Spoiler alert! This is a column devoted to pursuits that some men can’t live without, or why your wife’s hair is turning grey. Some background: The first TV remote was developed by Zenith Radio Corporation in 1950. The remote, called Lazy Bones, was connected to the television by a wire. A wireless remote control, the “Flashmatic,” was developed in 1955 by Eugene Polley. It’s been downhill ever since!
Among the greatest inventions the world has ever known are the printing press, the computer and the TV clicker. (Play the Ray Charles version of America the Beautiful in the background)
Kids today don’t realize the amount of time it used to take to change the channel on the TV prior to the invention known as the TV remote, or the clicker. It was not great exercise, but it required you to get up from your seat, walk to the big boxy TV and physically change the channel. Maybe you had to move the rabbit ears (the way a TV got its signal prior to cable) to receive a good signal. Along came the clicker. The clicker, a manly device, is grasped immediately after dinner and if he’s lucky, does not give it up until they pry it, later that evening, from the hand of his limp, sleeping body.
The clicker has single-handedly altered our attention span so we can no longer watch a show in its entirety. We used to have a longer attention span, but who can remember? Our use of the clicker has resulted in an offshoot I call clicker shock. This occurs when the spouse, tired of the constantly clicking male, demands and often gets the control she desires because the channel changing sometimes happens so rapidly, that trying to keep up, her head spins as fast as the one in The Exorcist.
The clicker has spawned a new breed of men who have developed a such a keen sense of television timing that when they feel a commercial about to pop up, they can click away, cruise the dial and then click back at the precise moment of the next segment without having to watch another pharmaceutical spot and its attendant side effect list. Yes, there are men like that and there should be a Clicking Hall of Fame set up just for them. You know these men. You may have one in your family. His clicking hand, so finely conditioned, it can crush a Volkswagen, yet cradled tenderly in his embrace, in between clicks, there is not enough pressure to wound a fly. With so many areas of our lives out of control, this is one where we have total control. It has also given us the term aclicktion. (The addiction to a clicker) An aclicktion is that which feels so good, does no harm and satisfies the primal urge to change just for the sake of change.
The clicker is the last bastion of total control over our home entertainment environment…..until our wives take it away!
It has been likened to an appendage to our wrist which will, with the proper evolution, morph into the 6th finger. It is the ultimate symbiosis of man and machine; instant, reliable and battery operated. It allows us to scan at the incredible speed of a new Copper Top, high performance, lithium Duracell. Now watch as we attach it to a Tesla Powerwall. If only our eyes can keep up with the channel changing speed. It’s a blur, but a manly one. It lets us decide within milliseconds which offering to skip, whether it be America’s Funniest Groin Injury Home Videos or watching any Kardashian go through decisions regarding the type of material of an outfit for this weekend’s social will occupy our leisure hours. Let us be titillated!
I plan to be buried with the clicker. It will have a fresh set of batteries and as a back-up, be connected to an XS Deep Cycle Power Battery® with Terminal Bolt and the cold cranking power to start a nuclear reactor. It will be nestled in my right hand, the tip of my index finger firmly super glued in position just in case.
I think my bumper sticker says it all. You can have my clicker when you pry it from my cold dead fingers