Big Billy – Pow, right in the clicker

We’ve been together so many years now, it’s pretty much impossible to image what life would be like without you. I only need to look at you and all my worries disappear. You’re there waitin’ for me when I come home each day, and just about every night we’ve been together we’ve shared some special time, just the two of us, after the kids go to bed. You complete me. You make me feel whole. And you’ve taught me everything I know about ninjas and race cars and hockey.

Television, I love you more than anything.

Well, maybe not more than anything – or at least, don’t tell Minnie I said that. She Big BIllyalready thinks I’m kind of mental about the TV. Anytime she wants me to do somethin’ and I keep puttin’ it off, I know she’s reached her limit when she stands right in my way and says – Instead of sittin’ there watchin’ TV, why don’t ya get off your arse and – (and then she says what she wants).

Sometimes I don’t even notice her there. When it goes to commercial, I’ll find myself leanin’ over to see around her.

Whatchya say, dear? I’ll ask, and she’ll crack me on the arm with whatever’s handy.

The truth is, I’ve always been like this, for years and years, and I don’t know why but lately the way I watch TV seems to really be drivin’ her crazy.

Most nights, I’ll be sittin’ in my favourite old chair – a rickety recliner with duct-taped patches on the arms. And she’ll be sittin’ at the far end of the couch, doin’ a crossword puzzle, or readin’ a book, or lookin’ at the grocery store flyers.

Now, whatever I’m watchin’ I like to have it up real loud. If it’s hockey, I wanna hear the scrape of the skates on the ice and the crunch of the checks into the boards. If it’s baseball, I wanna hear the crack of the ball off the bat, and the smack of the pitch hittin’ the cathcer’s mitt. If it’s a ninja movie, I wanna hear what they’re sayin’ because for some reason oriental people don’t talk very loud.

Everytime somethin’ noisy happened on the screen Minnie would make that *TSK* noise with her tongue and ask me if I needed a hearin’ aid or what. But what really started drivin’ her nuts was, I’d leave the remote control on the little table next to my chair and I’d get up to go get some more tea, or run upstairs to take a leak, and then the commercials would start blastin’.

Now, the commercials are always louder than the shows for some reason. Of course, if I’m out in the kitchen or up in the bathroom, it don’t bother me at all. But a lot of times I come back in the room, and Minnie’s arms and legs are flailin’ in all directions, tryin’ to hoist herself up off the couch and get over to the clicker to turn it down. And she’d blast me for it every time.

One night after supper, I plunked myself in the chair to start watchin’ TV and she finished sweepin’, took a seat in her spot on the couch, and stood the broom up against the wall. When the first commercial break came on, I wasn’t halfway out of my chair and she cracked me in the arse with the broom.

What was that for?! I says.

Turn the damn TV down! she says.

This went on for a week. Every time I’d start to get up out of the chair on a commercial break, she’d crack me with the broom. Needless to say, I didn’t like that. And I told her – no more hittin’ me with the broom, Minnie.

So the next night, we sit down to watch TV, and I’m surprised to see she didn’t take the broom in. The first commercial break comes and I figure I’ll show how considerate I am. I reach for the remote to turn down the volume, only it’s not on my little table. But then the volume magically goes down, and I look over and see Minnie got the clicker.

Holy cripes. Minnie havin’ the clicker is ten times worse than me gettin’ hit with the broom. Because what she does is, she flicks it over to one of her shows while I’m gettin’ my tea or takin’ my leak. I come back and instead of two ninjas doin’ kung fu on each other, or the Leafs tryin’ to kill a penalty, I’ll see some show about makin’ cakes or some singin’ contest or – worst of all – the news.

And I must be gettin’ old, because sometimes I come back and forget what I was watchin’ before I left. I’ll sit there for four or five minutes of some god-awful cookin’ show because I can’t remember whether to demand she put my movie or my game back on because I can’t remember which one I was watchin’.

Anyways, desperate times call for desperate measures. Pre-season hockey’s already on and the regular season is just around the corner. So I said to her – if you agree not to touch the remote for the whole hockey season, I agree to turn it down every time there’s a commercial break. She thought about it a second, looked at me suspiciously, and said – Fine.

So that night we sit down and sure enough, the first commercial break, wouldn’t you know it, I forget about our deal. I turn back to apologize and turn it down, and I notice there’s already a cake show on the TV.

What in the? I says. The clicker is still on my little table, but I look over and Minnie’s holdin’ a brand new universal remote.

Not bad for ten bucks, eh? she says.

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