The television remote was invented in 1955.
I'm not sure why.
Today we have hundreds of channels and nothing to watch. Back then, we had three channels and nothing to watch.
The options were so limited that in my house we watched opera once a week. At a very early age I couldn't wait for the fat lady to sing.
Today it's difficult to imagine life without the remote, particularly for men, who when it comes to watching television have the attention span of cocker spaniels.
I think it was Jerry Seinfeld who observed that men don't care about what's on, they care about what else is on.
In terms of healthy lifestyle choices, the remote is the Cheez Whiz of electronic devises.
Imagine if men had to get up from their recliners (the hot fudge sundaes of furniture) and walk over to the television every time they wanted to change the channel. So many calories would be burned that we would look like a nation of breatharians.
The problem of the remote has grown into the problem of the remotes. If I didn't know better I'd swear that the way remotes multiply they must be having some kind of kinky electronic sex. To watch television or a DVD in my house requires the use of no less than four different remotes: TV, cable box, DVD player, surround sound.
As you might imagine I live in constant fear that one or all of these devices might one day get it on with up my garage-door remote. Were this to come about I fear the resulting inbreeding of microchips could lead to viewing chaos: beer commercials airing during "Sesame Street;" episodes of "The View" suddenly popping up in the middle of NFL games. Oh, the horror!
Anyway, even if this doomsday scenario never comes to pass, there is still the matter of the modern remotes ever increasing complexity.
Mindlessly hit the wrong button on a remote and you can find yourself so lost in menu loops that your only way out is to buy a new television.
An alternative to multiple remotes is the "universal remote," which incorporates several remotes into one easy to use unit ... if you happen to be a NASA computer programmer.
I have at least a half dozen universal remotes sitting in a drawer somewhere. Now that I think of it, I only remember putting two of them in there.