November 8, 2008

I used to tease my wife when she would refer to the book of etiquette.  I have never been one for caring a lot about what side of the plate my fork is on, or teaching my daughter to curtsy after dinner.  (I don't know if people really do that but it sounded appropriate.)

But there is a new phenomenon that has surfaced in recent years, and it seems appropriate to mention some possible rules for the betterment of all.  That phenomenon?  The tivo, the dvr, the ability to pause live TV.  While there are some GREAT pro's to this, there are many pitfalls that a host needs to be aware of when having guests in the home, and watching TV together.

I humbly submit this first draft of the top three rules and would love to hear your input.  These are NOT directed at any one person, particularly not my father in law Bob who I love and am very grateful for.

Rule #1.  Just because you can push pause, doesn't mean you should.  While a great thought might have just come to your mind, and you have the power to make yourself the center of attention by pausing the fourth quarter of a close basketball game to tell me about something that happened to you last week, please know most of your guests enjoy multi-tasking and can handle keeping up the momentum of the game while listening to you.   When you are alone, push pause a thousand times an hour, go nuts with the pause button.  When you are hosting company, try to limit the pauses to say, 2 an hour.  (This has never happened to me, its just a completely random example.)

Rule #2.  This is more advice than a hard and fast rule.  Not everyone hates commercials.  Some people enjoy them, and when they are suddenly paused, fast forwarded, or the volume muted, often awkward silence ensues as the guest feels weird about asking you to turn up the Geico Caveman Commercial because he loves to hate it.

Rule #3. Again, more just sound advice than a rule, but think of your controllers like potty humor jokes, best to just stay away from them when company is around.

Rule #4.  Sports shows probably know better than you when to replay something great.  They have been doing it a long time, and pay good money for some guys up in a really cool booth to do it, and are probably going to show the replay you just rewound another five times in the next ten minutes.  Be patient, see if they do it so you don't have to.

Well that's a good start.  Would love to get a few more rules from you.  And I'm looking forward to hearing your comments Bob! :) 



  1. woops, guess that was four rules 🙂

  2. couldn’t we sum it all the rules as:


  3. Is it OK to pause for a “getting ice-cream” break?

  4. Well, I have been waiting so long, well actually a couple of days, that I forgot all that I was going to say. I think it has to do with people who like loud music, as opposed to the people who don’t and prefer hymns. Or maybe people who like to go over 60mph. (Don’t you remember what they said in the Gresham Outlook?) I have a killer knack for telling side splitting stories. The problem is that nobody in my family believes that. Buzzing thru commercials is a good use of time. And pausing while telling one of those stories, is just being a good host, in that you won’t miss any of the commentary of the ball game. Since I have just figured out that you hate the pause button, I am going to test your Christianity, and do it, say, 50 times an hour, just to see how you react, and then see if it matches the other side of you, that gets up in front of church sunday after sunday. Is this the response you wanted from me? Or, we could change, and keep the tv off. That would solve the problem. I bet the women would be happy, especially the ones who do not love sports. I GUESS SINCE I NOW KNOW YOU HATE IT, I WILL HAVE TO WORK AT IT. YOU MUST KNOW, I AM A S L O W L E A R NER. Maybe I’ll have a chance of a lifetime. Bob

  5. ok… so got to admit that as I read the opening paragraph, I wondered if this was about Bob 🙂

  6. I love this!! My FIL and my BIL are both so fabulous!

    All I want….it to watch all of the Super Bowl commercials.

    And to continue laughing at all of our idiosyncracies. 🙂

  7. Bob,
    You are awesome, and I guess I should just count my blessings, you do have the best tv I have ever seen and I should realize how good I’ve got it to be able to watch sports on it!! Same thing with the driving, you gave me a truck for crying out loud, you can drive 20 on the freeway for all I care. 🙂

  8. Now we are getting somewhere. It is a little unsettling to air our dirty laundry in public, for peat sake. Now that I know that Kim just wants to watch the superbowl commercials, I can’t wait to show how good I can be. Now that I have Jay right where I want him, how good can it be. I just can’t wait for the next time, when I pause it, hundreds of times. Just kidding. We just finished watching Amazing Race, and my Angel sided with Jay. Now I am in trouble. I will try harder, however, what will happen next, will be, can you please be quiet, I can’t hear the program. Bob

  9. “Airing your dirty laundry, for peat sake”? Ha Ha! That’s funny! Get it? PEAT sake?

    Personally, I think the stories can take place at a more opportune time than in the middle of a game, even if it IS during a commercial … cuz what if the story/joke takes longer than 2 minutes (pretty possible), and now it’s onto the guest to be rude and say, “Ahem, the game’s back on”, therefore making one feel as though the game is more important than the father/brother/grandpa/husband. WHICH OF COURSE IT IS NOT!! Love You Bob!

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