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    Where Did the Remote Go?

    I don’t watch that much TV, but when I do the remote control is never nearby. So Herman will turn the TV on, taking Moxie for a walk, for instance, and I’m stuck with the programming and un-muted commercials. I think the mute button is probably the most ingenious feature of the "clicker."

    Now, our cordless phone has a pager feature, which allows one to beep from the base unit and thus find wherever the remote cordless phone has been left. Usually by Herman, when he was distracted, which is always.

    The only time this feature doesn’t work is when we leave the phone on the beach. It’s not that far away, but the sound doesn’t travel to the house. I always have the phone on the beach so I won’t miss any phone calls. And, speaking of missing things, back to why I hate TV commercials.

    Number one, they are louder than most regular programming. They say they aren’t, but I’m telling you, they are. Okay, there is another feature I like on the clicker, That is the button that says "previous channel." That way, while one’s on commercial, I can buzz back to the other channel. It’s something you simply would not do if you had to cross the room every time a commercial came on and see what was playing on the other channel.

    I can’t justify to myself to subscribe to a pay TV station, which would be commercial free, because I simply don’t enjoy watching TV that much. I have to confess to you guys that I do watch one soap opera and even though I know how stupid it is as I watch it, I continue to tape them and generally look at them in the evening. See, that way you can not only mute the commercials, you can fast forward through them. Actually, this is in "cue" mode or sometimes called "review" mode, so that you can see the rapid motion action and know exactly where the commercial stops and the action begins again.

    I just looked over the last paragraph, and I have to laugh at my choice of words. I wouldn’t call anything about a soap opera "action" whatever. Even when I was working on them as an actress, there was so much waiting around that most of my day on the set was spent in the dressing room waiting to be called. When I finally was called, there was additional waiting as they fixed everyone’s hair and makeup.

    So yes, it was a long day, but what was most tiring was the waiting. My idea would be to have a fast forward button for all those long waits, whether in the grocery store checkout, the bank, or wherever. At this point there is only a fast forward button on the remote control for the VCR, not for life in general. But I'm working on it!

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"