It started simply and innocently enough. Melissa asked her boyfriend Tim if he wanted to watch something with her.
“Hey, feel like watching something? We have a ton of stuff on our queues we could watch,” Melissa asked. “I don’t know what I’m in the mood for though.”
Tim, a 35 year old door to door doorknob salesman, told Melissa he was “down to watch anything” she wanted. What neither of them could possibly known at the time, though, was that Tim’s nonchalance and Melissa’s noncommittal decision to let Tim make the selection would lead to what felt like the longest twelve hours of their lives. That’s how long the pair have been trying to find something to watch, and they’ve bounced into and out of the five paid streaming services they use multiple times in the process.
“Hold on, let’s go check Hunu again. NeatFlix obviously isn’t doing it for us,” Tim said around the start of the second hour of searching for a show to watch. “There’s tons of stuff on there, but nothing’s really grabbing either of us, so we shouldn’t waste any more time scrolling through the selections. We’ve tried the Suggested For You, Trending, and Just Added lists, and there’s nothing there for us. Since neither one of us want to hit our queue, let’s see if Hunu’s got what we’re looking for.”
Melissa shot Tim a look of confusion.
“But we’ve already checked Hunu, Tim,” Melissa reminded him. “Don’t you remember? Half an hour ago. And you said since you don’t feel like watching a competition show right now, that leaves out The Intonation and Robert’s Hamburgers.”
But, she obliged him anyway, and Melissa opened up the Hunu app on their smart TV.
“Okay, let’s see if we missed something the first couple times we checked this app,” Melissa said, starting to scroll.
Thirty minutes and countless synopses later, Tim and Melissa were nowhere close to a decision. They decided to try Amazin’ Prime next. Melissa closed Hunu and launched Amazin’ Prime.
“We pay a hundred bucks a year for this service, so there’s got to be something on it we want to watch right now,” Tim supposed. “There’s just gotta be.”
However, two hours of searching didn’t turn up much more than content Amazin’ had bought from YouTube, a handful of 80’s sitcoms, and some low-budget documentaries that didn’t really interest either one of them. They’d struck out again.
“We’ve been at it for five and a half hours now,” Melissa said at one point. “I’m getting exhausted just looking for something to watch. How about HOB? Did we watch the latest Tamp Down on Your High Spirits? Seeing David Lawrence play Bernie Sanders on the last episode of Live Comedy on Saturday Night reminded me that we might have a new episode to watch.”
Tim said that sounded “just fine” to him, so Melissa opened up up the HOB Now app. When they got to the Tamp Down on Your High Spirits series page though, they found they’d already watched that week’s episode. They must’ve forgotten. Maybe it was the night they did mescaline and watched each other masturbate while they ate Chinese food off each other’s bodies.
“Damn it! We’re never gonna find something to watch,” Tim groaned. “It’s been nine hours! Nine hours of scrolling! Nine hours of reading! We’re not even close to figuring out what to watch. I’m going to go take a shower, maybe then I’ll have a clear enough head to pick something out to watch with you.”
When Tim got out of the shower, he found Melissa asleep on the couch. He picked up the remote and the sound of him starting up the NeatFlix app startled his girlfriend awake. Melissa looked at the clock. It was now ten hours since they started looking for something to watch.
“This is it, Tim. This is it. We have to find it on this app and we have to find it soon,” Melissa said, still half-asleep. “I know we can do it. Let’s just dig in, suck it up, and find something to watch!”
Two hours later, they were still unsure which program to watch. But, they’d managed to narrow down their options to five shows. Tim suggested they start flipping a coin and eliminating shows from their shortlist. Melissa agreed this was the best way to go. After a series of coin flips, the couple finally turned to one another and sighed a deep sigh of relief. They’d done it. Twelve hours, fourteen minutes, and thirty-eight seconds after they’d started, they knew exactly what they were going to watch now.
Then Tim had a series of strokes and died. The remote was still in his hand as the coroner arrived and put his body in the body bag. One of the EMTs who had arrived on the scene to help noticed that NeatFlix was on.
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” the EMT said with a comforting tone in his voice. “Want me to stay a little while and sit with you? We can just watch something on NeatFlix if you want?”
Melissa nodded, still in shock.
“Okay, great,” the EMT said. “What do you feel like watching?”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.