Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vertical Hold

It's hard to believe but there were no remote controls in the 70's and 80's. Wait, I lied, there was one in our house. Before you become impressed with the advanced technology living in my childhood home, I will let you in on the secret of the very earliest remote control.

It was me.

My parents had a rule that if they called for me, wherever I was in the house or outside, I was expected to come and see what they wanted. It was a matter of respect.

Or in my Dad's case it was a matter of needing someone to see if the Steelers were playing on Channel 2 or 4 that day.

I still remember a day I was on the third level of our split-level house and he was in the bottom level Family Room. He began yelling for me and as I groaned and rolled off my bed, the yelling escalated into veritable bellows. I was certain I would find someone had entered the sliding glass doors from the back yard and was brutally beating him.

When I came charging into the room I found him in his usual position, reclining comfortably in his La-Z-Boy recliner (genuine Naugahyde - no FAKE Naugas for us! No sirree!).

"The television's rolling again. Fix it for me."

He'll never know how close he came to patricide.

Anyway, I've attempted to instill this same sense of respect in my own children. Unfortunately their father provides them with a seriously poor example. The man can sit and appear to not have heard a word I've said when I've repeated the same information three times. And when I pointedly say it a bit louder and in a way he cannot ignore (slapping upside the head can do wonders for the attention span) he says "I heard you the first time!"

So I've come to accept that I could be bleeding out from a head wound on the basement floor and the only one that might respond is the dog, assuming she wasn't already sleeping.

Yeah, I'm on my own with the head wound. The dog ain't coming either.


Dani said...

Well I can say that my parents never used me or my brother as a remote, but we did have family friends whose dad would bellow for one of the kids to come turn the channel at all hours of day and night. So apparently you were not alone.

I remember when my aunt & uncle (our neighbors) got some pay channels and had a "remote" on a cord that slid up and down to pick the channels, that was a big deal!

Of course, now we have to search for the remotes! Amazing how fast those little suckers can disappear.

Irishembi said...

So I wasn't the only unpaid channel changing slave!

We've got THREE remotes. BIG ones. And we can rarely locate one of them.

Norkio said...

Well Mary Beth, I am with you in my husband's ability to ignore me and my possible problems. When we moved into this house in 05 there was a day that I wanted to just kill him...if I could get to him. The second floor has a balcony in the front and the doors closed, locking me outside on the balcony. I knew he was downstairs doing something with his mom who lived with us at the time. I called the dog over to the doors and got him to start barking his fool head off by offering treats.

John called to the dog to shut up and he ran off for the treats.

So then I started stomping on the floor. For fifteen minutes. Nothing.

Finally, a neighbor came out of *his* house and I called to him, asked him to go to my door and tell my husband that I was locked out upstairs. How embarrassing!

That pounding on the floor? John and my MIL thought I was hanging pictures. I swear to goodness, it's a good thing I wasn't injured.