#346 – Fantastic Mr. Fox

My wife uses words like “elaborate” and “unworkable” to describe our media room’s entertainment system.  Naturally, I disagree.  I think any five-year-old could handle its controls without difficulty.  Last night, I even proved the point, but you won’t hear me bragging under the circumstances!

There’s nothing overly complicated in the setup of our audio and video components.  We have a surround sound system, and every device connects to it and works off its remote.  In addition to the TV itself, I’ve added a DVR satellite box, Playstation3, and a DVD recorder.  Each has its own input in the A/V receiver, and separate buttons activate each item.  The satellite box runs from “HDMI 1,” PS3 from “HDMI 2,” and the DVD recorder from “DVD.”  Simple as pie, yet my wife treats all but normal satellite viewing as nuclear physics.

Sophia’s nephew and niece slept over yesterday.  The Mrs. convinced her sister-in-law that an overnight stay at our house would be worlds of fun.  Actually, “convinced” seems too strong a word.  I think Gina would’ve pawned her kids off on anyone willing to endure the pintsized migraine inducers.

To be honest, I didn’t exactly look forward to hosting our miniature houseguests.  I seem to wind up in hot water after every interaction with those kids.  While I didn’t know what would go wrong, exactly, I held little doubt that the shit would hit the fan at one point or another. I said as much to Sophia too.

Of course, she told me not to worry: “Relax, Richard.  I’ll be there the entire time to make sure you don’t screw up!”  Famous last words, right? 

After dinner, Sophia told me to start the DVD she’d purchased especially for the occasion, while she made popcorn for the kids.  The animated children’s film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, stars the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep and tells the story of a fox whose thieving ways cause disaster for his family and his mammalian neighbors. 

As I slipped the disc into the PS3, five-year-old Franco asked me about our various remote controls.  I briefly explained their uses, before pressing HDMI 2 on the receiver’s remote, handing Franco the PS3 controller, and leaving the room to attend nature’s call.

The good news is I beat Sophia to the media room.  Thus, I managed to switch the input back to HDMI 2 before she could glimpse the decidedly less-children’s-oriented movie playing on our 52-inch TV screen in place of Fantastic Mr. Fox … courtesy of a five-year-old’s easy mastery of the surround sound components and activation of the partially viewed disc resting within the DVD recorder.

The bad news is that my impromptu, hurried explanation to the kids probably won’t pass scrutiny.  As I suspect, it’s only a matter of time before Sophia or Gina realizes that the children’s excited references to the “lady eating the man’s carrot” wasn’t merely kid-speak for the dining habits of animated bunnies.


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