The Book of Highdef

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And it came to pass that I, Eric, was desirous that I should obtain a television with high-definition; for behold, my television had waxed old, and had but 27 diagonal inches; and verily, it did not receive high-definition, and it did now befit the lifestyle of a hillbilly.

And so I did venture forth into the wilds of the Internets to obtain knowledge of HDTVs — for I knew that there were plasma and LCD, and all manner of sizes and permutations; and I was desirous that I should not be carried about by every wind of doctrine.

But I knew that within the Internets were only images of HDTVs, and descriptions thereof; and to experience an HDTV with all my senses save taste it must needs be that I should journey into a store of brick and mortar, to see with mine own eyes, and hear with mine own ears, and touch with mine own hands, and OK, maybe not smell, either.

And so it came to pass that I did journey to the City of Circuit, knowing that a knowledgeable salesperson might aid me in discovering which HDTV was most correct above all others. And it came to pass that a salesperson did tell me this; and yea, the most correct HDTV did prove to be the one that costeth more than all the others.

And I did doubt the words of the salesperson, and I spake unto him, saying, “Wait a minute…” And I did realize that he had tricked me with guile, and wo be unto those that trick me with guile, especially when they be but 17 years of age and hath names like “Cody.”

Nevertheless I did tarry in the City of Circuit to view HDTVs with mine own eyes, ears, and hands (but not tongue or nose), and I did forsake Cody and all others who did endeavor to persuade me that I should buy that HDTV which costeth the most; for verily, their efforts did vex me.

And it came to pass that I determined on my own which HDTV should most befit mine own living room and mine own bank account, and I did inscribe the particulars thereof on a scrap of paper that I might return to the wilds of the Internets to obtain further knowledge, that I might find which of all the stores would sell this HDTV for the lowest price; for verily, I knew it would not be the City of Circuit. Art thou kidding me?

And it came to pass that as I left the City of Circuit I did see across the lot for parking the land of Best Buy; and I knew that the land of Best Buy did also sell HDTVs; and knowing which HDTV should be mine, it behooved me to learn what price the land of Best Buy did affix to it.

And as I did enter the land of Best Buy, a young maiden geek did descend upon me and inquire concerning my needs; and I did say unto her that I knew whither I should go to find the HDTV of my choosing. Nevertheless, she did follow me and ask many questions of me, and pester me and harass me, and she did assure me that the land of Best Buy would match any price.

And I said unto her, “Thou matchest any price? Including prices fetched from within the wilds of the Internets? For behold, I have pondered greatly this matter and have considered purchasing my HDTV from deep within the Amazon.”

And the young maiden geek answered and said, “Yea, verily, all prices shall we match. But dost thou think it wise to purchase a product of such largeness and expense in the wilds of the Internets? For behold, thou knowest not what thou shalt actually receive from sellers in the Internets, for oft times they be sketchy.”

And I did say unto her, “The Amazon is a land of great repute and honor, not some guy in his garage.”

And she saith unto me, “Is this so? Is not the Amazon a place where buyers and sellers trade their wares unscrupulously and with deceit?”

And I did reply that this is not so within the Amazon, and that perhaps she thinketh of eBay. And she did say unto me, “I have purchased very little from within the wilds of the Internets, so I know not what manner of merchants there be.” And I did make a mental note not to give my trust to a maiden geek who worketh within the industry of high-tech yet who knoweth not the basic elements of e-commerce. And it came to pass that each thing she did say to me thereafter I did take with salt, and did not trust it to be truthful or authoritative.

And it came to pass that I found the HDTV whose particulars I had inscribed in the City of Circuit; and behold, the price in the land of Best Buy was neither greater nor lesser than the price in the City of Circuit; and I knew not whither I should go to purchase the HDTV.

And behold, as I left the land of Best Buy, I did see also in the same lot for parking a store which is called Video Only, which is a chain of local origin, which selleth nothing save it be televisions and cameras and video equipment, as befits the name Video Only. And I saith to myself: Never before have I entered Video Only. Perchance there are bargains, yea even mighty bargains to be had within.

