Joe and I hate buying electronic gadgetry, because we always feel like we need to do consumer research to find out which one works and is well priced, and then where to go buy it. That’s a lot of work.
So the first DVD player we got was about ten years ago, courtesy of Biker. It was actually an elaborate Chinese recipricocity ritual. We’d visited Biker and Si in Japan, and went to stay at ryokan in Kyoto. He paid, and we tried to pay him back. Of course we refused. So we hid a couple Yukichi Fukuzawa notes underneath a vase on his bookshelf before we left. A couple of weeks after we got home, there was a large box from Amazon.com on our doorstep, that we hadn’t ordered. It was a DVD player from them!
Along the way, our VCR died. Occasionally we would tape shows or games that we didn’t want to miss, but we figured that the VCR was becoming obsolete, so we didn’t want to buy a new one. We happened to be visiting Sue Jane, and she mentioned that she was getting rid of her VCR because she bought a combo DVD-VCR. So we took hers off her hands. Woo-hoo.
So that was fine and dandy, until (on a separate tangent) we lost cable TV. Since we’d become accustomed to watching South Park on late-night Comedy Central to fall asleep on Joe’s dinky old college TV in our bedroom., I looked on craigslist for a cheap used DVD player that was somewhere in Mountain View. I bought it for 40$. “For that price, you might as well buy a new one,” scoffed Joe. But I figured I’d rather ‘re-use’ than buy a new one. It was a Sanyo, and it worked OK, except that sometimes the subtitles wouldn’t show up on foreign movies. Once in a while it would jam, meaning the disk slot wouldn’t open, and the ‘play’ button wouldn’t switch off unless you unplugged it. After a while it would clear itself up, and we’d be able to retrieve the disc. We were pressing our luck with this routine until this fall, when it jammed pretty permanently. I was worried that we’d permanent lose The Simpson’s Disc 4 of the 5th season in there.
Last nigh we were visiting Chris and Tom (Joshua and I had fun clinking our glasses at dinner “Cheers!”, “Kanpei”, and then I taught him “Salud!” “It’s Spanish,” I said. He giggled, raised his glass and said “Taco!”. And no, there was nothing but water in his glass.) We were talking about our busted DVD player. “Oh, we’re getting rid of ours, I was about to give it to Maggie, but you can have it. It works, but because it’s older, it doesn’t play the newer movies,” they said. Score!
Last night we plugged in the new-to-us DVD player, and unscrewed the Sanyo one (more work than you’d think) to retrieve the Simpson’s. We slept well once again, lulled to sleep by the whiny tones of Cartman.