Since when did setting up a television suddenly become more complex than executing the plot of an elaborate caper film?
Yet that's what I discovered this weekend when what I thought would be a simple Swap Maneuver-- my housemate's tube TV for the new HD one I'd bought-- turned into a tangled, sadly Clooneyless remake of the Ocean's variety. Only minus the high-stakes payoff, rakish wit, crack team of rag-tag experts, and with 200% more cursing.
Otherwise, just the same.
For instance, in a caper film, there is always the use of high technology. Ziplines, cables and the like.
Well, in setting up the television, you wanna talk cables? I had cables coming out of my butt!
(I mean, not literally. As that would, even to my untechnologically-inclined eyes, be a pretty sure indicator that things were, in fact, hooked up incorrectly.)
S-Video, FR cables, RGB cables, HDMR cables, PDQ, LOL, and YMCA cables... All sorts of cool high-tech cables with initials going to all sorts of different devices with more initials, just to get the most out of the alphabet.
And like a caper movie, these different cables were all planned out in a big overarching schematic, to guide the step-by-step process.
The difference here is, where the Ocean's 11 team tends to work from one main, finely-tuned, well-timed plan, the Television People don't want us to be boxed in like that.
No, friends-- they want us to have options.
So you can hook the S-Video and the red and white audio cables from the TV to the DVD. Or the VCR. Or from the cable box to the DVD. Or the Wii to the garbage disposal. Or the garbage disposal to your cousin Vinny's power mower which has this really sweet hum.
Or you can use the HDMR cable and connect everything to your cell phone and the IMAX theater in Boston.
Or you can use the YMCA cable to connect the TV to the all-male review down the street's video poker.
It's really entirely up to you!
Now, any good caper movie has to have a safe with a secret code. And setting up the television requires a secret code, too!... Well, maybe.
See, in order for the TV to talk to the cable box, the instructions explain, it needs a special code from the cable company. Or not. But it might. But it depends on your cable company. And your cable plan. And your television model. And the number of planets aligned when the clock strikes 12 noon, only not your time, in the place of manufacture of your television and...
You don't know it, do you? The code?...
No, we didn't think so. Just pick a three digit number at random. Or a four-digit number. Or a five-digit number. How many digits you need depends upon the people who haven't told you the code in the first place.
Just give them a quick call... Their phone number is unlisted.
Also, in order for your set to work, don't forget to set it to channel 03. Or 04. Or a different channel which you'll need to get from your cable or DirectTV provider. Or possibly your first grade teacher if she is not, in fact, dead by now.
Got all that? Great!
Now you have officially set up your home entertainment system! Proceed to pop in the original RatPack version of Ocean's 11, sing all of Dean Martin's 14 reprises of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" and have a martini.
You've earned it.
Question for today: What was the most frustrating item you've ever had to set up?