Battle for TV remote never ends


Television time around the male-dominated Clinch household is always a contest.

I enjoy romantic comedies, they like football. While I prefer home-decorating shows, legal dramas and your average murder mystery, they prefer, well — football.

Sadly, we’re not just limited to football games. We get to watch in-depth analyses, top discussions from men in the know, and on Tuesday nights we’re blessed with the armchair athlete’s phone-in shows.

Then there’s ESPN, The Big Ten network and God bless us one and all, reruns of football games long past.

For the sake of family unity, I usually sit and read a book while the family cheers on their favorite teams. I could go to another room, but I grow tired of being alone, and how is a gal ever going to learn what a crab block consists of if she’s not watching the game?

(On a side note, a crab block is not a tailgating appetizer. Just thought you’d like to know.)

But on a recent night, having grown tired of first downs and shotgun formations, I announced to the family that I was watching TV in the sitting room.

NFL or not. I’d just settled in under a warm fuzzy blanket and was preparing to make comfy, when Pat, my beloved spouse, appeared. In an attempt to save me from myself, he picked up the remote and said, “Here, I’ll find us something good to watch.”

If I’d had a yellow flag, I’d have thrown it and called him for encroachment.

Knowing that whatever he wanted to watch would be nothing that I’d choose, I grumbled a bit and reluctantly picked up my book.

Surprisingly enough, Pat stopped on the Lifetime channel and, for a moment, actually seemed interested. When I looked to see if he had fallen asleep, he just looked at me and smiled.

George Clooney has nothing on that man of mine.

I put down my book and started to watch the show with him. Although a movie about a woman who was living a double life and searching for the daughter, who may or not have been her own, wouldn’t have been my first choice, it certainly beat the NFL.

At least as far as I was concerned.

In less than 10 minutes, he deemed the show a waste of time and once again began his incessant channel surfing.

Back to my book I went and was actually enjoying John Grisham when I noticed Pat had stopped on some sort of clothing show.

Perplexed, I couldn’t help looking over my book to gaze at the TV.

Turns out, there’s a company in Minnesota who makes work clothes for laborers so that they can enjoy both the look of high fashion and durability on the job site.

“All of our items are made out of fire hose fabric,” a man in plaid boasted. “We allow for room through the shoulders and expansion for those working muscles.”

Who knew?

Knowing that my beloved spouse dresses in Wranglers and the boys’ rejected T-shirts, I couldn’t imagine what had held his attention for so long.

“And just take a look at our work pants,” the man then explained. “They’re roomy, durable, and we’ve designed them with extra room in the crotch.”

Be still, my beating heart.

“What are you watching?” I asked, looking at Pat with dismay.

“Well, look how sharp he looks!” Pat exclaimed in amazement.

I turned back to the TV just in time to see the man take a knee and move around on the floor so we could appreciate just how roomy the crotch of his pants were.

“It’s a plaid shirt and work jeans,” I responded with disgust. Quite frankly I’d heard “crotch” one time too many for the evening and it caused me to exclaim, “Hand me that remote!”

“Would you look at that?” Pat said as he tucked the remote in his armpit. (Offensive holding if ever I’d seen it. And you know I have.) “They even have women’s shirts in fire hose fabric.” Imagine that?

He might have thought he was enticing me, but he may as well have been passing to an ineligible receiver.

“Hey look,” he then called out with excitement, “The Big 10 Wrap-up is on. Do you want me to sit on the couch with you while we watch it?”

He might be making the best of a hurryup offense, but nothing short of a Hail Mary would get me to watch TV with that man again. Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at