“Grandpa, tell me again the way video worked in the old days. You know, back when you were a kid!”
The old man chuckled as he rocked the child on his withered knee. “Timmy, we didn’t call it video. It was television or TV.”
The child squirmed angrily. “Tell me, grandpa! Tell me about TV!”
“Alright, young pup. I’ve told this story so many times. I still can’t believe you want to hear it again …”
“I do! I do!” interrupted the child.
“… but here goes. The TV was a box we kept in a special room. Just like we usually keep the refrigerator in the kitchen.”
The kid nodded, indicating he understood the strange concept.
“Television wasn’t something you did at your computer. Or carry around in your pocket.” The old man pointed at the device held in tiny hands on which Timmy’s total attention was affixed.
“Sure, it took a minute for the TV to warm up. But once it did, you could turn a thing called a dial as fast as you wanted. Oh no. There were no remote controls back then. You had to earn it. The point is, if you listen, goddamn it, that the picture would change just as fast as you could turn that dial.”
The old man paused for dramatic effect.
“Back then,” he whispered conspiratorially, “there was not such thing as … loading.” He punctuated the sentence by spitting on the floor.
An angry female shout came from the other room. “Pops!! Cut that out.”
Gramps had to get in the last word. “Pah! That’s before you youngins came along with your so-called digital and ruined it all.”