It’s that time of year again, and my hockey-widow of a wife is once more frothing at the mouth over my DVR habits. Well, not so much my DVR habits as my insistence on information blackouts until I’ve watched what I’ve taped. If the New York Rangers make the finals, I suspect I’ll be sleeping on the couch before the last round begins.
Polite company would describe me as a hockey enthusiast. The less complimentary descriptions from impolite company (i.e., my wife) don’t bear repeating. In any event, my team of choice is the Rangers. With the playoffs underway and my favorite club embroiled in a second round battle with the Washington Capitals, I’m glued to my TV set almost every night. I don’t always watch the finishes live, however, especially when I’ve got work to do early the next morning. On those occasions, I tape the third periods and any overtimes and view them sometime the following day.
Until I’ve had a chance to play a recording, particularly of a Rangers’ game, I take precautions to ensure I won’t inadvertently hear the final score. I don’t choose any TV station which conceivably discusses sports. Nor do I listen to the radio, lest a sports segment air before I can change the station. Even more importantly, I disable my cell phone’s data features to prevent anyone from sending a text message or e-mail mentioning the game’s result. Last, but by no means least, I assiduously shun the internet, since my browser’s home page contains the latest news.
There’s only one way to reach me when I’m in information avoidance mode – via telephone. Even there, when I miss a call, I don’t retrieve the voicemail message until after I’ve seen the game’s recording.
My temporary withdrawal from the world irks my wife greatly. She complains whenever I don’t respond to her texts or e-mails because I haven’t yet watched a tape. When I tell her to use the phone if she needs to reach me at those times, she always answers: “How am I supposed to know when there’s a hockey game you haven’t finished watching?!”
When citing the detriments of my news blockade, Sophia likes to present dire, theoretical scenarios. What if her car breaks down? What if a rapist stalks her in a parking lot? What if she’s rushed to the emergency room? What if someone in her family dies? Then there’s her latest “what if,” the one she used this afternoon. What if she flies home a day early from a business trip, and I miss the text message, e-mail, and voicemail she sends with her new itinerary … so that I can pick her up at the airport?
The answer to her last hypothetical seemed an easy one: “Take a cab!” I know Sophia’s taxi driver thought so, as he acknowledged when I paid him.