February 19, 2007


Remotely Sad

We had a black armband weekend around here. The guy who invented the remote control died, and the boys were suitably sad. They have lost a hero.

When we were kids, we'd just sit there and stare at whatever came on after the Brady Bunch. We'd fight about who had to get up to change the channel on the old Electrohome (if memory serves) and later on the first colour TV that graced our rec room. Mom used to bribe us to change the channel.

The remote seems to represent a little piece of heaven to men especially. We fight here regarding music and shows, because I just put in a CD or movie, and let it run. The boys (and the man) flip around like fish in a boat, resting on one thing for a nanosecond before they're off again like some butterfly with ADD. They download a single song from some band. I buy the whole CD. And listen to it. I watch the coming attractions before movies. The Poor Sod Who Lives With Me frantically jabs away at the fast forward, gnashing his teeth when he can't zip past them. I shrug.

Watching TV with any of them is enough to bring on a flash induced seizure. Terrified they're missing something, somewhere, they jump around from show to show in the commercials. I yell at them. You put something on, and you leave it.

Every time I muck with it, I end up watching something with Spanish subtitles. The boys gently remove the remote from my hand, reset it all, and never give it back. We call whoever has the remote The Keeper of the Beeper. Yeah, we call it a beeper. Don't ask why; I have no idea.

I think I liked life before the remote. We ended up finding cool shows we never would have known about, simply because my sisters and I were fighting. As I recall, everyone had a smaller butt back then as well.

Coincidence? I think not.

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