I hadn’t seen “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” in a while, so I thought I’d surprise my wife by loading it up on the DVD player one night when there wasn’t any sport to watch. But as soon as it started playing, I noticed that the images were all fuzzy. Suddenly, I realized that the Blu-ray DVD I had loaded was in fact Blu-ray 3-D.
I had completely forgotten that my TV was one of those overpriced 3-D models I purchased a few years back during that embarrassing era of national hysteria when everyone thought 3-D was the wave of the future. I hadn’t watched a film in 3-D for at least five years. Neither has anybody else.
Waxing nostalgic for a past I could just barely remember, I went looking for the 3-D glasses I needed to watch the film. I never found them; they probably went out in the trash years ago. But the experience did get me to wondering how many of my other appliances contain features that I have simply forgotten about.
The results floored me. The secret camera hidden in the teddy bear that I used to use to keep an eye on the kids is still operational, so I can start using it to find out how squirrels are getting into the attic. The bathtub in the guest bathroom has a whirlpool that I never knew about because I have never been a guest in the house I have lived in since 1993. My paleolithic CD player has a shuffle button that allows me to go instantaneously from hearing “The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” to “Highway to Hell,” something that last occurred in 1998.
And my 17-year-old Toyota Sienna has separate heating controls for the back seat. Because I have never been in the back seat of my minivan, and because I basically never let anyone into my minivan period, I had no idea that this function existed.