 2008

Red Eye: Tractor Show Marathon!

Several Christmases ago, my father handed me their dish satellite remote and said they had just gotten the PVR functionality added to the receiver so he could record shows on it. He told me I should take a look at it. And after that, explain to him how to use it. Subtle.

I guess he finally figured it out on his own, though, because he had gotten it to record shows about farm tractors on RFD-TV, "Rural America's Most Important Network."

Let me try to explain the production quality of most of the shows on this network.
[Person goes in for an interview as a camera operator.]
Interviewer: What experience do you have with video cameras?
Applicant: I've recorded all my kid's tap dancing recitals. You can never actually see her feet, because peoples' heads are in the way, and, uh, be careful watching my demo reel, because the camera waves around a lot and some people can get a little nauseated, but...
Interviewer: You're hired!
Before my (paternal) uncle had left, he had asked me to transfer them to DVD so my great-uncle could watch them. It took me awhile to figure out how to get the DVD recorder to work (um, they hid the "record" functions in a secret compartment in the remote), and I was just not in the mindset for my usual perfectionist, "I will not record one iota of anything except these programs" mode that I might normally be in, and I wasn't going to sit through every single episode so I could hit "stop" on the recorder, so my great-uncle got some tractor episodes that turned into 10 minutes of whatever program was on after the PVR finished and timed out back to the receiver. It also wasn't possible to watch something else while it was recording, since the process involved both available input devices (the DVD player/recorder and the dish receiver/PVR). So I wasn't paying an awful lot of attention. He got what he got, though, and that still left half the stuff on the PVR unrecorded.

My mother managed to put her foot in it by going through a list of my father's first cousins (he had many; his father was the oldest of 10 children, to start) who would never bear offspring (she apparently thought there were a lot of those, too). "Um, Mom, what exactly is your cut-off age?" asks her 36-year-old, unmarried, childless daughter. Mary knew what I was talking about. I can't tell if my mother didn't catch on or was acting like she didn't catch on in order to avoid actually having to insert her foot physically into her mouth.

Then it was Mary's turn to flounder. One of my father's cousins has been in a same-sex relationship for nearly two decades. (Although why my mother assumed this automatically meant they still would not somehow have a child, I'm not sure. Of course, she still automatically assumes that marriage is generally a prerequisite for offspring...)
Me: Well, you know that if they get married, it's not going to be in Georgia.
My mother: True.
Mary: Well, now, it used to be illegal to carry a lottery ticket from another state into North Carolina. They would fine you. Now they have their own lottery.
Me: But... that's just the lottery.
Mary: Well, but they are still very conservative in North Carolina, and if they can change their mind about having the lottery when it used to be illegal.
Me: ... I'm thinking there's a really big difference between the lottery and gay marriage, Mary.

We had homemade crab cakes and fried oysters (sorry, I skipped the oysters; not a big fan) for dinner. Good eating.

No comments: