The Behemoth

Television screens are getting bigger (and bigger). Viewers must be growing tired of watching their favorite shows and movies on small screens. And by small screens I mean their phones. Or their Apple watches. For a long time people wanted portability while viewing entertainment. They got portability to the extreme. It was only a matter of time before the trend reversed itself. And it has. Big time. 

My wife and I browsed through four aisles of giant screen televisions at BJs Warehouse. There was a dizzying array of TVs for sale, each one larger than the next. The screens all displayed the same simultaneous loop of high-definition wonder – hummingbirds the size of pterodactyls, tigers bigger than sabertooths, lush tropical island gardens from floor to ceiling blocking out the big box-store’s sterile atmosphere. Screen after screen of mind-numbing beauty.

“Look at the picture on that one,” my wife said pointing at some new-fangled smart television. 

I refused to take the bait.

“It looks great if you’re watching scenes of tropical fish. I think the television has a special setting for in-store display optimum viewing,” I said. “I just want to watch Days of Our Lives.”  

“This 65-inch model has 4K Ultra High Definition,” she said like some sort of InfoTech expert. “I bet Sunday football will look great on this one.”

Do we really need to see a 65-inch close-up of Bill Belichick’s Grumpy Cat scowl? Sounds like overkill to me.

Then again, we were in the market for a new television and we had some extra vacation money left over. I knew I was fighting a losing battle. Although, secretly, it felt like a win-win situation. 

Two days later I was in a very long check-out line at BJs with my son and a flat-bed carrier containing the largest television we could fit in the back of his SUV. We put the seats down and slid the crate into the car. Once our cargo was transported safely home, we unboxed the new television, attached the leg-stands and turned on the power.

I must have miscalculated while measuring the display model in the store. My current television stand was short by six-inches on each side. My new 65-inch smart television with 4K Ultra High Definition now sat in its new home – on the floor.

My son double-checked all the electronic connections before he high-tailed out the door.

“Good luck, pops. I can’t do much more if the television doesn’t fit on the stand.”

I told him how much I appreciated him helping me as his car sped away.

I proceeded to read the instruction manual and sign into all the apps I would eventually be watching. It was a hassle trying to remember a dozen passwords. I needed two remotes to control the television, one for the cable box and one for the TV itself. It’s not complicated once you get used to it. 

Now I just had to find a flat shelf to fit on the top of my existing stand to accommodate the large TV. Lucky for me, my wife works at Home Depot. I texted her some measurements and asked her to bring home a shelf for the top of the television stand that would fit the width of our new arrival.

The television now sits perfectly on the stand without an inch to spare thanks to my wife’s uncanny ability to bring home the exact fix we needed. The picture looks great, from Gillette Stadium to soap operas. We can now enjoy our twenty-five apps as we search for something to entertain us. And after all that, I still don’t know what 4K Ultra High Definiton means. But I do know the picture looks spectacular on the super-sized screen. Just ask my neighbors. They can watch it from their porch across the street. 

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