It was after supper and I just went into the room with a bag of chips and a glass of pop, settlin’ in to watch the hockey game. I sat down in my chair, got my pop sittin’ on the table next to me, got the big bag of chips popped open on my lap, and popped the handle on the side of the chair to get the recliner part up – all set for good night in front of the boob tube.
But instead of the hockey game, what am I lookin’ at? Oprah. Oh for cripessake, I said to myself – where’s the remote? I look on the table, not there. I look on top of the TV stand, not there. I look over on the couch, not a remote to be found. I wriggled my hand down each side of the chair, but no remote there either.
Is there anything more annoying than when you juuuuust sit down, get yourself all settled and then ya gotta get up for some reason? And if you’re settled in front of the TV waitin’ for hockey or a good kung fu movie and ya gotta get up, that’s worse than pretty much anything except maybe a boot to the crotch.
So by the time I kicked my legs up and stumbled my way back to my feet, I was pretty much fit to be tied. I stormed out in the kitchen where Minnie was doin’ the dishes while Rosie was at the table doin’ her homework and Little Bill was at the table pretendin’ to do his homework while he texted the girlfriend on his cell phone.
Where in the hell is the remote? I bellowed, right fierce. And because I command so much respect in my own home, nobody noticed me.
Hey! I said, where’s the remote at?!
Minnie looked halfway over her shoulder, yawned, and said – Frigged if I know. You’re the TV addict.
Well it didn’t just spring legs and walk away, did it? Did you kids see the remote?
No, Rosie said. I don’t really watch TV anymore, because I read a study that said there was a correlation between the amount of time watching television and a reduction in neurons.
Sorry, she said. What I meant to say is, no I haven’t seen the remote.
Bill? I said.
No reaction. Nothin’. Crickets.
Earth to Bill!! I hollered and knocked on the doorway. Hellooooo!
That’s when he looked up and I realized he had his damn headphones in, up under his shaggy hair.
Whuh? he said, holdin’ one earpiece out while Metallica or whatever the hell it is kids listen to nowadays blasted out of it.
Holy jumpin’ cripes, I said. The remote! Have ya seen the friggin’ remote?? I get in there and sit down to watch hockey, and Oprah’s on, for cripessake!
Never seen it, he said, and put the earpiece right back in. I don’t know why, but that really set me off for some reason.
Unbelievable! I said. Ya can’t have nothin’ around here! A fella sits down in his own chair in his own livin’ room to watch his own TV, but he can’t because somebody took the remote and don’t care what they did with it! What if my poor ol’ Da wants to come in and watch a hockey game, they say to themselfs. DON’T CARE I GUESS!
Minnie looked over her shoulder again, yawned again and said – Top of the TV stand. J’ya check there?
OK, I said. I rubbed my hand up and down my face over and over, which everybody recognizes as the symbol for – holy cripes, I’m about to lose it.
Here’s what I know! I was out with Cyril this afternoon lookin’ at truck parts with him, eh? I get home, eat a handful of cookies, play with the dog for a few minutes, then sit at the table and eat my supper. Afterwards I get a cuppa tea, drink that, head into the livin’ room with my chips and pop and end up stranded in my chair with no remote and Oprah starin’ back at me, givin’ away cars or somethin’. So it had to be somebody else who picked up the remote and walked off with it.
Oh, Rosie said. In between the cookies and playin’ with the dog, you went up to change your pants.
Whuh? I said.
Rosie put her pencil down, looked up to the left to help her remember and said – You said – If Cyril could hold a G-damn ice cream bucket I wouldn’t have power steerin’ fluid all over my good joggin’ pants.
Holy cripes, I thought to myself, she was right. I remembered now – I put the remote in my pants pocket on the way upstairs, then changed my pants without takin’ the remote back downstairs with me.
There ya go, Minnie says. Betchya ten bucks ya took it upstairs with ya.
Of course, there’s no way I could admit I was wrong. So I pretended to go back lookin’ for it in the room, then slipped upstairs, fished the remote out of my pants on the floor, ran back downstairs, and pretended to find it on the couch.
Ah ha! I said. Somebody left it on the couch! How many times do I gotta tell yis, make sure it’s put back on the table.
Minnie yawned again. How could we ever begin to apologize, she said.
It’s all right, I said, even though I knew she was bein’ sarcastic.
I sat down, put the chips back on my lap, took a sip of pop and flipped the channel.
Poker. Not hockey. I’m lookin’ at poker.
What’s today? I yelled out to the kitchen.
Tuesday, Minnie and Rosie said at the same time. Oh yeah, Minnie said. Isn’t your hockey game on tomorrow night?
That’s when Bill takes out his earphone and says – Did ya check the top of the TV stand?