Thursday, December 28, 2006

I Have Lost the Remote

Somewhere between December 22 and Christmas Eve, an anomaly in the Space-Time Continuum caused the remote control for our family's TiVo unit to disappear from the face of the earth. We have ransacked the house, torn apart the den, rifled the laundry-baskets, scoured the kitchen, combed the bedrooms, trashed the closets... Nothing.

Anomaly in the Space-Time Continuum. It's the only possible conclusion. I imagine our poor little TiVo remote now orbiting some desolate moon of a sunblasted planet billions of light-years away, its infrared signal emitting pathetic little bursts, perhaps changing channels in alien households below, their many-tentacled inhabitants wondering why the hell their slimy, fanged version of David Letterman keeps spontaneously changing to their slimy, fanged version of Geraldo Rivera. They write angry slime-mails to their cable providers, complaining about the poor service; the cowed cable companies, using the most hypersophisticated tracking gear, trace the offending infrared emissions to my poor little TiVo remote in orbit. Dammit, they think with their slimy brains, That's the third time this week!

I worry about anomalies in the Space-Time Continuum that cause common household items to disappear without a trace to orbit around desolate planets. What's next? The toaster? The coffee-grinder? If these anomalies in the Space-Time Continuum keep popping into peoples' homes and making off with our remotes, toasters and coffee-grinders, I think our vaunted American quality of life might suffer. An angry Letter to the Editor is in order. I'm composing one now:
The Editors:

Somewhere between December 22 and Christmas Eve, an anomaly in the Space-Time Continuum caused the remote control for our family's TiVo unit to disappear from the face of the earth. This trend must be stopped, or our vaunted American quality of life will suffer....
I think I have hit upon a fiendishly clever way to get our remote back, though. After I finish composing this missive, I will pop out to Best Buy and purchase a new remote, at hideous expense. The instant I crack the plastic shell packaging on it, there our old remote will be, in some spot I've ransacked four times before. Hello, Remotey, I will say. Welcome home! Did you enjoy your trip to Grabulon-Zeta? Did you happen to see our toaster there?

Later Edit: MegaLOLs!
Went to Best Buy, as threatened. Bought a replacement Universal Remote that the pimple-bearded youth thought would work with our TiVo. Twenty-five clams, not too bad. On the way home, the cellie rang. Wonder Woman. Freddie had that instant found the remote on a shelf in the back of the den where we store our video collection. I am so convinced that the purchase of the replacement remote had exactly the anomaly-reversing effect that I predicted that I'm writing off to the Amazing Randi as we speak.


Employee of the Month said...

Yes, the remote was visiting the Unisock Collective of the Orion system.

As proof, as their counterpoint, I submit the world's largest collestion of single socks which are currently residing in my sock drawer. I think astronomers refer to it as a "Binary System".

The Unisock Collective of the Orion system - the only explanation.

david s. said...

my favourite prof at work, a bachelor through and through, came to see me a few weeks ago feeling very proud of himself. in a moment of unparalleled clarity he taped his tv remote to his cordless phone. when the remote goes missing he pushes the 'page' button on the phone base. that's why i like him.

Carl said...

The best goddamn TV feature ever: when you pushed the power button on the set, the remote would beep until you picked it up and pushed a button.

Freaking brilliant, and of course too good to have on every new TV manufactured.

Anonymous said...

How to find lost objects.

XTCfan said...

I feel for you, my brutha. At our last house, I was once making cappuchino on a cold winter's day. The machine was making a strange noise, so I loosened the top of the steam chamber a bit, and BLAM!! the vent tube on the top of the steaming tube (I obviously don't know what any of these parts are officially called) blew off.

Despite our best efforts, we never found it again. Even when we moved.

I'm telling you, space-time continuum anomalies is REAL. I bet your remote is getting to know my vent tube right now.

Devil's Rancher said...

Maybe it's just me, but I've found often that just saying the name of an object causes it to appear before my eyes. My employees have become used to me walking about saying things like "Tape Gun!" or "Marker!" If one doesn't magically appear, as they often do, then sometimes this results in one being handed to me. So, stand up by your sofa and say in a firm voice "Remote!" (except that you've already covered it under Murphy's Law, # 23-a, in which it is stated the best way to find an object is to replace it.)
Also, I have a 7-year-old who has taught me well the futility of looking for the things that he has well-hidden in his toddler years. He was a master. One remote, which was missing for over a year, turned up an an ornamental ceramic vase in the bedroom, long after the VCR itself had been replaced. I did catch him red-handed one time, throwing away my keys.

gjzqp: The sound a guitar pick makes as it's sucked into the 9th dimension.

roxtar said...

xtcfan: It's behind the refrigerator.

