Monday, September 5, 2011

The High Definition Forest


Recently I realized I had a few extra bucks in my pocket, and despite all my impending financial obligations I decided I would purchase the most necessary of items, a television. Okay, first off, I'm not one of those who sit by the TV and watch sitcoms, soaps and sports all day. I'd rather self-induce a coma before I'd turn into one of those people. I don't actually see any difference in a coma and people that watch that stuff all day. Whew, I know I'm going to rack up a few angry comments on that one!

But anyway, I'm actually a History/Discovery/Science/PBS channel junkie. And yes, I do realize how many other people could relate that to being in a coma.  However, I simply must be kept up to date on the latest low-budget docudrama. So when I packed up every necessary thing I owned in my tin can on wheels and moved to Arizona recently, I arrived without any TV access. At first I thought, well I can handle it, I have the laptop and Internet access. Then I realized that the awesome WiFi signal that my landlord promised was in reality, a serious piece of crap. It "mysteriously stop working well" around the time I arrived. Oh, and my landlord doesn't know what to do about it since the cable/Internet company closed their office and he can't figure out, or handle, automated phone lines.

So I sort of hacked into someone else's signal, for as long as that lasts. When I say hacked, I mean they left it unsecured with no password requirement. This allows me to watch half a YouTube video and a whole movie off of Netflix that is interrupted five times so it can reload. Well needless to say, that is getting very old. I guess I'm either spoiled or old fashioned, or both, when I say I want the good old TV format back.

So I wander in to my local Best Buy to see what's available. You pretty much have to buy a HDTV these days, if you don't, you set off some sort of silent alarm at the store. Then by the time you get home with your back alley, anciently styled relic made in Taiwan, a bunch of men jump out of a white truck with white uniforms and take you to a looney bin. So you might as well appear normal and go with the times with this one, especially since HDTVs are not as expensive anymore. You can buy a decent name brand HDTV for about $300. The only drawback is being that the TV for that price is the size of a postage stamp.

Well when I went into the store, I was hellbent on something cheap and somewhat modern. I was NOT going to overspend. Now, I don't want to accuse Best Buy of the old bait and switch technique, but it was sure funny how they couldn't find the same exact TV I asked for that was plastered in their Labor Day Sale ad. OH, and DON'T YOU DARE try and buy a TV there, or anywhere without buying the protection/service plan! The salespeople will tell you that not buying one is like making an unholy pact with the devil and his minions and then getting it up the you know what later. The sales guy who was helping me must of mentioned it a few hundred times. He literally said, and I'm not making this up in the least, "If you don't buy our Black Tie Service Plan (or whatever it's called), and your TV breaks, then you're out the money and you got Jew-ed down." After I recuperated from the shock of him saying that, I realized what a bummer it was that I didn't have a microphone on me just then so I could walk out of there with anything I wanted.

So back to the getting what I went in there for part. While waiting on the Hitler's youth (the 18 year old sales guy) to check something for me, I saw it. A big plasma 52" wall mountable TV with 3D capability! I said to myself, "self, you shouldn't go over there and try on those 3D glasses and look at that stunning underwater coral reef show because you can't afford to buy it and you'll just be disappointed and disgusted."  Well I don't know why I ever talk to myself because I never listen to myself. I really think I should, because myself is wise and thinks of best courses of action to take, then I go off and do the exact opposite of what myself told me to do.

Of course I go and look at the coral reef video on the 3D plasma TV that I couldn't afford and I almost cried. It was so beautiful! A gorgeous lion fish came out at me from the TV screen and paraded in front of my eyes. I swear I could almost feel the sway of its long fin-like stingers and faintly tasted a bit of saltwater in my mouth. There for a little bit, it seemed like the lion fish waved one one its' long flowing fins out at me to beckon me to come in his world and stay a bit! And I'm standing there at Best Buy, with Tom Cruise-styled 3D glasses on reaching out to this fish telling him "I will some day, I will some day!"

Kind of like this, but only a lion fish.

So yes, I left Best Buy and the Hitler's youth's' assistance and I was very disappointed. I thought to myself, no other TV will do now. I then headed to Walmart to see if they had anything like that but at a more affordable price. Well you can imagine where this is going to lead. First I had to wait for the one electronics employee (during a Labor Day Sale) to finish activating some one's phone for fifteen minutes. I'm not sure this employee spoke English or understood what I said, but he did sort of tell me that he'll check in the back when I inquired over a certain model. Ten minutes later walking at old-lady-with-a-walker speed, and all the while checking his cell phone, he eventually tells me "we don't have it" and that was it as he continued on past me.

But at that point I guess I didn't care anymore anyway. That cheapo Vizio 3D TV I was looking at wasn't a plasma and no majestic creation of nature swam out at me, beckoningly. I left Walmart disappointed, but also I left with two hundred bucks less then what I walked in there with because of buying other miscellaneous crap I guess I needed.

Many lessons to be learned in this post I guess. The main one I'm getting out of this one is to save the money I need this time to get what I want without credit or other means, even if it takes awhile. I won't settle for less, by damn. I'm getting that 3D Plasma TV if it kills me, it's stuck in my mind now and won't leave. Now I'm thinking that the lion fish subliminally planted it there.

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