Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hate the video phone!

We had it made in the basement.  Walled in concrete, you could escape the heat and be convinced it was already december.  Our TV was fully loaded, featuring both xbox and playstation systems.  Friends came from miles to enjoy hours of game play. Oh, it was summer vacation and nothing could stand in our way. Until, the release of the video phone.. countless times we debated cutting it's wires to ensure not a single incoming call. Yes, it's fair to say: In summer of 2004 we HATED the video phone.

It seemed so innocent at first.  My dad added a simple box on top of our tv.  It certainly didn't stand out as our TV was already lined with peripherals.  Cable box to the left, and two gaming consoles down below.  The Video Phone had a sleek design, and we had no qualms at all allowing it into our entertainment world. We assumed that it would merely be a spectator to us mashing the buttons of our controllers. Then one day it rang.  I can't recall if we were playing Halo or Madden football that day. What I'm sure of is that when we heard the piercing RING of the VP, our ps2 controllers flew out of our hands smashing against concrete as we covered our ears.  Sorenson trying to make CODAs become DEAF?!?!?

Unfortunately, the 120 decibel rings were only our first gripe against the video phone.  It seemed that every Deaf person my dad had ever met were receiving video phones. As my dad engaged in countless hour long conversations, the VP shot my brothers and I a smug grin.  It seemed in fact, that we had become spectators to my father and his Sorenson remote.

We needed to do something.  It seemed wrong, but necessary.  In the heat of a game of madden I saw the glaring light of the VP.  By now I had discovered that this was a warning signal to allow us hearing people to brace for the impact that was about to strike our ears.  After 20 rings, the coast was clear.  My dad did not come downstairs and I was still playing ps2.  However, the Video Phone still had an ace up it's sleeve.  A haunting red dot began to flash to alert a missed call.  This meant one thing for a gaming CODA: as soon as my dad entered the basement I would be giving up the TV for 20+ minutes.  After some time passed I heard familiar foot steps coming down the stair case.  How could I make the red dot stop blinking??  Scrambling for the remote and flipping the input of the tv I scrolled through the VP interface looking for an option to make it STOP. "Who? Who called me?" my dad signed. Foiled again by the device that took over our summer of game play.

We tried many tactics that summer.  Taking out the ethernet plug because we "needed" it for the computer. Accidentally, removing the red and yellow component cables.  All of this proved in vain.  By the end of the summer we were waving the white flag in concession. Those three months we hated the video phone.  Although, as we started to accept this new box on our tv it grew to be part of our lives.  Now, years later, I live in my own apartment.. a part of me misses that ring.

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