We need a remote control that clicks off laziness | Column

There is a major crisis happening — right now, in our house.

It’s been taking place for at least a month. It’s a problem that no one discusses, much less looks you in the eye. An elephant is running rampant around here and no one notices except me and Mr. Hallahan.

The clicker for our TV has gone astray. Disappeared, vanished, buried somewhere in stuff and God only knows where it’s hiding.

Since I am the finder of lost things around here, this bothers me deeply that even I can’t locate it. Recalling the last time I held the coveted clicker in my hand is difficult.

I have a semi-guilty secret that I will share. I fear that I am the culprit of this mishap, but I can’t remember.

Inadvertently, the clicker might have been confiscated on a passionate whim, to prevent the children from zoning out in front of the small screen. Memories are hazy, but the words “do-your-chores-no-more-TV” ring a bell. Unfortunately, that hints that I have stashed the clicker somewhere in this house. We may never find it. Especially if I hid it in the garage! But that’s a whole other story.

The fact that we have this problem points to an even greater one. Exactly how lazy of a society have we truly become? Relaxing while watching a select TV show is OK once in a while. But when channel surfing minus a clicker (which can’t be written down as a physical activity), it is impossible not to notice that one must actually lift their bottom off the sofa and walk/crawl three feet to accomplish this act. And that defeats the purpose. It just doesn’t invite slothful tube viewing.

However, real studies have documented the actual amount of calories burned when we go back to the stone-age and essentially move our whole body to switch channels. Now there’s incentive to lose the clicker!

I personally do not watch TV, except to occasionally check out the Today’s Special Value on QVC. (Hey, I only write the truth!) And so it doesn’t impact me, but my husband is especially bugged by the missing clicker. He barks, “I’m going to buy a new clicker and chain it to the TV and no one except me will get to touch it!”

I silently laugh at this proclamation, while envisioning a hole drilled into the cabinet with a long steel-link chain locked to a clicker. He wouldn’t dare — although he’s mad enough to consider it.

The only thing lazier than clickers is a drive-through 24-hour smoke shop. Passing by this establishment daily in a carpool, I am amazed that they are always busy.

To be fair, it’s no different than buying coffee or fast food. It can be summed up in one word: Convenience. We are much too busy to park our cars and amble into a building to purchase our ready-to-consume-food, lattes and cigarettes.

Well, as I write, I have thought of one more mind-bogglingly lazy American behavior. And this one happens 24/7: Shopping carts not returned to the cart holders. Come on, you know who you are! Returning a cart takes consideration toward the person whose car your abandoned cart will ding. So possibly that isn’t truly an act of laziness as much as a lack of caring.

Maybe we have overbooked our days and need to pare down our stressful schedules. I’m just not sure how to trim our go-go-go lifestyles. But we can adapt to change. And that beloved clicker will turn up around here eventually — if we ever move.

But by then we could have affordable voice-activated TVs. Imagine click-free TV. Convenient laziness improved upon! I look forward to that — while lounging in my chair.

Federal Way resident Jan Hallahan is a writer and mom. Contact:

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