Neddie: It's my favorite phenomenon, the one that makes life worth living. I, myself, have the magical power of repairing glitches in my wife's computer by simply standing behind her and asking her what it's doing. At which point it stops doing what it had been doing and restores itself to Windows perfection.

Anonymous said...

My wife lost her contact lens one day. She was pretty sure she lost it near our porch. She tossed her other contact off the porch into the woods. She found it, and the missing lens.

Anonymous said...

What does one buy to find one's lost innocence or virginity?

cleek said...

heh. i had a very similar experience last week.

i will quote myself (from the link):

there has to be a name for this law: the best way to find a lost item is to buy a replacement.

blue girl said...

...or one's mind, anonymous?

Mark Smeraldi said...

What really frosts me is that you need a specific remote in the first place. All marine electronics talk to each other, no problem. One remote to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them has a nice ring, don't you think? And now, onto automotive wheel lug spacing...

David Harmon said...

I actually am pretty good at beating the Lost Item thing. My summary:

(1) Find some way to "reset" your mind. ECT would be excessive here, just switch over to some other task or focus for a few minutes. Meditiation or "soft vision" techniques will be useful.

(2) Retrace your steps, checking both the "usual" places, and nearby crevices etc.

(3) Look underneath any nearby cats or dogs. Likewise backpacks, pocketbooks, etc., which can aquire similar habits.

(4) In any room, there are certain "dead spaces", blocked from view and/or hard to get into. (Say, behind the refrigerator.) Look there last, using tools (broomstick, reacher, mirror) as needed.

I'm afraid none of this helps with the sock issue, as those socks have in fact been eaten by the washing machine. (If you keep the same machine long enough, your repairman will confirm this point.) I'm afraid the Unisock Collective is yet another wicked disinformation campaign by the nefarious Boskonians. ;-)

Carl: AFIK, the basic IR remotes have neither speakers nor receivers (for anything). Adding those would cost money and make more things to go wrong. Of course, the Bluetooth bandwagon could change that, (and Mark's complaint) but probably add a few nuisances of its own.

Annapolitan said...

I imagine our poor little TiVo remote now orbiting some desolate moon of a sunblasted planet billions of light-years away

No, no, no, no, no. It falls into an invisible hole in your floor and travels through the center of the earth straight to China.

Where they recondition and repackage them and sell them back to us.

Our lost remotes and other misplaced electronics are reponsible for the billions in trade deficits.


However, you are correct about the replacement theory. But only if you lose the receipt for the new one and can't return it to the store.

The Stuffmeister said...

This happened to me a dozen or so years ago. The remote was gone. No amount of searching could turn it up. My wife at the time even went so far as to go through the weeks accumulated garbage in the carport. Nothing. The cable company wanted a hundred bucks for a replacement. A couple weeks went by while we tried to justify the expenditure. Then one day, said wife got a bag of chips out of the cupboard, reached in and pulled out - yep, you guessed it - the remote. Here endeth the lesson

XTCfan said...

Roxtar said:
It's behind the refrigerator.

Nope. Tried that. I get particularly single-minded when faced with stuff like this, and I literally tore the room apart looking for the vent tube. When I didn't find it, I consoled myself by saying we'd find it when we finally moved from the house, and I had another, better opportunity to really search the room. When we moved, I searched the kitchen, and even the surrouding rooms, again.

It never showed up.

Guess I should have bought a replacement, eh?

Linkmeister said...

Haven't lost any of the remotes yet, but our flipping Christmas tree skirt has misplaced itself. I dug through everything. This thing, which we've used for at least 15 years, has just vanished.

Replaced it with a new one, coincidentally also $25. As yet, the old one hasn't shown up.

QRED said...

Linkmeister's old skirt is probably somewhere with Anonymous's innocence and virginity. Those kinda things sometimes get lost together.

Minds, on the other hand...
Well, I often find mine in the gutter, as you can see.