And it came to pass that I did enter Video Only, whereupon a man of great pleasantness and good cheer did swoop down upon me and befriend me in a loud manner, hailing me with joviality and small talk and tidings of great joy. And I did know that verily, this man worketh on commission.

And I did say unto this man, whose name was Kevin, that I had ventured into the City of Circuit and the land of Best Buy; and now I beseeched him to tell him how it behooveth a man to buy an HDTV from Video Only instead.

And Kevin spake unto me, saying, “Behold, our prices shall be lower than the prices of all other stores; and moreover, our staff shall be in all cases more knowledgeable.”

And he spake further unto me, and he did call me “bro,” and great was the tooliness of Kevin. And he did say unto me, “Dost thou seek a large TV on which to view live sporting events? For verily, if that be the case, thou shouldest consider such a TV as this,” and he specified a particular model which doth produce exceedingly fine images of games of football and baseball, such that the eye can detect in great detail the motion of each athlete, yea, even the jiggling of every butt cheek.

And behold, I saith unto Kevin that I watch not sporting events, and that this was not a consideration for me.

But it came to pass that Kevin did ignore this and did continue to speak glowingly of such an HDTV as befits a sports fan; yea, he did not grasp that a man could own an HDTV and yet not watch sports upon it; for verily, he did consider this to be blasphemy.

And I did grow weary of Kevin, and the tooliness thereof, and I did ask him where I might see the particular HDTV which I had already chosen for myself; and it came to pass that he did lead me to it, and shew it unto me; and I did see that the price thereof was greater than the price in the City of Circuit and the land of Best Buy; yea, verily, two hundred dollars greater.

And it came to pass that I did thank Kevin for his time, and I did depart. And I did note that Video Only selleth also sound systems and speakers, which maketh the name “Video Only” a lie. Behold, I am just saying.

And it came to pass that I was weary and did return home, and thence into the wilds of the Internets. And I did explore deep within the Amazon, and I did find the HDTV I had chosen; and behold, the price in the Amazon was five hundred dollars lower than the price at Video Only, and three hundred dollars less than in the City of Circuit or the land of Best Buy.

And I did cast about the Amazon, seeking knowledge on the price of shipping, and also of handling — for verily, I know from mine own experience that shipping, and also handling, can be exceedingly costly; for behold, that is how they getteth thee. But it came to pass that within the Amazon there were no charges for shipping, nor for handling; nor were there charges of any kind beyond the cost of the HDTV, which was lower than all other stores; nor were there ignorant geek maidens or tooly Kevins or deceitful Codys to ensnare me. And it came to pass that I did see no reason whatsoever that I should not purchase my HDTV from the Amazon, in the wilds of the Internets. And I did purchase it, and it did arrive; and how great was my joy.

But it came to pass that I did mourn somewhat for the stores of brick and mortar; for soon they dieth, for lo, their overhead is great and their income is meager; and their prices are engorged, and great is the apathy of their employees; and wo also unto their “extended warranty” plans, which come from the devil and lie in wait to deceive.

Yea, a store of brick and mortar hath usefulness only to show a man a product with his own eyes and ears and hands, that he may experience it in such a way as he will experience it in his own home. But verily, I say unto you, the time cometh that the Internets shall provide this too. No man knoweth the hour, but it cometh, and when it doth, the City of Circuit and the land of Best Buy and all others like unto them shall be as the dust. And in that day there shall be much rejoicing in the land, for never again shall a man have need to leave his house. And this shall be awesome.


The idea to relate my TV-buying experiences in scriptural language occurred to me when the phrase "desirous that I should obtain an HDTV" popped into my head unbidden. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to use archaic language to tell of brick-and-mortar electronics stores becoming obsolete. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that writing in this style is a total pain. Remind me not to do it again.

The TV I got is a Panasonic Viera 46-inch 1080p plasma HDTV. It enables me to see every crag on Sam Waterston's face. My experiences at Circuit City, Best Buy, Video Only, and Amazon.com all occurred as described herein, though obviously I translated the dialogue into King James English. I knew I was through with Best Buy when the girl didn't know what Amazon.com was.

SnideCast intro & outro: "Technologic," by Daft Punk.

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