Saturday, April 10, 2010

By Remote Control

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Remotes It's a running gag on commercials, TV shows, and in comics that men hog the TV remote.  We buck the trend in this house.  The truth is, we don't watch all that much network TV.  I'm pretty sure my husband has no idea which remote even turns on the TV.  That's not surprising, since we have five remotes sitting on the coffee table.

FIVE? 

Yup, five.  One is for the TV. One is for the DVD.  One is for the DVD/VHS machine.  One is for the DVD that we use as a CD player, and one is for the amplifier we use WITH that DVD player.  Three of them are black, and two of them are gray.  I must admit that on more than one occasion I've picked up the Doh wrong gray one trying to get the DVD player to play, only to discover I'm using the wrong one.

Talk about a Homer Simpson moment!

I pretty much take care of all of these machines. (And hook them up as they come and go.  For some reason, we have gone through a LOT of VHS and DVD machines.  And it's not like we jump on them or anything.)  Some of these remotes are really cool, and one of them (the newest one) doesn't even have a power button.  (What's with that?)  To turn on the machine, you have to bend down and press the power button--not easy to do when you have two artificial knees.  (That's where I come in.  I'm really good at pressing buttons--no brag, just fact.)

But lately I've noticed that the TV remote is getting cranky.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  We bought the set soon after we moved into our house, so it's at least 16 years old.  It's a Sony and the picture is just as good today as it was when we bought it.  (I still have my first Sony TV and only stopped using it when digital replaced analog TV.  I should hook it up to a DVD player and watch movies while I cook.  Hmmm...yet another remote?)  When flipping channels, you can go from channel 3 up--but you can't go from channel 23 down.  You can punch in any number you want, but that gets to be a pain after a while.  (Gosh, am I spoiled, or what?)

Anyway, I'm concerned that the TV will far outlive the remote--then what will we do?  Will I have to actually get up and cross the room to change the channel one day, or will I have to get a universal remote that I can't figure out how to use?

I think we should stick to watching DVDs.

What's your remote situation?