I’ve Lost my Remote

I’ve looked everywhere. Searched high and low. Can’t find it. Is it hiding under a cushion? Has it fallen behind a bookcase? Or the piano? Is it lying under the couch? No show. Not a trace. Perhaps it’s not in the living room at all. Maybe I wandered absentmindedly with it into the kitchen and put it in a drawer. Or the linen basket. Perhaps I lodged it in a filing cabinet with my tax affairs. In which case it is truly lost.

Maybe I took it out of the house. But why on earth? Perhaps I mistook it for my mobile. Could it be in the car? Maybe I put it in the trash can and it’s already in landfill.

But to tell you the truth, I’m not much bothered. There’s nothin’ on the telly! Besides, I’ve located the switch on the TV itself. I can still catch the news. I can switch on, as in the old days, when the world was black and white and your choice was limited. Channel 3 and channel 10. You switched on and waited for the valves to warm up. A Viscount descending into Renfrew Airport passed over the roof of the house and for a minute the picture wobbled. Hancock’s Half hour. Sometimes there was “snow”. There is a fault. Do not adjust your set. Default to the test card.

And there’s always the radio. The Home Service or the Light Programme or the Third Programme. Jack de Manio and Freddie Grisewood and Uncle Mac on Saturday morning, playing There once was an ugly duckling. Yesterday in Parliament. The Stock Market. Gilts eased… This was before the time when we all migrated into the matrix. 007 tracked Goldfinger across Europe in his Aston Martin DB3, using a Sat Nav, and I thought, well, that’s science fiction! Even in the 90s, today’s world would have seemed impossible. I remember a weekly US science fiction show on TV NZ – I don’t know if it came over to the UK. The premise was that each week the hero occupied the body and soul of a man in deep trouble, sorted out his life, and then moved on to his next assignment. In this, he was assisted by a guardian angel who could tell the hero where he was, and when, and who, by consulting what was essentially a smart phone or tablet. Just like Bond’s Sat Nav – impossible! Now everybody is wandering about, in a trance, consulting the same device to find out who they are, what they’re doing, and where they’re going.

So I’ve stopped searching. It doesn’t matter. We must at all costs make sure the gizmos don’t take over. I know what you’re thinking. Not only have I lost my remote, I’ve lost my mojo. I’ve lost it. I’m just a decrepit Luddite taking a futile last stand against the irresistible and relentless forward march of progress. I deny it. Come join me. Dump social media. Log off. Step outside. The world, though damaged, is more wondrous than ever. Everything is so poignant. It seems to me that the colours are brighter, the vistas more breath-taking, the scents more intoxicating, the music more ravishing, and more significant, language more expressive, fruit more luscious, ideas more intriguing, and women incomparably more beautiful.


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