Opinion: An alternative narrative


Most cable systems have a feature called Video Description. A narrator describes what is going on during scenes, allowing the visually impaired to fully enjoy the show. For example, if you are watching a cop show, you might hear:

Narrator: “Sergeant Voight removes the gun from his holster and places it on the desk.”

The other day I hit the wrong button and accidentally enabled the Video Description feature. We tried everything, but we couldn’t turn it off. Eventually, we just closed our eyes. That was way simpler than Googling: How do I silence the guy who keeps telling us what is happening in the scene when we can see it ourselves?

I wonder what a Video Description would be like if someone narrated a day in the lives of the Wolfsies. It would start with breakfast.

“Dick, would you like some fresh-pressed carrot and spinach juice?”

“Sure. Thanks!”

Narrator: “While Mary Ellen moves to the other side of the kitchen to feed the cat, Dick pours the green liquid down the drain, then smiles, holding up the empty glass and pretending he drank it in one gulp.”

Later in the car:

“Dick, this is our exit coming up.”

“Oh! Thank you, Mary Ellen. Or should I call you Siri?”

Narrator: “Mary Ellen glances out the passenger window. Dick shakes his head, annoyed that Mary Ellen thought he couldn’t find their own neighborhood.”

At dinner:

“Dick, please sit closer to the table. I don’t want any spaghetti sauce to spill on our new carpet.”

“Don’t worry, I’m very careful when I eat.”

Narrator: “Mary Ellen begins to talk to their son, Brett. Dick notices that some marinara sauce landed on the floor. Mary Ellen sees Dick stealing a glance at the mess. Dick bends down to blot the red stain. Mary Ellen points to the floor and mouths the words, ‘Look, he did it again,’ to Brett.”

The next morning:

“Mary Ellen, I can’t find my cellphone.”

“Sometimes you leave it in your robe pocket. Did you look there?”

“Of course, that’s the first place I looked.”

Narrator: “Mary Ellen goes to front door to get the newspaper. Dick runs into the bathroom and finds his phone in his robe pocket, then runs back to the living room and sticks the phone between the couch cushions. Mary Ellen returns.”

“Hey, guess what: I found it here in the couch.”

Narrator: “Mary Ellen turns away and rolls her eyes. The camera follows Dick to the basement where he sits at his computer and begins his column for this week, all about Video Descriptions.”