We were living in a tawdry universe of expensive mediocre television but we didn’t know what to do about it. We needed an intervention. That’s when the Daves stepped up.

The Daves were our first tenants in the rental house next door. My Dave (Old Dave) and I needed new friends, because of that attrition thing, and we didn’t know how to work the Grumblr and OKCupThis apps, so we just bought a house and rented it out, and it’s been one big unbroken stream of spectacular humans ever since. The Daves started us off, 22 years ago. As has been the case with every tenant we’ve had since, they fulfilled our requirement to be awesome and our friends forever.

So Dave W was over for dinner the other day and I happened to mention I had no idea what to do about the TV situation. Too many choices. Too goddamn many choices. Too many devices. Too many ways to go wrong. I had consumer paralysis.

Dave W, because it’s how he is, immediately popped up and said he’d fix me up. A minute later he’s checking out our old TV and taking photos of the connections and whatnot and shortly thereafter he had Other Dave on the line and they conferred and they wanted to know what we like to watch—Movies? Horror? Baseball? News? Real Housewives? Porn? etc., and all I knew was it could be anything, but should include Family Feud. And since I needed a new TV, all I could contribute to the conversation was that it shouldn’t be too big. I don’t want the TV to dominate the room.

I knew to mention this because we visited Other Dave right after he got his TV. We don’t have a wall in this house that TV would fit on. It was appalling. It was terrifying. That television could qualify you to hang out a shingle for dermatology. You have to sit well back so the actors can’t actually spit on you. A screen that big is a shrine to sloth. I’d like to pretend to having a life, anyway.

“Okay, 48 inches then—that’s about as small as you can get,” he said, and sent me a link to buy a TV, which I did, slated to land on my porch the next day, because that’s how things work now. And a Roku soundbar which, being smaller, shot directly into our living room and winged the cat as soon as I entered the security code for my credit card. I felt calm until I opened the front door the next day and there on the porch was an ape shaking a bone, in the shadow of a massive box. My smallest-possible TV had arrived.

A few days later, during which time the box hulked in the house and freaked out the cat so bad she quit using the litter box, Dave W showed back up in person to disbox the TV and make it go. Other Dave was looped in from Pittsburgh for the consult and remained a disembodied voice, not that there’s anything wrong with his body, just sayin’.

Fortunately a lot of the box was taken up by closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam doing a short rotation before retiring to eternal life in the ocean. The television wasn’t as big as it looked. Everything’s working. We’re still learning how to suck the amazing shows out of space, but we’re getting used to it. We’ve got Roku, Haiku, Hulu, and Hoohoo. Our old TV is sulking in the dining room now until it finds a home.

It looks really, really, really small.