posted by Joe Anaya on May 25th, 2012

In honor of Eugene Polley, the inventor of the remote control, I’ve reposted this blog (from Oct. 2011).

Women like to make fun of men for being so attached to the television remote. Our wives and girlfriends taunt us as they wave the remote out of our reach. Well, here is the truth. There’s a simple reason men don’t like it when women have control of the remotes. Because women suck at it!

When I’m with my wife and we are channel surfing, she complains that I go too fast. “You’re just pushing buttons.” No, actually, I can tell within nano-seconds whether it’s a show I want to watch: film, video or HD; good actors or bad; cheesy music; things blowing up or women sitting around talking; teenagers drinking about to go skinny dipping in the woods alone or teenagers drinking on a “reality” show. A mental checklist flicks by as fast as I can push the channel changer. It drives me crazy when my wife plods through the channels, like she’s trying to find the ripest tomato, gently squeezing each one, slowly scanning all sides for color. “It’s Tony Danza and it’s not Taxi; move on!”

And if you added up all the seconds I’ve sat through commercials because my wife mismanaged the fast-forward button and subsequently the reverse button on the DVR, I’d have time to repaint the house every couple of months.

Another part of the equation is that with few exceptions women don’t know which buttons to push partly because they don’t know which device does what. Every man I know has had to explain to his wife or girlfriend how to watch a movie. I was in Vancouver on a business trip when my wife called desperate to watch A Room With A View, but she couldn’t figure out the TV, DVD, and stereo. This is a fully competent woman. A highly placed executive, responsible for millions of dollars in business, but she can’t tell the difference between the TV remote and the DVD remote. She has pushed so many buttons on so many remotes, it takes me fifteen minutes to talk her off the ledge. “What do you see?” “Nothing.” “Nothing as in a black screen? Or nothing as in snow?” “The ant wars?” “Yeah, the ant wars.” “No.” “No, you don’t see ant wars just black?” “That’s what I said.” From memory, over a thousand miles away, with unreliable reconnaissance, I am able to get her chick flick rolling. This scenario has played out with men and their mates, including female doctors, professors, and writers; young, old, and in-between.

The DVR has a fast forward function that accounts for reaction time and jumps back. TVs have multiple inputs determining what device you’re watching. Playstation can view games AND movies. Blu-ray and DVD are NOT the same. Women, if you’ve lost interest, great. Then relinquish all claims to the entertainment devices and be grateful your man is interested and good at controlling the remotes.

File Under King of the Castle, Mr. Cool