Our bedroom is quite ordinary at first glance. A large king size bed, a dresser, two night tables, curtains, and a chair piled high with yesterday’s clothes, a Burpee Seed catalog, and last Sunday’s New York Times. Perched on top, a half-finished bowl of oatmeal. Upon closer inspection one sees the chrome, plexiglass, wiring, dials, buttons and switches of the 21st century.
At the foot of the bed stands our color television. The cord for the set curls around the bed to a wall socket behind our bed. The skill with which we avoid entangling in the cord is the mark of a demolitions expert.
We recently acquired cable T.V., as a result a second fifteen-foot cable connects the television with a control panel resting on our bed along with ten feet of insulated wire. The cable installer told me the wire can’t short out, but I’ve never believed the Underwriters Label on our heating pad, and I am not going to start now.
In between our pillows lies the remote-control unit that controls our television. Fortunately, the remote unit has no wires or we would have long since strangled in a web of vinyl coated copper.
On each of our night tables rests a Tensor, high intensity reading lamp. Both lamps have low and high power settings. My wife’s lamp has a switch on the bottom of the lamp, while my switch is located just behind the bulb. The placement of the switch is crucial to ones’ health. On full power, my lamp shade is an inferno, requiring fine muscle coordination to avoid third degree burns.
The height of the lamp is adjustable. When my wife is asleep, I can lower my lamp and read without disturbing her sleep. At the same time, I can remove the varnish from the top of my night table owing to my high-intensity torch light.
The sounds of the 21st century permeates our room. Our cable control box has fifteen switches, allowing access to thirty separate channels. Combine that with the three volume settings allowed by our remote-control unit, and we can click ninety times per night without repeating a sequence.
The late show is over and my wife clicks the off button on our remote control. The lamps are doused, and we pull up the covers and crawl under them. Our hands touch, and a muted click is heard, followed by a blast of light, and the blare of Gloria Gaynor singing, “I will Survive.” One move of my left knee, and all is quiet once again.