Being grateful for remote controls should probably be easy for anyone. Anyone over the age of 30 that is.
The first TV that I remember is sketchy on detail like make and model, but I remember exactly where it was placed. We can’t have been the only family to have a great big nonfunctioning wooden console TV in the living room. And if that’s true then we certainly can’t have been the only ones to place the new TV right on top of the old one. But how many of y’all had a nice lace doily between them? The point is that there was no remote control for either one of them. So it’s time to chillax and you’ve gotten the rabbit ears situated. You’ve burrowed deep into the corner of the couch. And you realize after a long commercial break that Knots Landing doesn’t come on this channel. Oh, the humanity!
Of course, once you got up and stumbled over to the TV set(s) at least you only had three or maybe four channels to try before you found your choice in programming. Now re-adjust the rabbit ears. Tweak the vertical hold knob. And then burrow back into the couch with a blanket in your hand and hope in your heart. At this point fate would decide your further viewing. If this wasn’t the channel that Carson came on then you would just watch Arsenio. And heaven help if the volume wasn’t high enough. Y’all can just strain your ears ‘cause I ain’t getting back up.
The next TV we bought was a very sweet Panasonic with cool clicky chrome buttons. But it didn’t have a remote either. This one got some of that cable-vision hooked up to it. This was a good thing in the sense that there was more to watch, but a decidedly bad thing in that by this time I was old enough to stand beside it and tap the chrome “Channel +” button until something was declared good. They don’t make TV’s that solid anymore. It kept humming along in our frugal household until well after remote controls had become commonplace. It was still in the living room when I left for college. No kidding.
Fast forward to the present and everything from the ceiling fan down has a remote. When we moved into our first house we had a TV, satellite receiver, DVD player, and VCR all hooked up together. The four remotes were lined up on the coffee table like little entertainment soldiers, aimed and ready to fire. We went from controller poverty to an embarrassment of remote riches. But our story doesn’t end here.
Behold the universal remote! Now this is a thing for which to be thankful. Especially in a house with something like six children or so. When they lose the remote, it’s never to be found again. If I had to track down a manufacturer replacement remote then there would be trouble. The trouble being that I am as frugal as my parents were. So we would have no remote and my kids would get to learn what my childhood was like.