Remote control freaks ruin normal TV viewing

Opinion

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SANDRA JOHNSON

The other day, I was sitting at a table in a McDonald's fast food restaurant. I was just about to finish eating my Big Mac when the two ladies sitting next to me changed their conversation to their husbands.


One lady said her husband was constantly changing TV channels with the remote control. The other lady complained about not being able to find the remote control after her husband left the room. Their conversation got me to thinking about my husband and some others who fit a type. From my observations, I can say there exist at least three types of remote control addicts:


1) the channel surfer,


2) the dedicated owner, and


3) the sleeper.


The least annoying is the channel surfer. He can't stand to watch a movie to the end because he needs to play with his toy-the remote control. When a commercial comes on the screen during the movie; it gives him a reason to click from one channel to another. He forgets about time, and he clicks to the menu channel. He goes up and down the menu channel and reads the menu two or three times before going back to the movie channel.


My friend Frank is a channel surfer. After he selects a movie to watch, he begins clicking away to one channel after another as soon as the first commercial comes on. Sometimes he clicks off the movie at the last commercial just before the movie's climax. After having his fun and being dissatisfied and bored with what is on the other channels, he asks his wife, what do you want to watch? His wife wants to see the end of the movie, but she knows the movie has ended, and there are commercials on most of the other channels, so she keeps her mouth shut.


Somewhat more annoying is the dedicated owner. His manner of never letting go of the TV remote control can be surprising. For instance, on an average day, my Uncle Bobby, keeps his remote control close by him at all times. He doesn't want to ask anyone where it is. He lays it on the kitchen table, in view, while he prepares a snack. While watching TV with my aunt, he holds the remote control in one hand and bites off his sandwich and sips beer with the other.


After some time passes, he says to his wife, "I will be gone for a while."


"Where are you going?' she asks.


"I'm going to the bathroom," he says with the remote control in his hand.


Finally, the most annoying is the sleeper. He sleeps with the remote control on his lap because it makes him feel in control at all times. He knows when the remote control is moved from his lap because he doesn't feel in control.


My husband is a sleeper. He falls asleep as soon as he sits in his Lazy-Boy recliner with the remote control on his lap. He doesn't hear the telephone ring or the doorbell. But as soon as I remove the remote control from his lap and change the channel, he wakes up. Staring at the TV screen he says, "I was watching the basketball game." He retrieves the TV remote control and clicks back to the basketball game. In a few minutes, I hear loud snoring and heavy breathing.


It doesn't matter if your husband is a channel surfer, a dedicated owner, or a sleeper, you will never watch what you want with him in the room or out. I don't know what the other two ladies at the McDonald's will do about their situations, but I have had enough. This year, I'm asking for a TV of my own for my 46th wedding anniversary.


Sandra Johnson is a regular columnist for our sister publication, the Austin Weekly News.

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