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Friday, March 30, 2007

The Cur-sed Piece of.....

March 21

Upon learning of his daughter’s impending major-life-happening, Homer did what any red-blooded American father would do. He whipped out the video camera.
The male techno-creed dictates ‘your children will do it, therefore you must videotape it’. He imagines one day handing over to his daughters a heaping milk crate full of the 8mm tapes which document ALL their major-life-happenings. In response the girls will fawn all over their father and assure him that he was, indeed, the more documenting parent. Exhibit B will be the empty baby books that were MY charge. In my defense, I was just too busy keeping them from putting steak knives in the power outlets and razor blades up their noses – sue me. Besides, Daddy was always there, Handycam complete with date stamp at the ready, to record the momentous occasions and quite a few less, umm…responsible activities – ones usually orchestrated by the videographer. Have I ever mentioned the cat swimming races? I will just say if you ever have occasion to make a wager, put your money on Cattoo. I think Catwon’s fur is too long which kind of messes up his sidestroke. I will also say that these things tend to take place when I am not at home or not sober (kid-ding). But please don’t call the SPCA – they would have no patience to sort through 100+ unmarked videotapes to find the incriminating footage. At least I’m hoping they wouldn’t.
Anyhoodle, Homer bought an 8mm video camera back in the early 90’s when it was all the latest technology and he diligently read all the instructions and zoomed and night-visioned things and was unable to give it over to anyone else lest they take video WITHOUT FADING IN AND FADING OUT! Hitting the stop button without fading was a mortal sin. So said Video-Pope Homer I. He made us crazy. No event was ever so urgent that everyone couldn’t…….pause……while……the man……gets…. the…..camera…..running. No trip was too short, no car was packed too full to EVER consider leaving the video camera at home. Homer was our video Marcus Welby – always with his little black bag.
Ten years and 84 tapes later, the camera suddenly met its demise – launched down 10 concrete steps by an 8-year-old school boy all hepped up on Christmas and too much sugar. The repairman shook his head as he pulled the plug. Time for a replacement. Formats were argued over. Homer’s grand plan in buying a new digital 8mm camera was to enable us to transfer the old tapes to digital as well as acquire new footage in a familiar format. Great. Fine. Except Camera-2 was not made of the steel and stone that Camera-1 was. Although it heralds the same branding, Camera-2 would appear to be made of thin plastic held together with flimsy welds. It has been to the repair shop THREE times. With each $100 repair bill I implore Homer “Buy a new camera to record the major-life-happenings! Save this one for converting the old tapes!” Because I am pretty sure the conversion won’t happen until I either break a leg or am bedridden for a month and that’s not something I can plan for. Hope for, but not plan for.
Here I should point out that Camera-2 has never become Homer's trusty companion. The bond isn’t there, but periodically when the time is right, he brings it out. Usually it is when he can’t make it to a momentous event and so he hands over the camera, without caring about fading in OR out, and asks that I record the event. I would gladly do just that except THE FREEGIN CAMERA NEVER WORKS FOR ME. It carries the same curse as the VCR. It is probably operator error as much as camera error but I am not taking MORE than 50% of the blame. I suspect the camera has a high-tech sensor that shuts down the system when it detects anything important to be videotaped. Whatever, in my eyes it is worthless.
So, through that long and circuitous story we emerge back at the Why house Sunday night. In case you missed Part 1, Junie is about to be kidnapped by rabid cheerleaders and we need some footage to show to the police if she is not promptly returned. Homer presents Camera 2 and plugs it into the charger. I say “What do you plan to do with that Cur-sed Piece of Sh it?” No emotion. No bitterness. I have come to terms with the CPS. It refuses to work for me and I refuse to respect it.
Homer’s eyes widen. “Cur-sed Piece of Sh it? What strong language for an inanimate object.”
I say, “The CPS never works. Why don’t we snag Omega’s little video camera after she goes to sleep?”
He insists on going with the CPS, secretly thinking that this is probably nothing that the Y chromosome can’t overcome.
I’m telling him: CPS. Just saying.
So at 4:15 am, the posse arrives and as they are about to dash down the (very clean) hall, Homer says “Stop! Wait, my camera isn’t working”
Big hairy SUR-PRISE.
They pause, he fiddles. Finally, knowing we are dealing with the CPS, I say “Go ahead” to the posse. Meanwhile, Homer thinks he has it. Good. Whaddayaknow. The kidnapping takes place, I take a few stills, just for insurance and they are off! He pulls the camera from his eye.
“Did you really get all that on tape?” I say amazed.
“Well, I’m not sure, it says ‘cleaning cassette’. What does that mean?”
That means, dear, you are holding a Cur-sed Piece of Sh it.

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