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The Worst Thing in the World

September 2, 2008 - Wes Burns
Some people, who shall remain nameless due to their affiliation with a newspaper that shall also remain nameless, have recently informed me that I have a tendency to exaggerate my claims about the challenges I face in day to day life.

Please, Strangers, settle down. I too was shocked at the very notion. Why would one need to exaggerate the utter horror that is Rocky LaPorte? Or the unmitigated cruelty of having to sit through yet another weather interruption? These are epic challenges faced by a young man in Iowa with little or nothing to do during the day; how dare you try and belittle the day to day struggle that is life?

I must admit his comments started to weigh on my mind. Perhaps he was right. Perhaps I do tend to overstate the facts a tad. Perhaps my appreciation of the seriousness of these events has been dulled by the Midwestern context?

My resolve quickly returned as I retired to my television late last night and was greeted by what can only be defined as The Worst Thing in the World.

Hypothetical: you sit down after a long day to watch a little TV. You get comfortable on the couch, grab a beverage and press the power button on your remote. What do you suppose happens next? Is it hearing that slight hum of power as your TV lights up? Is it scanning the see of channels to see what you want to watch? Maybe.

How about having the rug ripped out from under your very feet by the image on your television being dominated by an interminably long screen that patronizingly informs you that it is downloading your channel guide? I didn't think so. This insipid little text box tells me that it is trying, desperately trying, to get the channel information from the satellite. Then it taunts me further by providing a small progress bar that moves at a consistently slow pace until it reaches the last tenth of the bar. Then it stops.

Woe unto the heavens! My kingdom for a channel guide! Can you imagine any crueler twist of fate to befall a mortal? Like some forgotten episode of the Twilight Zone my source of entertainment has become my source of torment.

I have tried every remedy known to man and repair man alike. I have unplugged the machine, plugged it back in, threw coaster at the receiver, threw insults at the receiver, loudly questioned the lineage of the makers of the receiver and attempted to read during the waiting period. All to no avail.

To those that face the endless waiting of the load screen I say: hold fast, soon the day will come. And to those that would decry the torturous experience of the loading screen and claim to know what is unbearable and what is merely an inconvenience I say: a pox on you and your house! And may your TV be blighted by nothing but the loading screen.


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