Off kilter

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The weirdest things happen to me. Like, I was in my comfy chair, watching TV, holding down the “back” button on the remote control and the program was speeding through images a mile a minute—going forward. Not backward. Wait! What? I need to go back to catch up on what I missed.

The weirdest things happen to me. Like, I was in my comfy chair, watching TV, holding down the “back” button on the remote control and the program was speeding through images a mile a minute—going forward. Not backward. Wait! What? I need to go back to catch up on what I missed.

I’d been watching the breaking news—they always say it’s breaking, don’t they?—when I left to go throw a load in the laundry and I forgot to press “pause” before I left so I had to get back to. . .you know, where I left off. Not a problem—I’d DVR’d the program. So I sat back in my comfy chair and pressed the “back” button, ready to get back to where I’d left off and now colorful images were speeding fast forward and before I could hit “pause” the hosts were happily signing off for the hour. I missed the whole newscast!

Well, that couldn’t be. I must’ve pressed the “forward” button by mistake. Making sure I had the right button this time—the one on the left—I pressed the “back” button and zip! The program rolled forward at top speed before my eyes. Forward. Not back.

Totally confused now, I pressed the “forward” button to see what would happen. The “forward” button’s the one on the right so I knew I had the right one—no pun intended. Zip! The newscast rolled backwards so fast it was at the beginning of the show, way before where I’d left to do the laundry. Am I crazy? I pressed the “back” button and the images rushed forward again—not back, forward.

I’ve had vertigo before. This almost felt like it with the screens rolling backward and forward the wrong way every time I pressed the buttons. The remote control fits perfectly in my hand. The curves conform to my palm. My finger knows where all the buttons are—at least the ones I use most of the time, and believe me, the “pause,” “back” and “forward” buttons know me all too well.

So-o-o-o. It had to be the remote; something in the wiring, except no one had touched the remote and it worked before I left for the laundry. Maybe some DISH programmer was doing something out there in cyberspace. I didn’t really care what the problem was. I just wanted to see all the breaking news I’d missed. I figured out that the only way to do that was to push the “forward” button when I wanted to go back and the “back” button if it went too far back and the “pause” button when I didn’t know what else to do.

About this time, my Android phone demanded my attention. Someone was text messaging me. I left the remote on the chair and went to check the text message. At least that worked. I texted an answer and went back to my comfy chair, picked up the remote and sat down to catch up on the news—which was no longer breaking, by the way.

Something didn’t feel quite right about the remote. The curves were a little off. I looked down to see what was off. The remote was right where I’d left it, but something was definitely off. My remote and me know each other inside and out and one thing about remote controls: they don’t change shape.

I almost feel like not telling you, see if you can guess, but just in case you’re not as smart as I thought you were, I’ll tell you.

This whole time I’d been holding the remote upside-down.