Having your ice cream a la remote

Today the Chicago Tribune reported that the co-inventor of the television remote control, Eugene Polley, died. The remote control is probably the most insidious invention ever, because it directly increased the weight of the average tv viewer by at least 10%, plus it increased the time we spend in front of the tube by a factor of 4. Do you think we’d have a selection of 115 channels to watch if we had to get off the couch every time we wanted to change the channel? We’d back back to channels 2, 5, 7, 9 and 11 (which nobody watched). Even eating a big bowl of ice cream while watching tv would be trickier if you couldn’t just balance it on your lap while clicking through 50 channels. Of course, now you don’t even have to scan the channels – you just scroll down the menu, looking for the least boring show.
There is one good aspect to the remote: I usually don’t watch more than one tv commercial per show, because when the commercials come on, I can skip around to other shows for a few minutes, especially sports. Some day, the programmers will get their act together and schedule all commercials on all channels at precisely the same time, while disabling our mute buttons.
P.S. – The only other invention I can think of which has such a dark side is the snooze button on alarm clocks. Someday they’ll improve it so that the third time you press it, you get an electric shock.

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