Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VHS Tapes: A Limerick

VHS Tapes

You've survived through the ages,
Even while the DVD/Blu-Ray battle rages.
Although you have to look pretty far
To find a VCR,
The ones who created you were sages.

Sitting in my living room right now is a giant box filled with VHS tapes from my childhood. And ya know what? They all still work great. They've been dropped on the floor, stepped on, and thrown at my sister's face countless times, but they seem to be unbreakable. They always play! I won't lie, I've seen a couple VHS tapes get ruined over the years - mostly as a result of the VCR eating the tape. But that is nothing compared to the hundreds of DVDs I've attempted to watch with scratches, skips, and incompatible software. Every VHS can be played on any VCR. I currently have in my possession numerous DVDs that cannot be played by my XBOX or DVD player, but can be played with my laptop (only one of the three laptops). That is outrageous!

Whenever you stop a VHS to go run outside and play, you don't have to worry about your mom coming along, shutting off the VCR, and losing your spot. VHS tapes just stay put! And that is awesome. You didn't have to navigate through a clunky scene-selector, you just push play.

Looking back, VHS tapes did have some flaws. They are HUGE. But this didn't really matter at the time, since before VHS, the only time you could watch a movie was when it was in theaters or if it happened to be on tv. If my little brother hadn't been able to watch, rewind, and rewatch Toy Story 17 times per day, I'm not sure my sister and I would have let him survive to see his fifth birthday.

They also didn't let you skip straight to a particular section of the movie. Each movie had a couple of previews at the beginning, which could have annoyed other people, but my sister and I used to pick out a random movie and have the other one guess what it was just by the previews. Bonding moment! Don't want to watch them? Who cares?! Just fast-forward for a minute, you lazy turd.

Although tapes seem nearly indestructible, if you watch a movie enough times it will explode into a pile of useless plastic. But DVDs do the same thing in a much shorter time. Some of my VHS tapes are 22 years old and counting. And that's pretty damn good, if you ask me.

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