Saturday, January 14, 2012

For Lack Of A Penis

The Husband and I went to his mom's last night for a little "Family Fun".  It was MIL's (Mother in Law) birthday and all the kids got together and bought her a big flat screen TV.  Her regular TV died and she was left watching a 19" box of a TV that looked really little after watching big screens. Funny how not too long ago everyone was fine watching a 19" TV but now, anything smaller than 40" seems tiny.  Apparently size really does matter.

So, there we all were, the MIL, her two sons, two daughters, and all the spouses.  Then the fun began. I'll start by dividing the mob into two groups...the PP's (Penis Possessors), and the NPP's (Non Penis Possessors).  For anyone who's a little slow, the PP's are the men...women cannot claim PP status by virtue of occasional usage of the appendage.  I would think everyone would know this but sometimes if you don't spell it out, there's going to be someone who inevitably says..."well I use it whenever I want so that makes it mine"...No, it doesn't...if said appendage is not attached to your body you can't be a PP, no way, no how.  That's it...final.

The three PP's began by hurrying to get their Leatherman tools out of their pockets so they could use a knife to get the TV box open.  The #2 son won the Leatherman race thus winning rights to slice open said TV box, which he did with the utmost care and the least amount of speed possible.  I could've run around the block in the time it took him to slice that packing tape.  That's assuming I would ever be inclined to run around the block...which up till now, I haven't been.  It could happen...maybe...probably not.

Once the box was opened, out comes the styrofoam packing piece by piece until finally a beautiful flat screen TV emerges being gently cradled by three sets of PP hands.  Apparently all PP hands must touch the new toy to leave their mark...kinda like a dog lifting it's leg...just sayin'.

While one of the PP's started unhooking the 19 incher and cable box, another PP started reading the "Quick Setup" instructions. I'm proud to say it was The Husband who was actually reading directions...God love him. The third PP started attaching the stand to the TV.  I was asked, grudgingly I might add, to steady the beautiful new toy on it's side so the PP could attach a screw in the bottom of the stand.  I nearly fainted in shock...a PP just asked a NPP for help...WTF...that never happens at my house.  At my house, PP's are all knowing...and if they aren't, they act like they are....and they never, I repeat, never ask a NPP for help unless there's something they're totally unable to do alone...like hold up trusses and attach them at the same time...in cases like this even the most die hard do it yourselfer PP is forced to accept help from a NPP.  I should note here that at my house, the PP hates to ask for help because the NPP always has friendly suggestions as to how the task at hand could be accomplished easier, better, or more quickly than the original plan allows.  Most PP's...definitely the one at my house...don't appreciate these helpful suggestions from NPP's.

The MIL has cable service for her TV that goes from the wall to a cable box, to the TV. Two remotes, one for the TV, one for the cable box, she uses to control the functions..  The PP who was connecting the cables, who up until this point I'd always thought was a certified techno geekster who knew everything about gadgets...I may have misjudged...., got everything hooked up and we all watched excitedly when he turned the power on.  It worked!  Hooray!  Oh wait...how come it's only getting two channels and everything else is snow?

Now, the former gadget expert PP starts clicking on the remote for the TV going through various setup's to see if he can figure out the problem.  He shoots me a pitiful look when I suggest he use the second remote that controls the cable box...apparently it's not only my own PP that doesn't appreciate my helpful suggestions.  Now call me crazy, but isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over & over hoping for a different result?????  Well guess what???  Gadget Man PP is insane!!!  Who knew??  Yes, he kept going through the same functions on the remote over and over and over and over......

Then the powers that be...PP powers mind you...decide that there must be something wrong with the cable box.  This is the same box that was working fine on the 19 incher before they unhooked it...but now it must be broken.  Because surely, none of the PP's could be doing anything wrong.  Oh no, not them... Sadly, The Husband wrongly accused Gadget Man of making a mistake during the setup because he used a scan channel feature that he didn't have to...after being so proud of him for reading the directions I realized he's still just a PP and unlikely to change his ways.

So now the new TV is only getting two channels clearly...all the other ones are snow.  Gadget Man PP decides to unhook the cable from the box and feed it directly into the TV (this is also something I suggested earlier and was told in no uncertain terms that it didn't work that way...just sayin').  After much male dithering, more reading of start up guides, and suggestions from the NPP's which were totally ignored, the cable is connected directly to the TV.  It works, but still only the two channels...all the others are snow.

Gadget Man PP declares "There has to be something wrong with the cable box" and much to my dismay, The Husband readily agrees with him.  I reply "How can it be the cable box if it was working before and you still get the same two channels with the box and without the box?"  Again I'm ignored by all PP's.

The cable box gets hooked back up.  Gadget Man PP's not giving up control of the remote...and again he starts going through the setup input mode...over and over and over and over.  Still only two channels.

Now, having some experience with multiple remotes prior to the invention of the Harmony remote (which is one of the greatest inventions known to man) I try to get the point across, in my most non threatening NPP voice that there should be a way to change the channels using the cable box remote.
After lengthy denials by all PP's they finally ask the NPP who lives there with the MIL how she changes the channel.  A side note here...this particular NPP is The Husband's sister who is bipolar and kinda kooky so they would never in a million years think that she could know more than a PP.  When she tries to tell them what she does, Gadget Man PP starts to spring into action, but finally like a voice in the wilderness...one of the other PP's says "just let her show us".  Originally I thought this was one of those rare occasions when a PP was reasonable, but in hindsight, I think he was just impatient and didn't want to try to figure out what kooky NPP was trying to tell them.  I could be wrong about this...but I don't think so.

The kooky NPP grabs the cable box remote, starts pushing buttons, and the channels all start changing like they're supposed to.  All's right with the world, the new TV works like a charm. All thanks to the PP's...who immediately begin the self congratulatory speeches. (I made that last part up...about the self congratulatory speeches...but they really wanted to be self congratulatory.)

It appears that men don't automatically, by virtue of a penis, know how to fix cars, repair leaky faucets, BBQ steaks, or hook up TV's any more than women automatically become infant experts simply because they have a vagina.  The difference seems to be that women...not always...but usually, know it...men feel compelled to act like they know how to do stuff simply because they're men...it's the stoopidist thing.