Originally created 04/29/01

Recordings round out differences



The first time we air a rerun it's a "classic." The second time it's an "encore presentation."

- WTBS explanation

It goes without saying that men and women need each other to complete their shortcomings.

The prime example I offer is TV movies.

Most men I know have spent much of the past decade wearing out VCRs and taping program after program featuring the under-appreciated film work of Arnold and Sean and Clint.

Yes, get a search warrant and go snooping through the top shelves of America's manly closets and you will find row on row of video cassettes, all carefully taped off TV.

These usually include the standard classics - the Diehard series, Rocky I-V, John Wayne Westerns and an assorted offering featuring a Belushi brother.

But if you ask the man how much he enjoys his collection of cinema virility, you might get him to admit he really hasn't watched any of it. Yet.

Squirrels collect acorns. Burt Reynolds collects hairpieces. And most of the rest of us collect a staggering amount of videotaped movies, awaiting the time when we'll need to watch them.

I am not sure why.

Maybe we really, really do plan on viewing them the next day, only to get distracted with that Family-Work-Life thing.

Perhaps there is an unspoken fear that we'll be bedridden for several months and unable to read. Then the movies will be there for us.

Maybe it's some deep, genetic longing - like hand tools. We love to acquire them - no, we feel compelled to collect them - on the chance that one day they might come in handy.

But they rarely do.

On the other hand, I have noticed women seldom videotape anything.

When I married a decade ago, I found my wife had only three or four videotapes shoved in the back of the cabinet on which her TV was perched.

One was the middle installment of one of those made-for-TV series, starring Richard Chamberlain. Another featured a Wimbledon tennis match. A third seemed to be the 11 o'clock news, saved for posterity on a night in which absolutely nothing newsworthy happened.

I suspect that women don't like VCRs. Oh, they'll use one to watch a movie, but it won't be one they recorded.

And here is where it gets odd. While a man will videotape a movie, then never watch it, a woman will watch the same movie on TV again and again, but never tape it.

If the weekend has a quiet hour, I can usually find my wife screening her own Susan Sarandon-Helen Hunt-Julia Roberts femme festival. I do not exaggerate when I say she has seen Pretty Woman 20 times.

"You watching that again?" I'll ask from the hallway.

"Go away," she'll say curtly from the chair.

I do, walking off and muttering, "What's the big deal about Julia Roberts?"

She settles back, rewinds the tape to where I interrupted, and thinks to herself, "What's he got against Richard Gere?"

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.