Column: Women have many talents, but the remote is man’s domain

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I have friends, a married couple, who each possesses a TV remote control. That sounds okay, but they each use the remote on the same TV. As a Certified Marriage Expert (CME), I must warn against this. In my professional opinion, this is asking for trouble.

I am an official CME because I have remained married for over five years and my wife is still speaking to me. I have an advanced degree because I am able to remember both my wife’s middle name and our anniversary.

Here is the problem that I see with dueling TV remotes. His lordship goes up one channel and then she goes down two channels just to teach him a lesson. He tries to further his education by visiting all 17 ESPN channels in 17 minutes while she prefers to waste her time watching something called the Lifetime Channel. He wants to watch monster trucks for the good of all mankind while she opts to fill her eyes with tears while watching Oprah do one of her “Men Bad, Women Good” shows.

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They will watch what she wants. That is if she really is able to operate the remote. Women are good at so many things and they are much better at a lot of things than men. Giving birth is the first thing that comes to mind. Women are much better at being pregnant than any man could ever be. I think many men would be more than willing to eat for two, but I speak for most men when I say that I am glad that women are willing to deal with giving birth without causing us much pain. If men gave birth, the average family would have approximately zero children. I can’t remember ever hearing another male say that he wished he could give birth. I did have a cousin who called me one morning and told me that he wished he could become pregnant. I almost choked on my Pop Tart. Then he laughed. He gets me on April Fool’s Day every year. So on behalf of men everywhere, thank you, ladies, for the whole pregnancy and giving birth thing. Nice job.

That is far from the end of the list of things that women do better than men. It is hard to match a woman’s talent for applying lipstick while driving 70 miles per hour down the highway. Women are much better in heading to the bathroom in small groups. Men become frightened when another man asks him to accompany him to the men’s room.

Yes, women are so good at doing so many things, but men shine when it comes to the TV remote. We were born to have one in our hand. A remote is like holding Excalibur to someone of the male persuasion. All men should have a “Born to Click” tattoo. A skilled man can sit down in his favorite recliner and with his beverage of choice in one hand and a remote in the other &045; well, it is like watching a finely tuned Olympic athlete in action. A man can push that button with such precision that he never has to watch a second of any commercial. Such performances never fail to bring a tear to my eye. Men take a natural gift in this area and hone it to perfection with hours of practice.

Studies have shown that the average male watches one channel for 18 minutes on the average. I cannot believe that. 18 minutes! Somebody is lying. Lying is another thing that my wife tells me that men have a real talent for. Even with a sporting event on the tube, no man is going to be able to sit through 18 minutes of the same channel.

I have tried to teach my wife, The Queen B, the proper way to use a TV remote control. It is hopeless. She is an extremely intelligent woman who can do just about anything. She understands the inner workings of our furnace, the intricacies of our computer and what makes our drain back up. Why, she even understands the whole thing with fractions. She is a bubbling vat of knowledge, but she just doesn’t have the knack for the TV remote. She is lacking the gene that provides the flair needed to be an effective channel changer. When I hand her the remote, I have to give her a quarter along with it so she can buy herself a clue.

I guess I will click alone, just the way nature intended it. Channel surfing, they call it. I call it being a real man.

Hartland resident Al Batt writes columns for the Wednesday and Sunday editions of the Tribune.