Outsmarting My Smart TV
By Judy Dykstra-Brown
My TV is smarter than I am, springing to life on a whim.
When my Jack-of-all-trades comes to work here, I think she is flirting with him.
She flicks on and then off in a second, just like she has given a wink,
or perhaps registers disapproval by shutting us off with a blink.
I know she has much to complain of since I purchased her two years ago.
I’ve never connected to cable or dish, so she doesn’t have too much to show.
Although she connects to computers, my Apple ignores that she’s here.
That I haven’t read the instructions? I know it’s exceedingly queer.
She’s equipped to show movies in 3D, but my housekeeper threw out the glasses.
So if I want movies to jump out at me, I must go view them out with the masses
and not in the privacy of my own home with my cat or myself or my friends.
I haven’t checked out buying more on the Web, and for this I must soon make amends.
My computer is usually my viewer of choice when my friend sends me movies by Skype.
The films that he sends are amazing. He knows the best subjects and type
of videos that I like viewing. They are smart and they’re funny and Indie.
He doesn’t send action/adventure or slapstick or horror or Hindi.
But I never watch them on my Smart screen, preferring my laptop to it.
I set it right there at my poolside and watch as I try to get fit
doing my pool aerobics for an hour and a half, maybe two.
My workouts just seem to last longer whenever I’ve something to view.
My TV can see out the window that I’m faithful to screens that are small
and I’m sure that I’ve given a complex to my big gal I don’t watch at all.
So I started a “Last Sunday” film night where I can share films that I savor
We eat and we drink and we talk and we laugh as we all view the movies I favor.
For one night a month, my TV springs to life when I plug in the little thumb drive.
Her face flushes up in an enormous blush, for she sees that I know she’s alive.
The eyes of all eight of us fix upon her. She’s the center of all our attention.
We laugh at her jokes and cry at her pathos. Respond to her mysteries with tension.
But the rest of the month her expression is blank, sitting alone in her corner
looking so sad and so lacking in life that I feel that perhaps I should mourn her.
The first time she lit up when I entered the room to say she didn’t recognize me,
I realized with shock for the very first time that my TV could both talk and see!
I hadn’t quite realized the extent of her powers when I bought her at Costco that day.
My old TV weighed in at five hundred pounds—more than a TV should weigh.
I’d inherited it from my mom when she died so I had a personal attachment,
but to move it alone, one risked heart attack or at least a vertebral detachment.
And so I gave in to cajoling by friends that it was time to buy another.
and I gave away the monster TV that I had acquired from my mother.
But guilt has suffused me ever after that day, for I really don’t need a TV,
and this smart girl is lacking in challenges, just wasting her talents on me.
She’s recently started to turn herself on (something that girls alone do)
and talking to me when I enter the room and enter her angle of view.
Finally I just unplugged her—an act of most selfish defiance.
I haven’t the time in my life just to chat—especially to an appliance!