Monday, December 04, 2006

Remote controlled

It’s amazing how we have become too dependent on the TV remote. We use it to turn the TV on/off and to change the channel, and get very upset when it goes missing. Nobody likes to leave the couch and walk three steps to push a TV button. WHERE IS THE DARN REMOTE CONTROL???

When the remote control goes missing, you are sure to hear whining or complaining or blaming in our living room. Okay, who was the last one to use it?... Did anyone take it to his bedroom?... Check the washroom!...Grrr... I, too, get annoyed if I can’t find it, as in, right now! I don’t watch too much TV so I sort of expect to have it easy whenever it’s my turn to vegetate on the couch to watch my favourite programs. I want to have the remote control handy.

Our TV remote is overused and abused. Dropped on the floor. Sat on. Stepped on. Stuck in a side of the couch. Mischievously thrown like a pillow at someone, only harder... Repeatedly tapped on the couch or on one’s hand when not responding. Thus, signs of wear and tear are all over our remote. It is cracked and broken in certain places.

When we thought its life was over and it was needing more than new batteries, I had the urge to fix it. Even though it was not too much to buy one, I wanted to save the old one that came with the TV when we bought it. Besides, I couldn’t wait for a new one. My show was coming up. So I decided to open the remote control. I used a teeny weeny screwdriver to open up its back. The remote’s inside parts were not as complicated as I thought. I taped the broken part that held the batteries in place, put the screws back on. It worked!!

“Guys, the remote is fixed. You have to be gentle with it. I just taped the thing inside,” I warned the kids.

We were careful at the start, then people forgot about the tape. The remote stopped working again and it looked even worse with bigger cracks and holes. I cracked it open—no more using the screwdriver this time—put more masking tape inside and duct tape outside. The gray duct tape blended well with the gray case of the remote. I got it to work again.

“You can throw this around now. I put a lot of tape around the batteries and on the outside,” I told the guys. Seeing the bandaged gadget, my sons asked me, “Mom, what if you need to change the batteries?” “Then I’ll do it over,” I said.

A few days later, it stopped working again. The remote failed to withstand the shaking, the tapping and the throwing around as I said it would. Frustrated and challenged, I untaped and retaped everything, this time making sure everything was secured in place. It worked again.

“This won’t be broken anymore,” I told the kids. “Mom, what if I hammered it?” Markus asked. Anything but that!!

Now that our old remote is working again, even though it looks pathetic with duct tape all over, I’m no longer thinking of buying a new one. It will likely suffer the same fate anyway.

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