Remote out of control

It was your typical family Friday night. You know, the one where you are lying on your back under an overturned couch, a knife in your hand, while barking, “No! Keep the flashlight shining there!”

It all started when my daughter made the critical mistake of trying to change the channel on the television. We cut the cord about a year ago, and we have two remotes. One is for the TV, where we watch over-the-air channels. The other is for our Amazon Firestick. My daughter was sitting on the couch and reached for the remote, and in the process, proceeded to knock it down into the couch cushion. When she went to retrieve the remote, she did the opposite of retrieving it, and instead pushed it down into the nether regions of our couch that apparently feast on remotes.

Time to go into full on recovery mode. After my wife, son, daughter, and daughter’s boyfriend all tried to find the remote, it was time for the real pro to come in. Step aside, amateurs. Hero has arrived.

Yeah, hero didn’t find a thing.

We kept probing various parts of the couch, trying to find where the remote could have hidden. Nothing. Although we did have the super fun time where my hand got stuck inside the bowels of the couch as a couch spring latched on to my wedding ring. Once I got my hand free, I opted to make the rest of the recovery mission wedding ring-free.

I told my wife we needed to tip the couch over so that we could access the couch from underneath, and that would easily reveal the remote. She looked at me with a look she often gives me.

We tipped the couch, leaning it on its front part. On the underside of the couch there is a black fabric. All we need to do, I told my wife, is tear off the fabric and boom – remote would present itself.

My wife informed me that we could not just tear off the fabric, and also reminded me that this was a new couch. I told her that, sure, we could tear off the fabric, as we would just staple it back. I went to the kitchen and opened that junk drawer that everyone has, and retrieved a stapler. We had this conversation:

HER: That won’t work.

ME: Sure it will.

HER: Don’t you have a big stapler out in the garage?

ME: This will work.

So, let’s fast forward about 30 minutes to when I’m at the hardware store, having realized that (a) a junk drawer stapler won’t re-attach fabric to a couch and (b) my stapler in the garage is broken.

When I got back to the house, we began to pull apart the fabric, giving us a clearer view of the underside of the couch. Nothing there.

I peeled back more and more fabric. Still nothing. But, I could get my hand in more places and probe a little deeper into the nooks of the couch you couldn’t see.

And then, after exploring this pocket and that pocket, boom. Jackpot. I felt the remote. But I could just feel the edge of it. Despite my efforts, I could not grab the remote.

Time to tilt the couch. Shift it a little to the left and the remote would no doubt be right there.

Apparently, we tilted a little too much, as it jumped into a new hidden cavern of the couch, one where I could touch it, but still not get a hand on it. The problem was there was more fabric blocking my hand. How much interior fabric does a couch need!?!?!

So I made the executive decision of getting a knife from the kitchen and cutting away the fabric that was impeding progress. My hand still couldn’t get in there, so my daughter took a stab. After a few tries, success. Remote retrieved.

She was very pleased with herself, as she should have been. And anyone who knows my daughter can absolutely hear her voice when she made this comment, as she proudly held the remote up high: “Yay, me! I ruined the day AND saved it!”

Indeed you did, child Indeed you did.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at


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