A wise man once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. While I agree with this to an extent, I feel the definition of insanity is more likely buying a new television, and expecting the same results as the old one!
It was decided at my house (not by me) that our old television just didn’t have it anymore. The television was now 12 years old and I finally had learned how to use it. I knew which buttons to push for which items and I even learned how to do new stuff, like play DVDs and watch Netflix. I had that television and its controls down and it only took me twelve years.
But my husband, the football fan, decided that he should turn his living room into a giant ESPN scoreboard. All we lack now is the bar and the betting pool. The television is in place.
Small problem: There are now even more remotes to handle and they are even harder to learn. For instance, there are three remotes which currently turn the television on. There are two remotes that will give you the regular cable channels and two others that take care of Netflix. We can no longer play the DVDs–no hookup and no remote.
Here is where the insanity starts. If I turn the television on with this remote, it will not bring up cable, but I can watch Netflix. If I want to adjust the volume, that requires an entirely different remote. However, if I use another remote to turn on the television, you guessed it. There will be cable, but no way to get to Netflix–UNLESS you use a further remote, which will put on Netflix, but throw you off cable.
I was busy trying to make a chart of which remote, used in which order would operate what thing, when Roy came in. He picked up the large black remote and turned on the television.
“Where’s the game?” he asked, staring at the blank screen which stared back at him.
“Is the game on cable? Because for that, you need to turn on the television with the gray remote,” I said, checking the notes.
“Well, why can’t I just switch over?”
“Because, if you hit the wrong button, you put it into some kind of sleep mode and then it takes three other remotes and a few hours to bring it back. What station is your game on?”
By now, he’s sorting through the various remotes like a woman does earrings in a jewelry box. “Well, I think it’s on Prime,” he said, sounding somewhat confused.
“Oh, for that you need this other remote over here. You turn it on with this small black one and you find your Prime station with this small white one,” I said, handing them over. “But if you need to adjust the picture or the volume, then you will have to turn it all off and start again with the large black remote.”
“You’re making this up, right? You just don’t want this new television,” he was very suspicious now.
“Of course not! I love the new television and if I sound like I’ve lost my sanity, that’s because I have discovered that loss of sanity is a requirement to operate this machine.”
He stood and looked at me and the dizzying assortment of remotes and then at the television, still staring blankly at him. Then he left the room.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“To find the old television,” he replied. “Maybe it will allow me to watch the game.”
“Oh, I don’t know. The remotes for that television are now programed to the new one. It will take hours to redo them.” Married couples should do things together. So I think it’s appropriate that we go out of minds together, trying to use the new television, don’t you?