I learned yesterday that my DVR mysteriously un-programmed all my series recordings. This is not an insignificant number, by the way; I have come to detest watching TV shows “live” and dealing with commercials, so I’ve got everything programmed. Take Thursday night, for example: I love NBC’s comedy lineup, but I won’t start Community until, say, 8:25. That way I can zip through that, plus The Big Bang Theory on CBS, The Office, and Parks & Recreation without being bothered by ads. Ironic, considering I majored in Advertising in college. Do you suppose technology has made us all a little bit ADD these days?
Apparently, this bizarre memory wipe happened sometime last week, but I failed to notice until yesterday afternoon, and only because my dad started talking about an episode of Hawaii Five-O that I had not seen – and I watch that show religiously. Then, a Facebook post mentioned Ricky Gervais‘s guest appearance on The Office. Hmm. I’d checked my DVR’s scheduled recordings at the beginning of the week and saw there was nothing programmed, so I’d assumed all the shows I watch were repeats. Oops. Dismayed by this turn of events, I went in and had to manually reprogram all my series recordings again, while wondering what I may have missed along the way. I did catch that Hawaii Five-O ep my dad mentioned. Thank goodness for On Demand.
I’m left wondering how this could possibly have happened, though. I’ve had a DVR for years now, and it has always worked perfectly fine – as punctual and reliable as an alarm clock. Must be some glitch in the flux capacitor. Oddly enough, strange things have been happening around my house for over a week now.
One night last week, the smoke detectors went off, screaming and wailing at 4:30 AM. There is nothing more frightening than being roused from a deep sleep by the sound of a smoke detector. I leaped out of bed in a wild panic, sure that my townhouse was burning down. Before I could make it to the bedroom door, the alarm quit just as suddenly as it started. Six long, very loud beeps and it was done. Satisfied that it had been a weird malfunction, I pulled the covers up and went back to sleep. Or tried to, anyway – but two minutes later, the same thing happened again. I was more annoyed than scared now, and figured it must have been a dying battery in one of the units – although that’s a hell of a way to let you know it’s time to change it. I resigned myself to having to fetch the ladder from the garage and figure out which smoke detector was acting up while bleary eyed with sleep, but fortunately that was the end of that and the alarm never went off again. Eventually I fell back asleep. The next morning Rusty and Audrey asked, “Did you hear the smoke detectors last night?!” as soon as I came downstairs. Children, folks in Idaho heard those damn things. I suppose if I were a good father I’d have checked on them afterwards – or, you know, at least felt the door to see if it was hot, thereby ensuring the alarms were really false ones – but my down comforter was calling for me something fierce.
And then, a couple of nights ago, I awoke with a jolt because my bed had been shaking. So hard, I assumed we’d just had an earthquake. I noted the time – 11:53 PM – and nearly got up to check the news online, but I figured it could wait until morning. When I got up the next day, I immediately powered up the laptop and Googled Portland earthquake. There were links to a few past earthquakes, but nothing relating to the previous night’s temblor. How odd, I thought. I went directly to one of the local news station’s websites to find the story – but again, came up blank. Finally I accessed the USGS itself, and was forced to come to the bizarre conclusion that there had not, in fact, been an earthquake the night before. Which I guess means I imagined the whole thing. Well, isn’t that comforting! Or maybe I was having a really bad dream – or a really good one. If that’s the case, it sucks, because I can’t remember a thing about it.
I guess I’ll just file it all away into the Weird Happenings bin and see if anything else unexplainable goes down in the near future.
Oh, something else did happen last week, but it was humorous more than anything else. There’s a 50s-themed burger joint/diner down the street a ways called Boppin’ Bo’s Malt Shop & Grill. I had a coupon for $4 off per burger, which is a pretty good deal, so I decided to splurge and take the kids out to dinner. I figured, unemployed or not, if I can feed the three of us for $15 that’s too good to pass up. Better yet, I became a fan on Facebook right before we left, and they were advertising the following on their page:
Boppin’ Bo’s Malt Shop and Grill Become a Fan of Boppin’ Bo’s on Facebook and receive one free Ice Cream Sundae with your meal (one per tableup to $6.95), just say the key words “Snow Bunny” to your server. Check back monthly for more specails for all of our Facebook friends new and old!!
So we got there and enjoyed our meal, and then I told the kids that I knew “a secret password” to get us a free ice cream sundae. They looked at me skeptically, but I assured them it would work. It had to. Facebook told me it would.
Our waitress arrived with the check and asked if there was anything else we wanted. I looked at her slyly, nodded my head in a fashion befitting Joey Tribbiani from Friends, and said, “I would like something else, snow bunny.”
“Oh, really?” she replied with a nervous little chuckle. “A snow bunny…like a little figurine?”
I assumed she was just yanking my chain for show, trying to make me look bad in front of the kids (who by now were on the verge of all-out laughter).
“I think you know what I mean, snow bunny,” I said again, and this time may even have thrown in a little wink for good measure.
Only she had no idea what I meant and, clearly a little creeped out by my sudden and inexplainable dastardly flirtations, laid the check down and began to excuse herself.
“Wait!” I said, ignoring Rusty and Audrey, who were now flat-out laughing over my seemingly embarrassing miscue. “I’m supposed to say snow bunny to you and get something good!”
Well, that didn’t help matters and came out sounding all sorts of wrong, so I quickly filled her in on the restaurant’s Facebook page and the free offer it promised. She looked mildly relieved that I hadn’t been trying some lame come-on by calling her by a cute pet name when our relationship had not even progressed beyond server/customer yet, and said she’d go check with the manager. A minute later she returned to say that, yes, the deal was valid, and remarked that it would have been nice to have been informed of the special considering she was an employee and whatnot.
Five minutes later, armed with three spoons, the kids and I devoured the most gigantic and delicious ice cream sundae this side of the Mississippi absolutely free of charge. It was worth a little bit of embarrassment. The truth is, our waitress – my snow bunny – was pretty cute. I don’t mind that I accidentally flirted with her. She can be the Rachel to my Joey any old day.
Still, for my troubles, I made sure to eat the cherry on top before the kids could get to it.