Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I used to have control over my life – and the TV in the living room.  All I had to do was push a button and instantly had 3 or 4 channels.  I could choose from nightly news, a family sitcom, or a Hallmark movie.

Next came cable – and a remote to go with it.  I was still able to push an on/off button and discovered the Animal Planet, Sesame Street for the kids, and a plethora of sports for the husband.

Then the husband wanted a satellite dish because he said we could watch movies at night – oh goodie, the same movie every night for a month, sometimes back to back.  Satellite gave us choices – out of 998 channels, 901 of them were infomercials – do I want to grill a chicken in 15 minutes or wash my face with grapefruit.  With satellite came another remote.  If the wrong button was pushed, I would end up with a little box that said “no signal” floating around the TV screen.  I never could get the two remotes straight, let alone push the right buttons. 

Several years ago the daughter gave us a DVD player – said she was bringing us into the 21st Century.  Along with that came yet ANOTHER REMOTE.  That made 3 that we had to try to keep away from the dog.

For Christmas, the brother gave us a DVD movie to watch.  I was all ready to watch the movie, but forgot which buttons to push.  Armed with 2 remotes, my glasses, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight, for the life of me, I couldn’t get the movie on the TV screen.  I called tech support (the son) and he told me to press the input button several times – that did not work.  He even offered to help me if I would download FaceTime on my Mac so we could video chat.  Yeah, right!  I can’t figure out how to work a little 2 by 8 device – and he wants me to video chat. 

In walks the husband.  Men are born with a remote in each hand, and their superior attitude makes you believe they understand how all remotes work.  In reality, all they do is push buttons randomly until something appears on the screen, then smugly sit down, remotes armed and ready to channel surf.  What he really got was a TV screen covered with lists of acronyms, numbers, arrows, and snow.  After a few words with each other, he handed me the remotes and told me to figure it out as he walked out of the room.  I turned the TV off and read a book – at least I had control over turning the pages.

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