Eugene Polley, at the tender age of 96, passed away last week.
He was the inventor of the remote control. My husband did not react to the news..as I thought he would. I mean, if you can't live without the remote..shouldn't you show some grief at this time? Not even a tear?
A few days ago, I wanted to share some quality time with my husband. So, rather than play Pogo.Com games, I suggested, that after dinner, we talk. He didn't quite understand what that meant, since there was nothing to talk about. He suggested, instead, that we watch some TV, together. I agreed, hoping that we would have an exchange of ideas at the conclusion of the show.
We sat on our cozy couch, in the dimly lit den; at which point, he reached for the remote. The remote control turned out to be the cell phone! We giggled. He looked around; surveying the furniture for the remote. I suggested, since he was walking around the room, at this time, that he manually turn on the TV. He looked at me, as if I were nuts. I guess he found my suggestion absurd, because he squinted his eyes, shook his head from left to right, and asked in disbelief.."Are you kidding me?"
I really wasn't kidding, but I said nothing. "Can you help me look for the darn thing?" he asked in a demanding voice. I got up and looked behind the toss pillows and between the cushions. Nothing was to be found. His entire demeanor began to change.
"Can't we watch TV without the remote? Do we need the remote to turn it on?" My questions were sincere. I had never thought of it before, but certainly, there must be another way of turning on the TV ! He did not answer me, but I realized he was angry, when I started touching the side of the TV screen, feeling for buttons.
"What are you doing?!" he asked nervously.
"I'm turning on the TV," adding, "the old fashion way!" I smiled and waited for his reply.
"Listen, unless we find the remote we are NOT watching TV! Who will change the channel?" he asked. He looked pale, and was talking funny.
"Huh?" I didn't get it. What was the big deal? "You will put on a station and we will watch it, until it's over! No one will change the station," I answered. Maybe our grandkids had hidden it in their toy box. Maybe it was brought into another room. Maybe it was under some article of clothing that was draped over the chair in the far corner of the room. Having fallen to the floor, maybe it was kicked, inadvertently under the couch. The possibilities were endless! However, I was too tired to play 'search & rescue the remote.' I glanced at him..he looked like a little kid who had no one to play [with].
"When the kids come over tomorrow, I will have them look for it," I said.
Upset, he replied, "Fine, I'm going upstairs." I knew what that meant. It meant he would lay on our bed, with his head propped up on three pillows, facing the bedroom TV. His 'beloved remote' would be in his left hand. His TV viewing would be varied. (j/k) During this time, he will jump around..between CSI, CSI-N.Y., Law & Order, CSI-Miami, and possibly, (during commercial breaks) visit the History Channel for some Hatfields & McCoys! Returning to his original programming, he might stop at Holmes for Homes, or Storage Wars. All these shows delight my heart. Not.
I played some Scrabble and after awhile, went upstairs. He was asleep. The tricky part was removing the remote from his hand. He holds it in such a way, that each finger has an assigned position. The thumb and pinkie cradle the remote, while the others are in charge of the volume and the channel-selection buttons. I slowly turn off the bedroom light. I tippy toe around the bed and ever so gingerly, attempt to slide the remote out of his hand. He stirs, slightly. I stop! I continue trying, ever so gently. His deep breathing turns into rumbling. Frightened, I stop! His rhythmic breathing returns to normal. Determined, I continue and I succeed! I walk around to my side of the bed, and get in, not disturbing him. I click off the TV. It's a game I play every night. Actually, it's a challenge! Can I separate the man from his treasured remote, without awakening him?!