Friday, April 1, 2011

TV Guide

If I don't stop by your blog today, don't take it personally. I freaking hate April Fools.

I will hold my peace on the subject because I know many, many people LOVE it. I do not. That is all. (That's not even close to all, but that's all that really matters.)

In other news of things I don't hate, I don't think I've mentioned our neighbors. We like the peeps in our new 'hood, but we're especially close to the ones on our right. We share so many things in common, like . . .

Well, mainly TV. And honestly, it's a one-sided relationship. Because we just watch what they watch. We sort of have to.

The thing is, my clever husband met me a year-ish ago at the door to our new house that was in the dusty throes of a remodel. Instead of, "Hello, light of my life and my reason for living. I love you. How are you today?" he said, "Do you trust me?"

Uh, yes. In terms of the children's lives, my life, etc. But when you meet me at the door covered in drywall dust and looking anxious . . . less so. Much less so.

He led me to the family room wall. Or the shadow of its former self. What I saw now was a wall full of holes. Big gaping holes. Big gaping ragged holes with teeth and bad attitudes. Kenny went on and on about future-proofing and coaxial cables and  . . . 

Well, in the interests of preserving marital harmony, I tuned him out and decided I'd never seen the wall int its current state. I would refuse to see the wall again until it resembled it's old wall-y self. Then Kenny said something like, "And this way Grant can't press the buttons whenever he wants any more."

Wait, what? No more crackers in the DVD player? No more fingerprints and peanut butter smears across the face of our fourth child, the television? My faith is restored. Carry on, husband.

Turns out he'd run the wires for our EVERYTHING media-related through the walls into our laundry room so we could stick all of our gadgety entertainment-type doohickeys in a cabinet in there and NEVER HAVE TO SEE THEM AGAIN. This was made possible not by magic. Not by house elves. Not even by Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

Nope, it was good ole radio frequency. See, most remotes work off of infrared which is why your remote has to be pointed at the object it's trying to communicate with. Most people (who are not me) know this. Most people (who are not me) do not stare at their "universal" remotes in befuddlement when it turns out that their remote controls DO have limits. These remotes do not change the channel on crying children. They do not mute screaming toddlers. They don't even start the washing machine from a distance.

Seem kind of useless, if you ask me. 

Anyway, most remotes are infrared and can't work through a wall. But radio frequency remotes do. They're pretty unusual because they're a little expensive, but when your husband is a huge tech nerd (but a very, very sexy one) and can do all the programming, then it reduces the price to the cost of a new entertainment center which we would have had to buy if we didn't do it this way, anyway. Behold, the result:

Yes, there is clutter on my mantle. Yes, I just barely took this picture. So yes, I could have cleared it before taking it. And, no. I don't care. And yes, I just spent more time defending the cluttered mantel than it would have taken to just clear it. 
Hooray! The same husband who can do all the tech stuff also repaired the wall (he's already taken, ladies)  and we were ready to rock and roll. Or Nick at Nite. Or stare at a neverending parade of freaks on TLC's evening programming. Everything came together beautifully. Until . . .

We turned it on.

It was actually day two before I realized the TV was possessed. I was trying to watch the VH-1 video countdown. It kept flipping to Penguins of Madagascar. I shrugged. New systems are always buggy. Then I was trying to watch a Say Yes to the Dress marathon. And it kept flipping to a CSI marathon.

And then, after several days of trying to figure out what the new "universal" remote was trying to tell me about myself based on its programming selections for me, I had a little light bulb moment. It happened on a Saturday morning when no matter what I did, my TV rejected Property Ladder and flipped back and forth between Penguins of Madagascar and The Wizards of Waverly Place. We don't watch those shows. But you know who would? The nine-year-old girl next door.

So I sent Kenny to investigate.

Guess who else has the only other RF remote in the neighborhood? Yep. The neighbors to the right.


At least they don't watch porn. And I've learned to make my peace with the QVC jewelry channel.

