Playing a game of “Pause Face”

When digital video recorders first arrived on the scene several years ago, one of the most-promoted features was the ability to pause live TV. Why anybody would want to do this, I failed at first to understand. Then I bought one, realized I had to go to the bathroom, and it all became clear to me.

Now, I’m using the pause feature all the time, and not just to take care of the occasional call of nature (which, at my age, can involve any number of things urgently trying to exit my body). I also use it to skip annoying commercials, draw out the drama of a field goal attempt, or look up the dresses of starlets trying to modestly sit down on talk shows. It’s one of those modern innovations you didn’t realize you needed until it came along, and now you can’t live without it.

One of my favorite activities playing with the DVR is a game my son and I call “Pause Face.” We take turns holding the remote and try to freeze whatever talking head is on screen at a particular moment in an especially comical expression or gesture. Whoever can capture the most awkward and/or ridiculous image wins the game. The only rule we have: No fair using Donald Trump, who’d be an automatic winner no matter what he was doing.

Here are some recent examples that we managed to capture:

Former president Jimmy Carter nods off when he remembers he's 86 years old.

Regis Philbin picks his nose on national television.
Christina Aguilera attempts to swallow an entire microphone.
Paul Shaffer simultaneously rocks out and receives a digital rectal exam.
Steve Martin marvels at the wonder of a passing bird.
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