DVD Not Watched

28 year-old Samuel Gerloff's plans to watch a DVD over the weekend were thwarted due to a number of factors, with the primary reason being his realization that the viewing would require a considerable amount of preparation work on his part.

The assistant software developer had what he described as "solid plans" in place to watch a movie from his collection of nearly 100, but as he sat on the couch contemplating the process, Gerloff says he began to feel disillusioned.

"I started to realize how many separate steps I would have to take to actually get the DVD going," he said, his eyes taking on a troubled haze as the memory of Saturday night drifted back to him. "First of all, I would've had to pick a movie to watch, which itself should really be broken down into three or four steps. Do I want to watch a comedy? If so, should it contain some drama and/or romance, or just be a straight comedy? If it's the latter, should it be of the slapstick variety, or a more cerebral kind of humor? And so on."

Even a movie selection would've only further compounded his problems, says Gerloff.

"Then there's the physical labor -- the act of taking the case off the shelf, walking over to the DVD player, opening the case, taking the DVD out in a careful way so that I don't scratch it, putting it in the player, closing the player, walking back to the couch, and finally turning my TV on to the 'input' channel, which I always mess up a few times before I get it right," he sighed. "Add that to the fact that there's the DVD menu to get to and the opening credits to skip, and you start to get a taste of my nightmare."

Faced with these unpleasantries, which also "don't even include the problem of getting a snack", Gerloff could only abandon his plans.

"I shouldn't have to feel like I live in a god damned third world country just because I want to watch a movie," he said. "With all that crap to go through, I could've practically just driven to the theater where it's already set up for me, although I didn't, because that's a lot of driving and whatnot."

Defeated, the broken man spent the rest of the evening collecting himself on the couch, forced to watch shows that he didn't even like.

"I hate that VH1 reality show crap," he said spitefully, "but on a Saturday night with no DVD to watch, what else are you going to do?"

Gerloff's DVD collection bears the stamp of this and previous failures of a similar nature; many of the movies still have the shrinkwrap on, despite being purchased months before.

"Sometimes I see them on sale, but I don't really have the time to watch them," he explained. "Hopefully I'll have a chance to get to them all before I get a Blu-Ray player and render them obsolete."

In fact, Gerloff's considerable backlog is usually what drives him to try and watch a movie.

"I almost see it as a job, to just power through other things I might like to do -- like go on the Internet for a while or something -- and just sit down and knock some of these DVDs out so they aren't wrapped anymore," he said dejectedly. "And when I fail, I just get the worst feeling. This was not a good weekend."

Ever the optimist, Gerloff does see hope in the future next weekend, provided work during the week isn't too taxing on him.

"I think if I had more energy going into the weekend, I might be a little more apt to tackle the DVD project, but work can really take it out of me," he said. "After 40 hours in a chair all week, it's pretty hard to summon the motivation on the weekend to start up something when all you really want to do is relax."

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