I've got a box of VHS tapes in my classroom's closet. Since the average lifespan of a VHS tape is between 8-12 years, I've been transferring the better programs to digital media. It may be hard to believe, but some of these shows aren't on YouTube or Netflix, and I want to preserve them before the tape breaks or the image degrades into snowy static. For instance, the AFI Top 100 programs aren't available on any recorded format. They were only broadcast on network TV.
Most of the programs on these VHS tapes were recorded at home, and I've noticed a trend while checking their labels.
Before we had a DVR, VHS tapes were the only way for us to record our programs. AMC ran their movies commercial free back then, and I'd often spot an old horror movie in the TV guide that I wanted to see uncut, but it was on too late at night. I'd remember to set the VCR to record, but I'd usually forget to check what tape was in the machine.
I don't know how many times Daphne would curl up on the couch expecting to spend some time with the cast of Friends only to be greeted by some guy in a mask with a bloody knife when she pressed "play." I'd hear a wail of disappointment drifting from the TV room, " Oh, Nooooo!" And I knew I was in trouble.
You'd think I'd learn, but...
"Oh, Nooooo!" (I don't think she was the one who recorded a history of Nintendo's greatest creation.)
This time I was the one who wrote, "DAPHNE'S T.V. TAPE!" on the label.
And I still recorded over it.
"Brent? What is this?"
"But Man Vs. Food is in Des Moines this time..."
With her mouth tightened, Daphne fast forwarded the tape so she can watch last night's episode of ER.
"... I thought you wanted to watch Craft in the United States..."
(Brent hangs his head and sighs.) "I'm sorry... again."
Every so often I have to admit that my wife has put up with a lot from me.