BY DARREN HANDSCHUH
It was a strangely quiet week at home. A week where the house was silent, where wailing guitars, ringing phones and the constant noise of video games and TV shows were absent.
You see, my wife took the kids and her mom to a wedding in Saskatchewan, leaving me to fend for myself. It was hard, but I dug down deep and did my best to survive a whole week without the chaos of having the kids and all of their friends running around.
The first few days were Nirvana, er, um, I mean it was lonely and I missed them a lot. Sure it was kind of nice not having constant noise, or a mother-in-law calling 386 times a day and there were actually a few leftovers in the fridge, but it was rough and I had to knuckle up and tough it out.
The weirdest part of the entire week was I did not lose the remote for the TV even once.
Not once did I spend half the evening looking for the infernal contraption that allows me to change channels at lightning speed from the comfort of my couch.
Constantly seeing what else is on the boob tube is hardwired into man's genetic make up. Back in the caveman days, our great (and I would imagine smelly) family leader would get a fire going for his brood and would then spend the evening poking it with a stick, moving the logs around etc. which is the caveman version of changing channels.
When TV was introduced, more modern (and hopefully less smelly) family leaders flipped through a couple of channels, but was not obsessed with knowing what is on the next channel – yet.
However, as more channels were added, the more man needed to know what else was on.
Back in the early days of TV, man would have to get off the couch to change the channel, and depending on how strong his desire was to see what else was on, it could be a pretty good workout. Some less athletic men would simply sit close enough to the TV to change the channels without having to leave the comfort of their Lazy Boy.
Then, a great thing happened. It was a day men around the world hailed as one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of the human race. Sure they put a man on the moon and have made medical advances that prolong life, but this was an epic moment that will forever be held high in the lore of human history: the remote control was invented.
What a glorious day that was. Early remote controls had a cable that was just long enough to reach the couch. It was crude technology, but at last man could flip channels to his heart's desire with only the movement of the thumb.
Of course, people would trip over the cable running through the middle of the livingroom, ripping the remote from man's hand causing a spasm, but the next breakthrough was soon to come in the form of a wireless remote.
Channel changing utopia had been reached. No more cables, just man and TV living in harmony. Little did man know the stress such a device would wreak upon the land.
The problem with remotes is they tend to fall between couch cushions, or under magazines, or in other less obvious places causing man to search frantically for the little electric friend. It is a scene played out countless times a day throughout the free world. Only now that man has become dependent on the wireless contraption has its true evil been revealed.
Of course, man could always just pick one show and watch that without the need for a remote, but where's the fun in that.
And don't even get me started on picture in picture.