Oh, and today is your last day to enter to win a copy of The List by commenting on this post from Monday


Chantele Sedgwick said...

I have April Fools Day too! I posted a funny video on my blog, but nothing else. Stupid holiday.
My sister had a fan that was possessed. They'd turn it off and 5 minutes later it would turn back on. Sometimes they'd turn it on low and it would switch to high in the middle of the night.
A few months went by and they finally figured out their neighbors had the same fan, and the same fan remote. Go figure. :)

Jaime said...

OH my gosh!! You are hilarious. I can't wait to read your book. And yes, I hate April Fools too. I'm staying inside and avoiding the outside world. Good luck with your tv!!

Kimberly said...

It's safe to visit my blog today. Especially since I haven't posted in a week or two. So yes, don't bother.

And oh my, what are the odds?!

p.s. Your mantel looks gorgeous. I don't have one and am now experiencing rather intense waves of mantel-envy.

Susan said...

That would drive me insane!

You may hate April Fools, but you have to visit my blog. I got totally Fooled and it's hilarious. But I won't try to fool you.

PS: From this day forward I will be an avid hater of April 1st too.

Kristina P. said...

I have papered Charlie's office with Mickey Rourke pictures today. Sadly, for him, everyday is April Fools around here.

MommyJ said...

April Fools has never really been a part of my life. I guess I'm more indifferent than anything else. My parents weren't really pranksters, and no one in my family really is either. Good natured jokes, water fights, stuff like that I'm good with. But there are a lot of pranks out there that I think are mean spirited.

(Maybe I should have held my peace too...)

So, does your remote change their channel too? It could be a useful tool if they ever do anything to annoy you... passive aggression at it's best...

Barbaloot said...

Okay-I hate April Fool's, too. Doesn't everyone? Why does it even exist? BUT---what with the crazy remotes and have a built in prank for your neighbors:)

wendy said...

That is freaky. You are soooo techniloical like me....hiding all the doohickie thinga magigs

I didn't notice any clitter on the mantel. But I would have had to zoom in as my eyes are not that great.
and if I would have zoomed in, it might have interfered with what channel you were watching.

Melinda said...

Oh wow. That is TOO FUNNY, and yet super annoying at the same time! I mean, its funny for me to hear about, but if it was happening to me I'd be going NUTSO! haha I hope it gets fixed soon. I don't care too much about April Fool's as long as its reasonable, and just a little silly, not the one's that scare people or make someone really upset. Or if its not played on me, then I'm good. :)

DeNae said...

So what are you going to do? Because there is only so much of "Wizards of Waverly Place" that anyone should have to take. Who, in my home, would possibly watch WOWP? After all, aren't my kids 23, 20, 18, and 15?

Yes. Yes they are. And the 20 y.o. and 18 y.o. girls think WOWP is funny.

Thank goodness one of them is away at college; her questionable entertainment choices are her roommates' problem now.

LisAway said...

Oh, come on. You can get so much worse the Wizards. And, yeah. Be grateful your neighbor isn't some creepy middle-aged single alcoholic or something. Not that I think there's anything wrong with being a creepy middle-aged single alcoholic. I just wouldn't want to watch his TV.

Charlotte said...

I don't hate April Fools, I don't love it. In fact I guess I don't care at all one way or the other. I didn't do anything for it except tell my daughter insulting her brother and then calling "April Fools" is NOT acceptable.

Is there no way to fix your remote? Change frequency or something? Anything? We had a similar issue with baby monitors once.

Erin said...

So have you guys done anything to try to alleviate the possessed tv? I'm dying to know.

(I'm also interested in finding out what "Say Yes to the Dress" is. I will be promptly Googling it.)

Karen Peterson said...

We had a similar problem when we first moved here. Except that the person sharing our frequency DID watch porn.

Either that or my roommate is really good at playing dumb...

Dedee said...

I'm all for passive aggression. And why doesn't your tv change theirs? Or does it?

I kind-of ignored April Fools this year, but I have some doozy stories to tell.