Monday, March 07, 2005


Mark and I have a new master.

When we moved into this apartment last summer we consciously decided not to hook up a TV antenna or to order cable. I wanted to escape the powerful elixer that is exhaustion and the Bachelorette, and Mark was fleeing from too many Star Trek Marathons. I wanted to read more, to write more, to clean more, to call friends more. And, well, Mark wanted to play more video games.

So, we didn’t have TV and we both did read a little more. I started this new site; Mark went to the gym more frequently. When we hankered for some auido-visual diversion, we rented a movie. Overtime, though, we realized that while we really didn’t miss zoning out to The Apprentice or the unfortunate combination of dinner and Fear Factor, sometimes we did long for the short, serialized nature of television. At those times, a good movie demanded too much framing and plot, and a bad movie was just plain too long.

What we needed, we realized, was someway to weed out the brain sucking television and just get the shows we wanted. The answer leapt out at me one afternoon from the Yahoo homepage, shortly after a Friday night Ali G plan was squelched by our local video store: Netflix! We could rent all the series that we were interested in, and watch them on our own schedule! Without late-fee fears, we wouldn’t feel compelled to watch a full season of something in one night - we could space things out, watch them at our leisure and still fill in control of our watching habits!

We were the first Netflix members in our circle. There was no one there to alert us. There was nobody who could tell us, like I will tell you now, that Netflix will RULE YOUR LIFE.

Those of you who have not yet succumbed, hear this cautionary tale:

This afternoon at 12:45pm, after more than seven days filled with fevers and snot and other things that make sex sound like suffering, Mark and I took to the bedroom. Clothes were removed. Things were set in motion. And then we remembered: mail put in the mailbox on the corner gets picked up at 1pm and we hadn’t dropped off our two completed Netflix! If we didn’t get them to the corner in fifteen minutes they wouldn’t get picked up today. And if they didn’t get picked up today then they wouldn’t be returned to Netflix by Tuesday. And if they weren’t returned to Netflix by Tuesday they wouldn’t be processed on Wednesday. And if they weren’t processed on Wednesday then the next two DVDs on our list wouldn’t be delivered until Friday. And if the next two DVDs weren’t delivered by Friday then we would have to wait to get them until Saturday!!!

Mark put on his pants and went to the mailbox. I lay daydreaming about the next installment of the West Wing.

My friends, you have been warned.