The Snowy Screens
Illustrated by Emma Murphy-Furze
For some reason, none of my elementary teachers could ever figure out how to play a video on the school televisions.They would always ask the same kid in the back of the classroom to come help them. The rest of us would just stare at the screen until the snow disappeared, replaced by the menu screen of the movie.
It was not something I had thought too much about; in fact, I had not seen a snowy screen in a very long time. Today I watch most of my shows or movies on the internet where even small glitches seem to rarely happen anymore. But a few days ago my dad decided to buy a satellite for the television upstairs, and I found myself staring at snow again. I also saw tiny scars that would pop in and out of the image, green matrix lines sneaking in from one side, long bands passing through the screen, making it look as if someone was pushing on the image and pulling a part of it upward. Then there was the sound, the stuttering and broken sentences that were sometimes more comprehensible than others.
Years ago these little things had once been irritating, but now they were fascinating. They threw me back into a time I had not remembered for a while but that made up a part of my childhood; a time when my friends and I would make up names, which I do not even remember, for each type of glitch that passed through the screen; a time when my sister and I cried in anger because a show had glitched in the middle of a good part, or laughed at the humorous image the TV was creating.
It is not exactly something that I missed; in fact, it did not take very long to remember why it was annoying, but it was something that made me reminisce. Growing up in the middle of drastic technical changes, I witnessed glitches almost everywhere, and not only on televisions. The snow covered screen and all of its cousins will always be a part of the childhood I lived.