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Home » Archives » May 2006 » Sorry, JVC, but it's simply true
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05/11/2006: Sorry, JVC, but it's simply true

I do believe I finally own a working DVD player/burner. The kind I want, with the VCR built into it to, so I can move stuff from video tape to disc. This means that the first thing I wrote that aired -- my episode of "Dinosaurs" with the commercials in it -- won't be rendered unwatchable by time. Well, it will. Just a longer amount of time.

But, oh my, the struggle I've had getting one of these devices! I literally had three of them break on me. Three! A little internet investigation showed that one of them -- a sleek little model that simply blinked "loading" for days on end and refused to do anything else -- was universally troubled. Many people who bought one had the same problem. Don't you think they'd check this out in the factory? And then, once they realized they'd sold something that wasnt so much a DVD burner as it was a dim lamp with a bulb shaped like the word "loading," don't you think they'd want to do something about it? Like, say, buy it back? That's what you do when you've offered something of doubtful quality.

This is why the following joke form is known throughout the business as the "buy back." This is, again, from the unproduced Animated Buffy series. Here Buffy has just inappropriately used her Slayer-Strength on the volleyball court, so she vows to restrain herself:

Sure. Okay. I can hold back. Call me Dairy Queen, 'cuz here comes a soft serve.
Sorry, that was kinda lame.

The buy back raises a fairly deep question. If you're going to tell a joke, then claim it wasn't funny -- why tell it? The answer is that you tell it to reveal character. The pun here is or isn't funny depending on your taste. But it's interesting to all, because we learn that Buffy was momentarily proud, then ashamed of it. The joke takes you on a little tour of Buffy's head. "Hey, here's a funny pun! Yikes, I just went out on a limb with a pun."

So if you decide to use a buy back, make sure it's right for the character, and for the mood they're in. Because you're not just showing off your own brain, you're telling us something important about theirs.

Lunch: tofu weiners with sauerkraut.


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