Mason County News
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 • Posted April 22, 2009

Instrument of the Devil

I bought my first TV set (a Philco) in 1949 and used it until 1964 when I bought another Philco. At the time I made this first purchase the salesman asked if I wanted a remote control with this set. Upon finding out that this gadget cost an extra $100 I said, “Goodness no, my Scottish ancestors would turn over in their graves if they learned I had spent an extra $100 to keep from getting up walking to the TV every time I wanted to change stations.”

So for another 15 years I manually changed stations on that set and cussed myself every time I did so for being such a damned tightwad. My next set was a Zenith, bought in 1979, and you can bet your life it came with a remote control — which still cost another $100 —but this time the old tightwad spent that money gladly.

The TV remote control, to me, is the invention of the ages. Dreamed up, I am sure, by a lazy man who had to get up and out of a comfortable chair to change programs and invented no doubt by the same lazy fellow who invented the cattle guard which kept him from having to open gates.

I consider this apparatus as one of the best investments I have ever put my money into in a long, long time. I say this with great sincerity for to me it is a wonderful instrument. However to my wife it is “an instrument of the devil” and one that drives her into passionate outbursts of “get back to my program”.

Hells fire, all I’m a-doing is checking on the other stations during the commercials on the program we are watching. I hate to watch most commercials, therefore the remote control gives me the opportunity to check everything else on the tube before returning to our (her) program.

I am always telling her “Oh, there’s plenty of time to get back to your program—this is one of those five minute commercials.”

But best of all: That instrument has the “mute” button feature that allows us to eliminate the sound from that ceaseless flow of commercials emanating from our TV sets. In most cases they are advertising items that I would buy even though I did not see the commercial and others I wouldn’t buy because of the stupidity of the commercial.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — women are funny. Now I don’t mean funny in a ha-ha sort of way, although they are sometimes that too — but here I have reference to them being funny peculiar. I will give examples of their funniness later but for right now I want to chase the word peculiar for a little while to see if it might throw some light on the traits of women and why at times they are so different from men and are, in fact, funny in many peculiar ways.

In checking on the word peculiar I find that it has a synonym by the name of eccentric. A word which in itself sheds a bit of light on the subject I am seeking in that it indicates that an eccentric person is one who is out of the ordinary; deviates from the norm and is somewhat capricious by showing an inclination to change abruptly and often without reason.

This is perhaps why my wife has labeled the TV remote control as “an instrument of the devil” and I cannot understand why when I look upon it as one of the modern day miracles.

Get this picture: here we are watching a football game on channel 8 (she likes football) when there is another game on channel 9). With this wonderful instrument I can watch both games and during time outs and intermissions keep up with a movie on channel 6. Now what’s wrong with that?

Seen through a man’s eyes — nothing. But to a woman. Hellskafuzzy! Here I am keeping up with three different programs and she keeps demanding “get back to my program on channel 8.”

Well sir, we easily solved this problem. Now , she watches her program in one room and I watch mine in another — and you can’t beat that solution with a stick. She watches one program from start to finish while I surf all of the channels.

While I get to see all of the good stuff she sits there and is satisfied to see what her one channel offers. Now I ask you — is she funny peculiar? Is she eccentric? Is she capricious? Or is she in the final analysis just a woman.

There are those who will say that with the Remote in the hands of the husband the main problem is that the woman becomes irritated because she has lost control of the entire situation and this is something she is not used to.

Another situation which constantly arises is in the selection of a place to eat when dining out. Left to a woman she will select a place with atmosphere while a man would choose one with a menu which pleases him. Nevertheless after leaving the place of her choice a man takes his chances when he asks “What’s the matter dear, I noticed you didn’t eat all of your food, didn’t the atmosphere taste good?”

It has been said that a man speaks to influence an action while a woman speaks to share her feelings. Let’s check that statement as we change the scenery:

We’re driving down the highway — the wife sees the sign of a restaurant just ahead — “Are you hungry dear?” she asks. “Not right now” he says and keeps on driving. Now she didn’t tell him she was hungry she just supposed that he would understand that her question would convey her feelings. It didn’t, so he kept on driving — but he comforted her by saying “there’ll be another place down the road a piece.” Sad part is -when that place does appear he is driving too fast to stop and says “That’s all right, we’ll catch the next one.”

As far as I know the above situation is the only one in which the man has a chance of coming out the winner — this statement is verified by the fact that there are two theories to arguing with a woman and neither one of them works.

For those who question those two theories about arguing with a woman consider this:

It has been determined that a man speaks 15,000 words a day while a woman speaks from 45,000 to 60,000 a day — thus, when a man gets home at the end of the day he has usually used up his 15,000 words while his wife has from 30,000 to 45,000 of her words left.

Is it any wonder then when a woman tries to use all of those remaining words on her husband that he turns is deaf ear to her (that being his “mute” button) and is accused of “not listening to a word I say”.

Now , I return to my statement that “women are funny” and submit the question “am I right or wrong?”

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