My buddy Dave and I go back a bit. He is a photographer and we used to go on assignment together when we were working for a number of area music-related publications. Dave lives up to his streetwise New York roots, with lots of bluster and loudmouthedness. He's proud to be a walking stereotype. (You should go to Dodger game with him.) Along with his generally good musical knowledge and superb photographer's eye, Dave is, somewhere in there, a good guy. I think. And, as far as humans go, he has been a best buddy. (Though my true best friend is a cat.) Dave is also a Luddite. When it comes to any object that must be plugged into an AC outlet and/or connected to other such objects, his IQ plummets lower than that of a tomato's. If it's a box and it has an "On" switch somewhere on the front panel, Dave wilts in fear. (In 2000, Dave even still had doubts DVD was as popular as I was telling him. Why? Because I was the only person he knew who owned a DVD player.) Don't bother trying to explain any of the current display technologies to him, either. When he's ready to spring for something new, he'll turn to me as usual. He longs for a simple plug-and-play world with no interconnects, speaker wires, or settop boxes. Which brings us to last Friday. He wanted to enjoy this home-theater experience he is now hearing about from others besides me. "Jack, do you have The Lord of the Rings on DVD?" he asked eagerly earlier in the week. "No, Dave, I don't get into fantasy. You know that," I said. The voice on the other end grew silent. "But it's a great movie, Jack. I'd love to come over and see what it's like on your system," he continued. I then told him I have hundreds and hundreds of other titles from which to choose. He then offered to rent the disc and bring it over. "I don't play scratched-up rental discs in any of my players," I insisted. After much blathering on his part, I told him I know someone who might own a copy and that, despite my strictly enforced policy of neither lending nor borrowing DVDs, I'd ask her if I could borrow her copy. Sure enough, my other friend owns the disc and brought it over. She also said to me, "Jack, I can assure you you're not going to like this movie." "It's for Dave, Erin," I replied forlornly. So Friday evening arrives. I order a killer pizza from what may be the finest pizzeria in Los Angeles. As we sit down in my kitchen, Dave blurts out that he feels like he's "on display." "I don't like using window shades in the kitchen, Dave. Shall I turn off the lights?" I'm beginning to grow uneasy. Dave often misdirects his complaints and usually does so at inappropriate moments. And then the film rolled. I let Dave sit in the Captain's Chair, as I wanted him to experience Dolby Digital 5.1 in the sweetspot. As the movie unspooled, I even left the room when I wanted a smoke (out of consideration for him). Dave was clearly getting into it all. Three or four times he yammered about how great the sound was. And I suffered through the movie. When the final credit rolled, I excitedly hit Stop and removed the disc. I was expecting more praise for the Bijou Briggs experience. Instead, Dave says ... "Jack, the sound is just great and three-dimensional. But you know what my only criticism is?" Bristling, I said, "No, Dave. What might you have not liked?" "You need a bigger screen." "Thank you, Dave," I said, maintaining my composure and the smile on my face with aplomb. He soon left. And then the anger set in. Here is this twit who owns a seventeen-year-old, 19-inch Sylvania with coax inputs only and an old VCR to keep it company, and he has the audacity to criticize a Sony WEGA? My Sony WEGA? After showing him a movie I did not like, which came after a pizza I paid for? My anger went into cascade mode during the weekend. Only a few bottles of Pacifico Clara were able to hold my contempt and rage in check. But I am still pissed. I don't even want to talk to the guy. Dear Ann Landers, am I wrong to feel this way?