My brand brain hurts.

Remember when Johnny Carson would take vacation and Jay Leno or someone else would host the show instead? That concept is known as a guest-host.

Johnny Carson

In November, my parents-in-law visited Costa Rica for a month, pioneering the post-modern concept of a host-guest. This would be akin to Johnny Carson being interviewed by Jay Leno during one of the guest-host stints, and telling Leno all the things he’s doing wrong with his show.

Since we’re staying at their house for a year at a very reasonable rate,  let me preface this comment by saying I think my parents-in-law are great, but a host-guest situation would be difficult for anyone to handle. I couldn’t imagine the things I would say to our tenant in England if she had us over at her (our?) flat for a week.

One example of host-guest-ness: one of the things taken in the September burglary was my parents-in-law’s lovely Sharp 32″ LCD TV.  Expatriates in Costa Rica have a special name for flat-screen TV’s: Burglar Bait. They’re big and expensive, but surprisingly portable, with excellent resale value.

When deciding on a replacement for the stolen flat-screen, I opted for a regular (non-burglar-bait) heavy LG television. My rationale:

  1. It’s way heavier than a burglar bait TV
  2. It’s a “thin-profile” standard TV, meaning it fits nicely on the piece of furniture previously hosting the flat-screen.
  3. The local cable company doesn’t supply an HD signal, so we would have to watch standard broadcasts anyway. And those in the know know standard broadcasts look better on old TV’s than flat-screens.
  4. I have yet to find a Costa Rican retailer that sells Blu-Ray DVD players or Blu-ray DVD’s, which look good on flat-screens. Regular DVD players playing regular DVD’s try to look good on flat-screens, but typically look a bit crap.

A few days after the robbery, I confirmed on the phone with my wife’s mother that this would be ok.

On her first evening as host-guest in November, she denied all recollection of such confirmation. She said it didn’t look good.  I explained my logic of (a) the HD futility and (b) the burglaristic danger of flat-screens in Costa Rica (as above).

Her response: “I don’t really care what it looks like on. I want a TV that looks good when it’s off.”


Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. i hate to do this, but i have to agree with the mother-in-law. nothing ruins a room like a TV… all logic aside…

  2. I’m with Anna on this one, most definately. x x

  3. Hmm, I get the tv as home decor thing. I get Anna’s point. How very practical and sensible of you George, but really, if ya have to have a big tv in a room it should look good. I can hear her saying the quote above, made me chuckle… but I do empathize too.

  4. I must say, I agree with both. I agree with you mother-in-law about the desired home decor appeal. But I’m a functionalist as yourself. So I try and find a product that satisfies both. Too bad they didn’t still offer this slimfit LG on the market.

    Speaking of TVs, it looks like Samsung has a bit of a model number issue on their hands. Complete mess….I’m so confused. 🙂

  5. That superslim model IS the one we got. I guess I’m learning about the differences between the way people perceive things.

  6. Fantastic! If I wire you some cash, are you able to bring one of those beauties back to Waterloo with you? 🙂

    CRT is by far the superior TV technology for picture quality. It was unfortunate, as the model was discontinued in Canada when I went to purchase it – and I couldn’t suffice with a beaten up floor model. Thin was in…and CRT was out due to limitations on bulk and size.

    Flat screen TVs are definitely positionned more as “wall art” these days. And it’s definitely a case in which consumption differs. I have had many friends who have spoken about the need for “a tv hanging over the fireplace” – only to end up on the old TV cabinet like you mention above. Great for the TV industry!

    I must admit, the design of the bezel has become just as important to me as the picture. Hence the reason I have a hard time looking at Panasonic’s these days….even though they are technically superior in many ways. Hmmmm…..

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