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TED MARKLE:A harrowing tale of an attempt to watch a movie on my couch

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Do you have Netflix, Pay-Per-View or any other of those dreaded services? There was a simpler time.

We drove to the video rental store. After wandering the aisles, we’d settle on a movie. Once rented, we were locked in. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. If it was a stinker – suck it up buttercup – enjoy your microwave popcorn and make the best of it. (If this is still your M.O., fall upon your knees and thank Jesus, for you are truly blessed.)
The modern “Over-The-Top” process is a recipe for suffering and loneliness.
Case in point:
3 p.m. - It is a rainy Sunday afternoon; this is scientifically proven to be the absolute best time for a harmonious home movie-watching experience. Sue and I are sitting comfortably on the chesterfield; snacks and drinks are on hand.
3:22 p.m. - We begin by skimming through the new releases. A misleading process – as most of these obscure titles have never actually been released. Undeterred, we click upon a selection to read their description. A few qualify as “possibilities” – we come back to them for further assessment.

We drove to the video rental store. After wandering the aisles, we’d settle on a movie. Once rented, we were locked in. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. If it was a stinker – suck it up buttercup – enjoy your microwave popcorn and make the best of it. (If this is still your M.O., fall upon your knees and thank Jesus, for you are truly blessed.)
The modern “Over-The-Top” process is a recipe for suffering and loneliness.
Case in point:
3 p.m. - It is a rainy Sunday afternoon; this is scientifically proven to be the absolute best time for a harmonious home movie-watching experience. Sue and I are sitting comfortably on the chesterfield; snacks and drinks are on hand.
3:22 p.m. - We begin by skimming through the new releases. A misleading process – as most of these obscure titles have never actually been released. Undeterred, we click upon a selection to read their description. A few qualify as “possibilities” – we come back to them for further assessment.

4:07 p.m. - Quick consensus, we’re in a comedy mood. (This is going to be an awesome day!) Moving down the decision-making funnel, we watch the previews of the movies that have made our short-list.
4:25 p.m. - We are finishing a bag of sour cream and onion chips, nearing the end of the movie previews, and have a minor flare-up over my habit of wiping my chip-seasoned hands on the chesterfield and my pants.
4:44 p.m. - One preview contains four or five hilarious scenes. I can feel it. We are on the verge of a decision. Just then, a terrifying thought crosses my wife’s mind: “What if the all the gags are crammed into that 90-second preview? What if we’ve already seen every funny moment in this movie??!!”
Ever resourceful, I pull out my smartphone and search for the movie’s ratings on IMDB.com to validate our choice. Sue does the same on rottentomatoes.com.
6:58 p.m. – Distracted by inane Facebook posts and a furious exchange of random bitmoji avatars, it has taken us more than two hours to check the ratings. IMDB.com gave the movie a 5.9 while rottentomatoes.com pegs it at 62 per cent. Not nearly good enough for the perfect Sunday afternoon– now evening – movie-watching experience!
7:17 p.m. – Total exasperation sets in.
7:45 p.m. – “Just pick something!” The words uttered by my wife seem straightforward enough, but they signal that we have reached DEFCON 2.
7:49 p.m. - Searching for a way to de-escalate, I propose a change of tactics. Maybe we won’t find a comedy. How about a classic? (I am thinking “The Magnificent Seven” or “The Guns of Navarone.”)
7:58 pm - Sue reaches for the remote – this may work. Tensions remain high, but body language indicates we may get through this as she scrolls through the ample inventory.
8:16 p.m. - I awake to the fear that I have been played all along as I am presented with the option of watching “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Thelma & Louise,” or worse, “Eat Pray Love.”
8:18 p.m. - I wipe my hands on my pants, stomp from the room and sulk in front of the open fridge door.
9:17 p.m. – Sue goes to bed to read.
9:32 p.m. - I fall asleep 15 minutes into “Teen Wolf.”

Ted Markle, a media industry veteran of more than 30 is a keen observer of the humorous side of the human situation. He appears in this space every Monday. You can reach him at ted.markle@tc.tc. – Twitter : @tedmarkle

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