SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – There was a time when life was much simpler, when everyone just sat in front of their TVs and watched a program to its end, and then had to get up and walk to the set when a different channel was desired. Imagine that, feet actually served a purpose. That all changed with the advent of the remote control, adding the term “couch potato” to our vocabulary and allowing us to surf between stations every 3 seconds if desired. What a boon to humankind, even preventing carpets from ever wearing out.
It always struck me funny that whenever we visited our children’s homes they had a bunch of remotes lying around for their TV, DVD, Wii, X-box, Satellite Dish antenna, and God knows what else. I never knew which one to use and more often than not, the wand that was needed couldn’t be found for some reason. They spent more time searching under cushions and beneath the couch than doing anything else, since watching TV had turned into a treasure hunt.
But as always happens with advances in technology, even the folks most resistant to change are eventually dragged, kicking and screaming, into the brave new world. My wife and I of course were the last kids on our block to have one, but upon buying a new TV even we now had a magic wand to search for something to view without having to move anything more than our thumbs. We still didn’t switch channels whenever a commercial appeared, but our backsides most assuredly became rooted in place each evening from then on.
Awhile later our TV service provider gave us a cable box with a remote so we now had 2, and shortly thereafter we received a DVD/VCR player as a gift which added a 3rd to our collection. Our accumulation of wands was steadily increasing but at least each device was made by a different manufacturer so while the things were multiplying as if on their own, at least I always knew which one to use.
Recently however, with the proliferation of “reality” shows sounding a death knell to acceptable TV fair, we decided to sign up for one of those pay-per-view services that provide an almost unlimited amount of commercial-free movies, drama series, and documentaries at a nominal monthly charge. The only thing was that it required the purchase of a “Smart box” to be connected to the TV, and it naturally came with, you guessed it, yet another remote to add to our pile. Holy smokes, that made 4… our table overfloweth with those darn things. No wonder people lose them all the time, being no longer conveniences but rather inconvenient necessities that get strewn all over the place because there are so many. Hmmm, that gave me an idea for an absolutely indispensable commodity that’s sure to make a fortune.
I’m going to manufacture vests for TV viewers that have a gaggle of pockets to hold the wands. Viewers will don the vests before sitting down so all the remotes will be easily accessible and none will ever again get lost or misplaced. It’s a natural and best of all, the garments will not come with a wand.