One of the joys of being in Europe, besides all the castles and shit, was the military-run American Forces Network. AFN offers troops overseas American television.
Everyone likes to make fun of AFN commercials because they suck. But I find AFN’s programming hysterical. It’s a collection of the “most popular” shows on television in the U.S, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noted that most of the popular TV sucks. The fact that it all sucks was never truer than right now. It’s all Survivor, American Idol and Two and a Half Men (Two and a Half Men makes my skin crawl, not that anyone asked. – Editor). Sure AFN has its moments, but those moments only come on Sunday afternoon when the news talk shows air, or in the early morning when I’m getting a look at yesterday’s evening news cast (made completely irrelevant by the internet).
But AFN’s one redeeming quality was that is distracted my wife. It allure was so strong it could draw her fine ass onto the couch (and out of my face) because, “Oh my God, The Voice is about to come on!”
When that happened I wasn’t required participate in anyting. Not a damned thing! She would watch, “shit TV for $400, Alex,” and I was free to do whatever I wanted.
I used this time of course to earn my first of many master’s degrees in “fuckoffery.” I achieved like level 40 million in “World of Wardork”, surfed every porn site that has ever existed, and started this blog.
Time well spent, in other words.
All that was only achievable because AFN aired everything I had no desire to watch. I would not be watching any of it with my wife and she knew it. Hell, I think AFN knew it – or should have because I sent them weekly emails thanking them for their fine lineup.
There are television shows on the planet I will watch, but they just aren’t on AFN. (Every time I return to the U.S., that harlot, “On Demand,” calls to me like the filthy vixen she is. Nazi Germany’s Lost Treasures, is on? Sign me up! Nova’s latest special about planets? Let’s watch that!) I can be a TV junkie, I just don’t want to be, and here in Europe it used to be very easy to just say no.
This “agreement” between the wife and I was rock solid for 10 years. That’s like a decade or something.
I now consider that the “Golden Age” of our TV relationship.
Because along came an evil, vile, disgusting device by Apple known as Apple TV. I know, I know — all Apple products are fucking vile — but Apple TV is a special kind of hell. It has tons of shows on it that my wife knows I’ll watch. All she has to do is buy them and bam, my ass is on the couch with her. That damned TV was preventing me from doing really awesome things like internet-boobie surfing, and turned me into a banana slug on the couch. There is no way out. I’m screwed.
And then, Apple TV and its seemingly endless programs revealed its silver lining — it costs money.
You see, for years I’ve been grilled about my unapproved purchases (because those fucking things show up on the goddamn secret-spilling credit card statement).
Shortly after Apple TV’s introduction into the house, and after hours of balls-to-the-wall marathon TV viewing, the bill came in. The wife was mortified.
This was a gift of immeasurable worth.
That little detail meant I would only occasionally be sucked onto the couch. AND, if she was willy nilly spending our cash on TV programs, then what leg did she have to stand on when an unapproved .99 cent purchase of “California Gurls” showed up on the credit card statement? IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!.
Until some fucker at her office got a bright idea and told her about jailbreaking.
I’m sure some greasy co-worker, wearing only a trench coat, approached her in the parking lot as she left one evening.
“Psst! Hey you want free TV? I can get you free TV. It’s good too. Don’t worry you won’t get addicted. Just try it. It’s OK. It’s not stealing because we’re in Germany. Just try it… Take a gander at my willy.”
When she told me about it, my heart sank. I was back to being screwed.
And then I had a brilliant idea. We all know I’m basically a piece of shit. I swill beer, make shitty jokes about women, smoke like a fiend and have the kind of morals a real-life pirate would question. But when I take a stand on an issue, I pretend it’s something I really believe in. One of those issues is piracy. (No, I don’t mean the pirates two sentences back, I mean stealing intellectual property on the internet – but real pirates are also bad.)
When the suggestion that we get a jailbroken Apple TV was made we had friends over, so what better time to get out the moral soap box, right?
Break out the soap box I did.
“Piracy is bad because blah, and artists deserve blah, blah and further NPR has said blah and then there is blah!” I ranted like only a drunken, albeit morally corrupt drunk, can.
I went on an antipiracy tirade that would have made Madonna and Metallica weep tears of joy. Our guests had befuddled looks on their faces that said, “This is what you hang your moral hat on? You told me personally that you’d kick a puppy for $20.”
Yet, take a stand I did, until my shitty morals were kicked in the nuts by a jailbroke Apple TV and I crumpled like a 3-year old presented with candy.
One of my wife’s criminal cock-blocking co-workers, between flashing his weiner and robbing little-old ladies, loaned her a jailbroke Apple TV for a week.
I haven’t seen a fucking Apple TV bill at all this week. I have seen “The Hobbit” (a clearly pirated copy I might add) and mostly my wife has shut the fuck up.
So besides folding on my bendy-straw flimsy, moral high ground, I’ve lost something else. I’ve lost the ability to say, “No this program on TV doesn’t interest me at all, honey, please enjoy it while I surf the breasts, er ‘net.”
Because everything in the universe is on this device, she’s guaranteed to find something that will make me go, “Yes! Yes I DO want to watch that with you. Cue that shit up honey, I’ll get the popcorn,” and I’m not very happy about it.
I should write something for the blog but, “HOLY FUCK EVERY EPISODE OF TOP GEAR IS HERE RIGHT NOW” or, as it actually happened this weekend, “Todd, do you want to watch The Hobbit?”
Yes, yes I do. More than I want to do anything else ever in my life, honey!
If I’m not back in a few days someone, someone PLEASE call the police because even if a jailbroke Apple TV is not illegal I need Frodo Baggins to take ours and toss that shit into Mount Doom.
I’d write more, but fuck, there’s a lot of TV to watch.