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Holiday Blues

By: Barrett Kersterlian

It is summer again and its time to go through one of the worst nightmares a person can go through. Yes, I am talking about home video, a plague that has been brought upon humanity by clever Japanese scientists who invented the VCR. It is that time of the year when your numerous friends and relatives will invite you to their house in order to have the pleasure of watching the video they "produced" on their recent holiday trip to God knows where.

In order to lure you to their house your friends or relatives will usually add dinner on the repertoire which, however, consists of pizza, an easy to serve, quick to eat food. Your hosts chose this for two reasons:

  1. It is readily available on any street corner, thus relieving them of the task of cooking something, thus giving them time to arrange their holiday photos in such a manner in order for them to make a supplementary material to their presentation.
  2. You can eat pizza in 23 seconds per slice thus giving all of you more time to enjoy the video.

I must point out a fact that you already know. Holiday videos last around 14,352 hours which is a mystery since the actual duration of their holiday counting from the time they stepped out of their house to the time they stepped back in is much less than that.

Your typical home video starts with scene from the recent birthday party of one of their children that lasts around 2.4 seconds until you see the typical snowy lines. At this point your hosts who from now on will be either talking in unison or complementing each other just like in a bad episode of "Moonlighting", will apologize for not erasing the birthday segment completely but will drone along about the birthday party for at least half an hour!

The first scene of the "holiday segment" on the video is the inevitable "airplane wing out of a window". I am sure that even if people go on a cruise in the Caribbean on board the Princess, their videos would still contain a "wing out of an airplane".

This, of course, is followed by a sudden shaken-up scene containing, amongst others:

  1. a leg
  2. the back of a seat

Ah! You know its landing time!!!!

Why do people think that others will find it fascinating to watch them pick up their luggage from an airport carousel is beyond me but that scene is included in the video, all 45 boring minutes of it.

I would like to state that what follows is a magnificent piece of film making that would put even Steven Spielberg to shame but that would be an utter lie. What follows is a complete mess. What you will witness is an incomprehensible collection of random scenes consisting of a restaurant, a segment that apparently involves dancing, a segment where your friends/relatives are obviously pretending that they are having the time of their life, a boat/train/bus/bicycle ride and some attempts of filming a historic landmark.

Leaving aside the fact that the subject of the video is boring (after all its a film about your friends for Gods sake, what did you expect!!!), the picture is still pretty bad, technically speaking. The lighting is constantly wrong, so is the angle and the timing. But the real ugly part is when the cameramen (remember he/she is your friend) attempts to use some of those cretin features available on these Japanese video cameras whereby you (not me, you won't catch me doing it) may create effects on the film such as split screens, rotating pictures, stylish blending of scenes etc. etc.

But, sadly, your friend never actually read the manual and thus his knowledge of operating that damn machines is slightly less than what his knowledge is on eye surgery (unless of course he is an eye surgeon!!).

The sound accompanying this video can best be described as a cacophony. However, these incomprehensible sounds are just right for the incomprehensible pictures on the TV. But all along this ordeal your friends/relatives will be giving you a live, right to the point narrative of their video.

Suppose your friend's names are Bethel and Tom. The following is a list of comments they will make during the segment where they have attempted to shoot the Statue of Liberty which is swaying violently in the picture frame from left to right. This, of course, is because of one of the following two reasons:

  1. At the precise moment when Tom was filming, New York was being shaken by an Earthquake measuring (judging from the swaying of the statue) around 78 on the Richter scale.
  2. They were on a boat on their way to the statue.

List of comments:

The evening will eventually come to and end. That is inevitable. However, you will be invited to watch the remaining segment the following night. You just pray that at least there will be some left-over pizza.

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