Do remotes just sense their leaders?

For some reason recently, whenever I watch a DVD and then try to go back to just watching my television, the remote for the TV doesn’t work. Once it was thought to be due to the fact that the DVD player was still on but subsequent investigation proved that wrong. The first time it happened, a young lady fixed it for me and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what she’d done to make it work. This time when it happened, I hit every damn button on all three remotes that I have… the one for the TV, the one for the DVD player and the one for the cable box. And yes, I am aware that some genius could actually hit buttons that would make them all work together but as sure as god made little green apples, if someone did that for me, I’d hit the wrong button on the wrong remote and screw the entire system up so that my TV would never work again. So I live with three remotes.

So anyway, I hit every button on every remote. I turn the TV on and off using the buttons on the side of the set. I turn the cable box on and off. I turn the DVD/VCR player on and off. I turn them all on and off together. Then I turn them on and off in alternating patterns. (Hmmml…. even as I write this I realize it tells the world I have WAY too much unoccupied time on my hands) I finally give up, put the remotes down, resign myself to getting up to turn the TV on or change the volume, and accept I will have to wait for the young man who hooked it all together to come home for Christmas and make it work again for me.

And then a friend named David stopped by. He took a seat in my living room and, since I was obsessing over the remote’s inability to do the one job it was bred to do – i.e. turn my TV on and off –

I immediately brought the subject up. To point out the futile life my remote had chosen to live, I picked it up, pointed it at the TV and hit the Power button. And that damned TV came on as though nothing had ever been the problem. And I looked at David and thought, “There’s a guy in the room. Maybe the remote sensed his master was nearby and that further resistance was useless. Because no man would ever sit by idly if his remote refused to work. And my remote knew that and reacted accordingly.