Tuesday 18 June 2019 by Chris Ballard

Forty-year-old man realises with horror he has no idea which remote control is which


Man with remote controls

A man is coming to terms with his own mortality after becoming hopelessly confused about which remote control he needed.

Simon Williams looked at the four remote controls on the sofa and chuckled to himself. He was thinking about his late father who always got into a terrible mess trying to do simple technological tasks like turning the tv on.

From the age of about six Simon would be on hand to help him out, patiently explaining which set of controls did what. A bittersweet memory; he still missed his dad very much.

Anyway…

Simon’s wife was out, the kids were in bed and he had a rare evening to watch what he wanted.

He picked up the television remote and hit the red standby button. Nothing happened.

He pressed it harder. Still nothing. The red light on the tv was on… this was weird.

Simon opened the battery compartment and did what he imagined any good broadcast engineer would do – he rolled the batteries a bit. Still nothing…

Then he realised – he was using the wrong remote! This one was for the blu-ray player.

Grinning to himself with embarrassment he picked up the larger remote and pressed 1. The screen remained blank but a voice spoke.

“Hello, can I help you?” it said.

“Oh er, Alexa,” said Simon, “please play ‘Bondage Queen 2.’”

“Is that you Simon?” The voice belonged not to Alexa but to Gwen, his mother in law who he’d speed dialled on the cordless phone.

“Oh, er, hello Mrs Jones, have you been mis-sold PPI? No? Okay then.”

Simon quickly hung up. Christ, what was he doing?

Focus man! Third time lucky.

He picked up the next remote, aimed at the television and pressed the big red button on the top.

His daughter’s toy controls played ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep.’

Senility was here; death was imminent.

“See you soon Dad,” Simon muttered as he went upstairs to read a book.

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