I think we're at our best by the flicker by the light of the TV set.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Operation Steal the Remote

It happened again two nights ago. My Polish father thinks he knows how to work the DVR remote control. Think again, daddio. Night after night we argue over this. And night after night he wins because he's the father, the man of the house. He refuses to let anyone else work the control, insisting he does it best. This is not true, but I give in and shut my mouth to avoid further frustration and a more painful headache.

The first time it happened, it was more of a close call than an utter disaster. He was going to bed and handing over the loaded list of DVR'd shows to my mom and I. Before he went upstairs, he insisted upon starting the show we wanted to watch. We told him to play Project Runway. On the DVR list Project Runway appeared right before Model's of the Runway. Every Thursday Model's comes on immediately after Runway. Every week it begins with the models gathered around a TV watching Heidi eliminate the losing designer of that week's Project Runway. My dad didn't read the list closely enough and selected Model's of the Runway instead of Project Runway. Whaaaaaat?! Thankfully, my cat-like reflexes grabbed the remote and switched the channel before my mom and I saw which contestants were possibly facing elimination. My dad laughed at our freak-out, handed me the remote and went to bed. He finds humor in perfectly good television going to waste.

This brings me to last night. Sunday night is my favorite night of TV: Amazing Race from 8-9 followed by Celebrity Apprentice from 9-11. Reality television at its best. Mom, Dad and I (Lord, end this recession, pretty, pretty, pretty please!) prefer to DVR the shows and start them around 8:45. That way, we skip all the commercials and speed right through. Like every other night, my dad held the control tight in his hand, assuring me he was in charge of it. I got comfortable on the couch next to my mom, as my dad on the other side of the room in his recliner hit play. He began to fast forward the beginning of the episode which recapped last week's episode. Maybe it was poor lighting, or the fact that he wasn't wearing his glasses, or the simple fact that he doesn't know how to work the damn remote control, but somehow he hit the "LIVE TV" button. Suddenly, the channel switched from the DVR'd episode to what was currently airing on CBS - which was the end of Amazing Race. There on the screen were the cowboy brothers, Jet and Cord, being congratulated for coming in second place and moving on to the finale of Amazing Race. Just like that, the entire episode was ruined.

"ARE YOU INSANE?!" I screamed! I flew off the couch and attacked the remote, snatching it from my obnoxious, power-hungry father. He snickered, entertained by his own stupidity and the effect it had on my mom and I. My mother was screaming at this point, too. "DAVE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

"It makes no difference to me," my dad said. "I don't watch this show. I don't know what's happening." Yeah, no fooling. You fall asleep 10 minutes into whatever show we watch (unless it has something to do with installing bathtubs or landscaping a backyard), which is why he never knows what's going on in any storyline. He usually bickers about the stupid show and says he has no idea "what the freak" is going on until he falls asleep. You should see him try and watch LOST. Un-be-lieve-able. Add this to the list of reasons we don't like him to have control of the remote. Every time he falls asleep we have to yell to wake him up to fast forward through the commercials. "DAVE! FAST FORWARD! WAKE UP AND WATCH THE SHOW OR GIVE US THE REMOTE!" He shoots up in his recliner and presses fast forward. His happy fingers tend to fast forward too far into the commercials and I have to plead with him to rewind. He doesn't understand that I don't want to miss all of Sue Sylvester's witty one-liners. He thinks I'm ridiculous. JUST LET ME HAVE THE REMOTE AND THERE WON'T BE ANYTHING TO ARGUE ABOUT.

If he gives me lip next Sunday during the Amazing Race finale, all hell is going to break loose.

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