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Spending $19,999 on a TV set takes lunacy to new level
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The consumer electronics gadget show in Las Vegas is wasted on me.

Call me a cheapskate but I can’t picture spending $19,999 on an LG Electronics 84-inch Ultra HD flat screen TV. Nor can I get too excited about forking over $1,250 for a camera that can take 3D-like photos. And I can’t quite see the value in spending $350 for a Lego-made, iPhone-controlled robot that can strike somebody like a snake. Whatever happened to kids playing hide and seek? Whoops, they probably have an app for that.

I admit I don’t have a Blu-Ray DVD player. But then again I’ve never owned a VCR.

There was even a three-year stretch in my life where I didn’t have a TV.

So you can understand why I’m not the least bit excited that Dish Network Corp. has just rolled out a new device that can stream TV shows so that they can be relayed to your iPad anywhere you go.

I wouldn’t go as far as calling TV an “idiot box” as some do, although I do believe there are idiots who are in charge of programming. How many “reality” TV shows do we need where we point cameras 24/7 at egoistical people? If they were acting natural they’d be fairly boring, like Jim Carey in “The Truman Show.” Folks, it isn’t reality if people know there is a camera there.

As for the genre of shrink-style shows who in their right mind airs their dirty laundry in exchange for a pair of round trip tickets and hotel accommodations?

If you’ve seen one skateboarder taking a spill or one baby throwing up in somebody’s face, you’ve seen them all.

Shows with sexual innuendo, cuss words and raunchy rap music are about as shocking anymore as a politician lying.

Is any of that worth spending $19,999 to bring into your home? Sorry, but Snooki of Jersey Shore fame would not look any less disgusting bigger-than-life in high definition on an 85-inch screen than she does on a 32-inch screen

You could argue that shows like Jerry Springer, that for some reason have a longer shelf life than Spam, would be more appealing on the old TV sets that were three feet wide with a 10-inch screen.

I guess you could see my threshold of monetary pain since the last TV set I bought was $250. Besides, if I had $19,999 I could buy the equivalent of 10 square miles of homes in Detroit.

Back when I was still married we decided to splurge on a new TV set. People thought we were a tad strange because for years we had a 14-inch TV and it was kept in the bedroom.

When we went shopping, we set a $500 limit.

After hitting seven different stores, we decided to stop into The Good Guys.

It was back when big flat screen TVs had just hit the market.

I quickly looked at one and moved on but Cynthia stopped, liked the looks of it, glanced at the price and then suggested we might want to increase our threshold of pain a little.

I looked one more time at the price tag just as a salesman started hovering over us.

“That’s a comma, not a decimal,” I said, as I pointed to the $7,500 price tag.

The salesmen quickly interjected, “we sell two of those babies a week.”

Without missing a beat I shot right back that, “I make it a policy not to spend more on a TV set than my dad did on his first house.”

That house in Roseville, by the way, is still standing 60 years later. Odds are the flat screen was junked eight years ago.


This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.