Thursday, September 05, 2019

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory


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VCRMaale Adummim, September 5 - A resident of this town in the Judean Desert east of Jerusalem gushed with pride today upon mastering the task of setting his VHS machine in advance to record an upcoming television broadcast, a feat to which he has devoted the bulk of his spare time over the last thirty-two years.

Ofer Shaked, 70, unleashed a yelp of triumph this afternoon as he successfully programmed his VCR, a device manufactured in the 1990's to record and play video content on a television or display screen, via large cassettes with magnetic tape inside. The grandfather of eight and retired insurance agent shouted to his wife, Diklah, that he had managed to set the VCR to record the Wednesday night episode of MacGyver, a task he had been trying to accomplish, on and off, since 1987.

"I did it! I did it!" yelped Mr. Shaked, leaping to his feet despite his developing arthritis. A sudden onset of dizziness and shortness of breath from the sudden exertion prevented him from immediately answering his wife's query as to the details of his achievement.

"I programmed it! I can watch MacGyver whenever I want!" shouted the septuagenarian. "Is Airwolf still on? Remington Steele? The possibilities are endless! This is true freedom!" Mr. Shaked proceeded to call his children to inform them of the milestone, and to bask in the anticipated admiration they would no doubt display.

"Get me the TV listings!" he commanded his bemused wife, gesturing to the newspaper. "I'm going to program this thing up the wazoo. Heck, I'm going to record the evening news and watch it again just to glory in what I've finally managed to do. I better pick a good day - wouldn't want to end up rewatching coverage of some natural disaster or terrorist attack."

Shaked has, by his own admission, struggled to program the VCR since he purchased his first such model in 1984. "The instructions seemed perfectly clear for each one," he recalled with some wistfulness. "But I was never able to translate those simple directions into action. There must have been some mental or cognitive block that I've... I've now overcome. I feel so liberated. I can only imagine what I might accomplish next. That is, as soon as I finish watching all the programs I plan to record."

"Now," he concluded, "how do you connect this VCR to the new Tablet my children got me for my birthday? I don't see the right socket for the AV cord. And do you know where I can buy blank videocassettes? I can't seem to find any Radio Shacks in this neighborhood."




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