Monday, December 29, 2008

Dean the Luddite

Last night, I was on the computer in the basement when Dean came to the top of the stairs and called, "Could you come up and help me with a video?" I was a little confused by that - "What video? Is the VCR not working again?" " know...Charlie Chan?" Aha - I gave him Vol. 4 of the collected Charlie Chan movies, and we've been working our way through them.

"But...that's a dvd, not a video!" Pause. "Are you telling me that you STILL haven't figured out how to use the dvd player???"

Now, a non-handy person MIGHT be momentarily confused by this. We got a new TV in the spring, and new TVs are very dependent on the use of the remote. At any one time, you might need to use THREE remotes - one for the TV, one for the dvd player, and one for the cable box. The latter is technically capable of working all 3 devices, but we were never able to find the correct code for the dvd player, and it doesn't have all the buttons that come with the proper remote for each machine; plus it's sometimes finicky when you try to press the buttons for switching between them, so I've just settled down to using 3 remotes. Dean has never come to grips with this. He's a veteran of the "When I started watching TV, we just turned a knob to change the channels" and he will not update himself. So every time he tries to use the remotes, he ends up switching the TV to the wrong channel to receive cable channels, or he turns off the correct setting and I have to come along to undo what he's done, because it always results in a blue screen with "No signal!" bouncing around.

As you might expect, we've had conversations about Dean's inability to operate the mechanical devices in the house before. My usual response is something along the lines of "I won't be here forever, you know! What would you do if I had a heart attack, or was run over by a car? What would you do THEN? You've got to learn how to do this stuff on your own!!" Well, it hasn't worked so far, so I thought I'd change tactics, and try the "humorous sarcasm" route instead.

So I came stumping up the steps, griping, "You know, they could make a MOVIE about you! A comedy! 'One night, Wanda gets trapped in traffic and can't get home, and Dean has to manage the house all by himself, with no one to tell him how to switch on or operate any of the electrical gadgets he depends on!'"

Dean's deadpan response: "And it would be called 'The Day The Earth Stood Still'."


Blogger muerk said...

ROTFL: I'm the "Dean" in our household.

7:08 pm  
Blogger Allen Lewis said...

We recently got an HDTV and a Blu-ray DVD player (the VHS stuff I have will go by the boards). When I signed up for cable, that meant three controllers.

Fortunately, the DVD player remote also works the TV and can change the input sources for it. So I am essentially using two.

Since we really don't watch that much TV, mostly I wind up using one for the DVD player. The cable remote works fine for watching cable sources once we switch the TV to the right input source.

My wife is totally confused by all this. But I have shoued her how to get things started.

11:51 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I've connected and disconnected TVs, VCRs and DVD players so many times, I don't even read the manual anymore; I just follow the colour-coding and hook everything up. As a result, I'm not the best person to instruct someone else; I don't begin at the beginning, I just rattle off "The red connects to the red, then you have to press the "component" button, then switch the remote to the cable, and switch the channel with that, oh, and MAKE SURE YOU POINT IT AT THE CABLE BOX, NOT THE TV!" Dean can't follow it at all.

Of course, I tell him, "Just read the manual," but I think there have been books written on the ingrained reluctance of men to read the manual.

3:49 pm  

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