We have some older neighbors who I'll call Fred and Ethel. Ethel was talking to my wife, and found out that I was one of "those people" who understand computers and technology and such. "Could Jeff come over and set up our DVD player?" She told my wife that their DVD player got unplugged many moons ago because it was interfering with the TV signal. It had been unplugged for at least six months.
We arrived Sunday afternoon to see how we could help out. Ethel kept referring to movies as "VCR's" and the DVD player as the "VCR Player" or the "Movie Player". Obviously, "tech-novice" was part of the problem we'd have to overcome.
She pointed out the player to me. It was unplugged, and it was huge. It was one of those older players, where the DVD drive tray was almost the size of a VHS tape opening. While I grunted and strained behind the TV, Ethel went on and on about how nice it would be to watch their DVD's again (at least we'd finally got her calling them by the correct name).
The one spare coax cable they had was almost too short for the job. The dust behind the TV was significant. "Help" was provided in the form of a flashlight beam applied anywhere except where I needed it. Multiple remote controls were produced, and a TV manual materialized. Then, my wife made a discovery.
See, the little cabinet-thing the TV sat on was small and crowded full of gizmos. There was a Cox digital cable box. There was, just out of sight, an old DVD player. And there was the VCR... which is what I had been working on all along.
Ethel and Fred were replacing batteries in a remote that we ended up not needing, so they missed the subtle exchange. My wife, bless her, managed not to laugh out loud at me. I pressed the power button on the DVD player, and it came on without fuss. My wife, fighting back laughter, said, "I think he's got it". I stuck my head back behind the TV while Ethel happily announced, "I'll go grab one of our movies!" To my great annoyance, I saw that the DVD player had been properly plugged in all along. Then, with my head still back behind the TV, I heard Ethel say, "Oh... we sold all our DVD's when we moved."
Fred was silent, but the look on his face said, "We did *what*?"
Great, just great. Here's Captain Allergies with his head stuck behind a TV, inhaling dust and cobwebs so that a not-really non-functional DVD player in disguise could be "fixed" to play phantom disks. Just another afternoon in my crazy little world.