After the highly-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team lost 52-50 to unranked Ole Miss earlier this month, I picked up the remote control and, in disgust, turned off the TV. The Vols’ lackluster play wasn’t the only source of my misery. For two hours, I’d listened to the announcers say a whole lot of really stupid stuff. The worst? “So-and-so is an exemplary example of how to defend against the three-pointer.”
I’m not making this up.
I got up from the couch and did about an hour’s worth of not-TV stuff. Then I sat back down to watch something soothing before bedtime. I get TV through a somewhat complicated system that involves using a Roku remote, which is black plastic and about the size of a candy bar, to turn on the Roku device that turns on the TV. I select an app from the dozen or so that appear on the screen. Then I choose my show. The only thing my Roku remote doesn’t do is control volume, which is done with the Samsung remote. That evening, it was on the coffee table. The Roku remote was not.
Though my house certainly isn’t spotless, it’s not a mess. I’m one of those put-things-where-they-belong types. There are really only a few places both the remotes should have been: end tables, coffee table or couch. The Roku remote was definitely gone. I shoved my hands between and under the seat cushions on the couch. No remote. I raised both footrests. No remote. I checked the pockets of the vest I was wearing. I checked the pockets of the jacket I’d worn when I walked the dog earlier that evening. No remote.
Then I started to get creeped out. Was I losing my mind? Inanimate objects don’t wander off. Had I become one of those people who put things in crazy places? I checked the garbage can under the sink. I checked the recycling bins. I even looked in the refrigerator and freezer and in the cabinet where I keep the coffee.
I googled “How to use your TV if you’ve lost your remote,” which requires downloading an app onto the phone and doing a lot of other stuff I couldn’t have figured out even if I wasn’t so tired. I’d just have to go to bed and start the hunt again in the cold light of day. I tossed and turned all night, worried no so much about the missing remote (which can be replaced for seven dollars), but consumed with the possibility that I really was losing my mind. Or, perhaps, that the missing remote was a sign from the universe that I needed to give up TV.
The next morning, with sunlight filling the living room, I began the search anew, focused this time entirely on the area around the couch. I raised both footrests again and shined a flashlight underneath. I found lots of dust, several kernels of popcorn, an ink pen, the back to an earring and the missing peg from one of those wooden triangle games that’s on all the tables at Cracker Barrel. But, alas, no remote.
The only thing left to do was to squeeze between the back of the couch and the wall and belly-scoot the length of it. It’s where my cat Watson killed a mouse back in the fall. Would its remains still be there? Ewwwww. But no matter. It had to be done. Halfway into the journey, I spotted a bookmark. As I stretched and reached for it, my hand closed around a plastic item about the size of a candy bar. Victory!
Maybe, just maybe, I’m not crazy after all. And, thankfully, I won’t have to give up TV just yet.
(Jennie Ivey is a Cookeville writer. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org)