I Haven’t the Remotest
As much as i bend over backwards to avoid hurting others’ feelings or irritating anyone, I have a suspicion that I will make some folks unhappy today, especially women. But, I think it’s time someone stepped up to the plate and told the truth. And, it looks like I’m the designated truth teller here.
The subject at hand is the TV remote. Now, men have been getting a bad rap (or is that “wrap”) for years wh en it comes to their flippant (get it, a pun) attitude towards the remote. Men are accused of running non-stop through the channels and not ever staying on one channel long enough to know what’s going on. I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that either women are worse than men, or else my wife is really a guy. I’m hoping it’s the former.
My wife, bless her heart, has to have the remote in her hand if she’s anywhere near the TV. Even if she’s not watching, she wants to control the remote. And, if we’re lying in bed watching television late at night, her last act before she falls asleep is to roll over and wedge the remote between her body and the bed, so that even after she’s sawing logs, there’s still no way I can control the remote.
My wife, bless her heart, has a really weird, woman-like way of using the remote, too. For instance, let’s say she’s flipping through the channels. Now, admittedly, she doesn’t go as quickly as I do through them, but here is what she will do. She’ll flip to a program. And leave that program on just long enough for me to get involved. And just as the detective says, “I have figured out who murdered Colonel Mustard. It has to be…” FLIP. I’m not lying. She does it every time.
And I’ll tell you something else. Remember, now, we have this pact, you and me…we don’t mention these columns to my wife. Okay? She never reads ’em, unless someone says, “Oh, you’ll never guess what Steve said about you.” Anyway, here’s my little secret. I think she knows full well what she’s doing. I think it’s a form of torture.
It’s particularly bad when I’m trying to watch a baseball game. I love baseball. If I’m watching, she’ll come in the room and tenderly take my hand, and after she’s pried my fingers open, she’ll take the remote. She’ll hold it…tauntingly, as if to say, “I have it. Don’t make me use it.”
After a few minutes, I’ll relax, as much as a man can relax when he’s watching TV and his wife is holding the remote. I’ll get involved in the game. And, just as the Braves are about to stage a fantastic comeback, with the bases loaded and Chipper Jones at the plate, with a count of 3 and 2, and here comes the pitch. FLIP.
I kid you not. Now don’t tell me she doesn’t understand baseball. She understands just fine, thank you.
She also does the FLIP when I’m watching the news. You know how the news guys love to tease us. She’s in on it. The newscaster will say, “You’ll never guess who was assassinated tonight. Full details when we come back.” Then we’ll watch the fifteen commercials and then the news will finally come back on and the guy says, “A horrible tragedy tonight.” FLIP. If I had been married in 1963, I probably still wouldn’t know that Kennedy was dead.
But it’s not just her flipping. It’s what she’ll choose to flip to. She has an uncanny ability to flip to a channel that’s as uninteresting as the previous channel was interesting. Last night, for instance, my wife, bless her heart, decided, while I was trying to watch David Letterman, to switch to Arthur. Now, I’m not talking about the Dudley Moore movie. I’m talking about the animated adventures of Arthur the Aardvark, which has to be the cutest, sweetest, most boring show on TV. I never knew my wife was so enthralled with Arthur. She lay there watching it for fifteen minutes, while I keep reminding her that Letterman is on. At least I thought she was watching it until I heard her snoring.
Of course, by that time, the remote was nestled safely under her body. So there I was, just me and Arthur. The show was pretty good. You see, Emily really wanted this sparkly ball that D.W. found, so she tells a little white lie about how Marie-Helene actually gave it to her. No harm done, right? But then Emily has to tell even bigger lies to cover her story! Have you seen that one?