My 40th birthday is on the horizon. In honor of that auspicious occasion, my in-laws had a high definition television delivered to our house and set up in our loft room by professionals. I mention this for a couple of reasons.
First, if you've naively entered your in-laws in this year's National Cool In-Laws Competition, I urge you to un-register them now. That contest has been won handily by my in-laws. Better luck next year.
Second, I want to acknowledge that, since I work for a cable company, I probably should have gotten one of these new-fangled high def sets much earlier than this. Perhaps I didn't because I'm old and easily confused by the rapidly moving images, confound it. Let's take MTV, for instance. Who is Kelis? Why does she make such a good milkshake that all the boys come to her yard? Just what is in those damn milkshakes?
I have no idea.
All I know is that high definition television is hypnotic. My family and I spent an hour last night watching a PBS documentary on oil rigs. At least I think they were oil rigs. I didn't really pay attention to what the narrators were saying, but I did see lots of beautiful red pipes and shiny oil.
Oh, I noticed one other thing about the new high definition television. My two year-old daughter Riley wants to bust it.
I see her edging closer to it every time I'm out of the room. I see her flexing her tiny hands in anticipation of touching the fragile screen. I can see her mind wrestling with important questions. Will she, for instance, begin by smearing on a tomato-based sauce of some kind or perhaps lay out a base underpainting of natural skin oil?
I realize now why I didn't get a high def television sooner.