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The Bawl Of The Smartass TV

A customer walks into a showroom and the TV says, “Hey, big spender. Come spend a little time with me.”

The customer replies, “Of all the TVs on the wall, why should I spend any time with you?”

The TV answers, “Because I’m not just any TV. I’m really smart. I not only tune channels but I can stream, surf, download, Skype and text, all at the same time. I speak Bluetooth. I’m Wi-Fi-ready and mobile app-enabled. My onboard menus display in 140 languages. My IQ’s so bright, my lumens are off the chart.”

Customer: “That’s all well and good, but can you show me the big game?”

Smartass TV: “Are you kidding? I can show it to you in 3D. I’ve got gobs of memory to reshow any play. I can call up player stats on demand. I can bounce fans’ hoots from the stadium to your back wall and back. You want an immersive experience? I can put you in the center of the action!”

Customer: “But all I want is a big picture.”

Smartass TV: “I’m available in sizes up to 72 inches, buddy.  If I was any bigger, you couldn’t get me through the door. Take me home and I’ll install myself, even feng shui my own setup. Look at what you’re getting here: Two million pixels. Contrast from here to infinity. A bezel you can believe in. Listen, mister, I know you’ve got good taste, deep pockets …”

Customer: “Hey, I’m not such a big spender, and I don’t need some TV to sweet-talk me. What I want is the sweetest deal you can offer. The TV next to you is just as big and $200 less.”

Smartass TV: “You don’t want that TV. That TV is so dumb it doesn’t know a USB from a butt connector. It’s so lame it thinks Wi-Fi is a wide fry. Look, dude, you don’t appreciate how well-connected I am. I’ve got so many ports coming out of my rear that even a sailor needs a road map. I can call up Netflix, call in Facebook, pick up Pandora, pull in YouTube, you name it. I can shower you with weather, stocks, movie times; let you design a custom pizza, try on virtual shoes, get a date. I know how to upgrade myself. I’m worth every cent, man!”

Customer: “Look, I don’t care how smart you are. I’m not going to pay any more than what I spent on my iPad.”

Smartass TV: “That’s crazy talk, man! That punk has a screen that even my picture-in-picture dwarfs. My stand has more substance than that entire tablet. My display can be shared with a whole couch-load of viewers. You can scarcely get one face in front of an iPad. I’ve got built-in speakers that play to the entire room and a remote control with more buttons than you can count. What does that runt have? One squeaky speaker, one proprietary port! Give me a break. That half-pint belongs at the kiddy table.”

Customer: “Stop complaining. But tell me, what’s your model number, again?”

Smartass TV: “What are you doing, guy? Is that a smartphone you’re pulling out of your pocket?”

Customer: “Yeah. Just want to see if I can get a better price off the Internet.”

Smartass TV: “Damn it. You’re showrooming! You’re just in here to kick my tires, press my buttons and then buy one of my brothers from some rival where they don’t even sweep the floor, turn on the lights or pay taxes. I get it. You’re using me. You’re like all the rest of those deadbeats who come through here raising my hopes, then disappointing me with a touch to your cruel little shopping app. It’s unfair, and it isn’t right.”

Customer: “Sorry, Charlie. Gotta go. I just got an email that my new TV is being delivered in the next two hours. Thanks for the help. See ya.”

Smartass TV: “Good riddance! [Sigh] Sometimes it’s depressing being so smart.”


Michael Antonoff is based in New York City and writes about technology.