Saturday, December 27, 2003

You never know what you'll find on the PVR ...

Editor's Note: Cap'n Ken is nobody you know, especially if you came to this story from an E-Mail the fire victim sent you. In fact, Cap'n Ken's name isn't even "Ken", much less "Kenny". His real name is "Fred". And you don't know him. Promise.

One of the first things I do when the wife and I get home from a trip is fire up the DishPVR 721 and weed out some of the crap (Comedy Central weekend stuff that runs instead of The Daily Show, the five airings of each South Park episode I somehow end up with, etc.) that was sucked out of the sky while we were gone.

And so, upon returning from our NashVegas Christmas this evening, I began the PVR cleansing. I almost erased yesterday's Fox 5 Atlanta 6 p.m. news (I grab it daily in case any actual news ever happens locally), but then I decided to run the first few minutes just to see if anything big has been doing on down here.

The lead story was the return to the ice of Dany Heatley, the Thrashers star who killed a teammate in his Ferrari a few months back. Then a story about some robbery/murder in Cherokee County, followed by a piece on an Atlanta guy who got shot and killed in an I-10 drive-by near a Mississippi casino.

Nothing too exciting so far ...

The next piece was about an apartment fire. For those of you not familiar with Atlanta news, our TV stations live for fucking apartment fires. A (big) blaze in Roswell last week got 45 minutes of live coverage during Fox 5 news.

So I'm thinking "yeah, yeah ... apartment fire" and I hit the 30-second advance button on the remote. The next image to pop in to the frame was, in fact, my best friend sitting outside said burning apartment.

I backed the story up and discover that, yes, this was his apartment. The story was that with his help, the fire department was able to rescue his dog and three other dogs (and a parrot) from another apartment. And there he was, on my TV, talking about the fire, the dogs, etc.

Needless to say, this was a shock. I tried to get him on his cellphone, but got voicemail. I figured it was our typical Sprint-to-Sprint experience of the phone never actually ringing before getting to voicemail, but I also thought there was a good chance his PCS phone was now little more than a hunk of charcoal.

I finally got to talk to him after leaving messages for his girlfriend. Fortunately, the actual flames were across the hall, but his apartment got a lot of smoke and a good bit of water.

And, as it turns out, the "heroic firefighters rescue dogs" story went more like "dog owner screams at asshat firefighters until they let him go in and get his dog."

But only in the age of the PVR could I leave a voicemail saying "Hey man, I just got home and saw yesterday's news ..."

The first thing he said when he called me back was "Why the fuck do you TiVo the news?"

Not looking like such a stupid idea today, is it buddy?


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