There I am in the paper #44.

Another article from my column in the Examiner’s Feelgood. It could be called ‘Sky and I… a match definitely not made in Heaven.’

Have you ever looked around and despaired that the more advances we make the more complicated life gets?

I was staying in my mum’s house last Sunday night. Joy, I thought, room to myself, huge television with Sky instead of poverty TV and Victoria about to start.

All I had to do was turn on the television.

Beside me sat three remote controls. One was for Sky so I picked up the larger of the other two and pressed the red button… nothing. The green button… nothing. Every button in sight… Nothing.photo credit: Anders Adermark <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7626777@N02/2311165334">Zapping</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

I picked up the smaller remote and repeated the process, my blood pressure rising just a little as I ranted to the dog about the good old days of one remote control. My button pressing and ranting had no effect on the television.

Surely I’d not have to get up?

I pulled out the batteries from both remotes, then put them back in, as you do when you’re demented. Still nothing.

I stomped the three feet to the television? What sort of a stupid TV was this? It had no buttons. I touched a red light in the corner and magically it came on.

Racing back to my seat I figured the first add break would be on, but better late than never. I picked up the sky remote and scrolled through looking for ITV. No sign of it. I searched ‘other channels’ still no sign. My blood pressure was on the way back up again.

I marched into the other room interrupting the viewing of Blind Date,

‘Do you not have ITV on the other television?’
‘Yes we do,’ Mum replied.
‘Well it’s not there now,’ I hissed.
‘It must be,’ she said, without taking an eye off the TV.

Reminiscent of fifteen year old me, I stormed off. Victoria’s reign would be over at this rate.

Google was my only hope. It sent me to a video of a gentleman giving instructions on how to add ITV to Sky. Unfortunately, by the time he’d finished three minutes later, I was still following his very first instruction, shouting at him to slow down.

Having rewound the video a million times ITV was at last installed, just in time for me to watch the final four minutes of Victoria. I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little agitated as I poured myself a generous measure of wine. Sitting back down I flicked a button to see what else was on, only somehow I’d picked up the wrong remote and with that flick I’d turned the TV off. Once again I found myself sitting opposite a black screen.

I roared, upsetting the dog and my wine. Well at least I knew this remote was for the television. If it can turn it off surely it can turn it on?

I stood up, holding the remote as if it were a gun and imagined blasting that TV into oblivion. I pressed buttons like crazy. Nothing… Dancing with rage I reached for the plugs and yanked all of them out. I coaxed myself to breathe deeply. ‘Relax,’ I thought, ‘just plug them back in and start again. You’re not stupid. You can do this.’ So I did and… still nothing!

‘Really?’ I roared, ‘REALLY?’

In the past hour and a half I’d watched four minutes of television. I imagined the hearty laughs of my children and realised I’d turned into my Grandfather. In years gone by we’d hear the television blaring and when we’d go in to turn it down he’d have the remote control in his hand saying, ‘I don’t know what happened there.’

It was time to admit defeat, to go home and be honest with my family.

‘Gang, I’ve something to tell you. We are never getting a new television or Sky.’

photo credit: Anders Adermark Zapping via photopin (license)

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17 thoughts on “There I am in the paper #44.

    1. Fingers crossed Michael. They don’t even come with proper on/off buttons anymore. I know I’m getting old when I think not all progress is good!

  1. I have old set – 2 remotes – give instructions, “Okay, for this, here’s the volume, here’s the pause for DVD” and “here’s the remote that pauses, volumes, etc., for Roku” – Universal remotes require to many button pushes to make it clear – and – seriously, if you have so many things linked in you now have 1,994, 238 channels to watch and still nothing good on? Well – why bother? LOL

    1. I have a friend who had to give up one night because her son went out but left three remotes in the room and she couldn’t figure any of them out.

        1. Here the first responders have used their fundraising to house a defibrillator in an old, but well done up, telefón box. They hope to acquire three more so there is a lot of nostalgia around the village if you ever called by!

        2. I hope they don’t have to dial 0 for an operator, I know, I know should have left that out… Thanks for the gentle tap on the wrist forgot about the gailge when referring to the green coin box.

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