Hear the word "dirty" and all sorts of images might pop into your brain. There's the most literal meaning, which might involve actual dirt…your kids playing in the mud or something, or maybe pigs flopping around in some slop. You might think of something more on the erotic side, with a flirtatious couple talking "dirty" to each other while enjoying a private moment. Maybe it's a couple of kids telling "dirty" jokes that their parents might not think they're not old enough to be telling. Maybe it's more on the negative side, with someone getting away with a "dirty" trick or playing a game in "dirty" fashion, with a late hit or a cheap shot. Or maybe when you hear the word "dirty," you can't help but start humming the iconic hip-hop tune from a few years ago by the rapper Chamillionaire: "They see me rollin', they're hatin', patrollin', tryin' to catch my ridin' dirty. Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty, tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty…"
Until a couple weeks ago, any one of those images relating to "dirty" could have randomly popped into my mind upon hearing the word.
And while the good folks at Webster's Dictionary probably don't know what it means, exactly, to ride "dirty," it's a safe bet "dirty" in the dictionary is followed by many of the definitions mentioned in this column's first paragraph. But the Webster crew needs to print up a new, special edition and add another meaning. Or maybe no words are necessary; maybe they should just add a picture of me, with a morose, dreadful and guilty look on my face.
You see, I bought the new Dish Network Hopper satellite TV system for our home. And not only did this dirty man buy the new Dish Network Hopper system for our home, I also agreed to purchase the Hopper system equipped with something known as the "Sling." So what's the "Sling"? Well, by owning the Hopper with "Sling," my family can watch anything we want through our Dish Network system on any other device we own that has access to the Internet. That includes the laptop computer in the kitchen, a tablet and three smart phones. Anywhere in the world, we can turn on our "Dish Anywhere" app on our phones or visit Dish Anywhere on the web and watch anything we want.
Mike Jobe is a local Dish Network retailer and installer. We bought a new TV in December but our old Dish Network system came equipped with only one high-definition signal. I told Mike I needed a new Dish system with a second HD signal, but didn't want anything fancy. He showed up with the Hopper, and yours truly - who a few short months ago dedicated most of a column to making fun of the redneck, hillbilly, simple-minded sloth angle that the Dish Network brass unleashed upon humanity in the form of the "Hopper" advertising campaign – almost ran screaming from the house. I didn't need the Hopper. I didn't want the Hopper. I had to be man of principle.
Page 2 of 2 - To which, Mike responded – sensibly, I might add – if we were buying a new system we might as well have the latest available technology, and that was the Hopper with the "Sling" technology. He'd yet to even install one, he said, and was curious about what it was capable of doing.
So what's it capable of doing? It's capable of compelling me to show just about everyone I come in contact with how I can watch anything I want anywhere I want on my smart phone by accessing that virtual, techno "cloud" floating out there somewhere in cyberspace.
At the end of my little demonstration, reactions range from the envious – "That is so cool!" – to the sympathetic – "You may be the saddest loser I've ever known. Don't speak to me again."
To date, I don't think I've watched TV on my smart phone via Dish Anywhere for more than 30 seconds. The guilt is too crushing, and I find myself immediately forcing images of my wife and children to pop into my head so I can think of reasons to go on living.
Have you seen the latest "Hopper" commercial on TV? No matter where the pathetic family with the Hopper w/Sling system is in their house – on the steps, on a bed, at the kitchen table, etc. – whatever they're sitting on is transformed into a makeshift recliner as every member of the family praises the Hopper's capabilities. It ends with grandpa, sitting on the toilet, of course, which reclines, sending his bare legs and pants pulled down to his ankles into the air while he's watching TV on his smart phone. "Shut up!" he yells. "I'm tryin' to watch TV!"
I bought the Hopper. With the "Sling." I have Dish Anywhere. That family in the commercial? They're my people now. My peers.
My wife and sons, my wife and sons…my…wife…and…sons.