Monday, May 31, 2010

The Everyday Divinities Project - The Television and the Remote Control

The Television and the Remote Control - by R. B. LeMoyne
© May 31, 2010 *

“Hey, Lily? Which remote works the TV?”

Remy stared down at the collection of remote controls scattered across his girlfriend’s coffeetable, his eyes moving from one to another to another as he stood there, perplexed. Out of his five choices, there were three that looked like they might work the TV set. He had hoped that Lily would call out an answer from the kitchen, but she probably couldn’t hear him over the sounds of pots and pans and other dinner-making noises, which meant that he was left to figure it out on his own.

The young man sat himself on the couch and looked over each remote in turn once more before finally settling on the one that looked like it might match the TV. “All right, let’s give you a try,” he muttered, hitting the Power button…

“Yes, we’re back on the clock!”

Moe lifted his feet off his desk and straightened his tie, glad to be back in action after an extended period of inactivity. Though the break wasn’t exactly unwelcome, it was always a pleasure to be needed in the workplace, and the TV remote control god was waiting for someone to finally put him to good use.

He snatched up a piece of parchment and grabbed a pen, then started filling out paperwork for the formal request. It didn’t take him any time at all to get it done – even after such long periods of downtime, he was as efficient as ever. He signed the request, stamped it with the seal of his office, then put the form in his “Out” box where it disappeared with the typical flash of white divine light.

Satisfied that his end of things was done, Moe leaned back in his chair with a smile and waited for the confirmation form to appear in his “In” box.

And waited.

And waited.

He frowned.

It never took Sonny this long to get back to him. True, it’d been a while since they worked together, but procedure was procedure, and there were certain things that gods simply did not do, not if they wanted to keep their job. One of them would be violating the Rule of Prime. The other was shirking one’s duty to their physical domain.

Moe got up from his chair and started pacing his office, glancing worriedly at his still empty “In” box. What could be keeping him? What could possibly be wrong? Was he okay? Truthfully, there was only one way to find out for sure.

The TV remote god went out to his office balcony and looked out over the divine landscape, briefly admiring the cityscape that dominated their side of the world before finding the building that housed Sonny’s office. He focused on the television god’s balcony, calling up his godly power to surround himself in a protective corona of brilliant energy.

Then, in a blinding flash much like the kind that had enveloped his request form, he shot from the balcony like a bolt of lightning.

Half a moment later, and he was landing on Sonny’s office balcony. The anxious god shed off the excess power from his travel as he walked into the office, only to find that the television god was reclining in his office chair much as Moe had been earlier, his feet up on his desk and a supreme look of boredom on his face. It didn’t make any sense to him – if Sonny had been here all this time, why hadn’t he responded to his request by now?

“Hey, partner,” he finally asked tentatively. “Are you all right?”

Sonny looked over at him, surprised to find that he wasn’t alone, and gave the god a wide smile. “Hey, Moe! It’s been a while, my friend! How are you?” He stood and embraced his old partner, which just confused the remote control god even more.

After taking a step back to look over his old friend, Moe answered, “I’m fine, if a little perplexed. I sent you a request form earlier, and I hadn’t heard back from you. So, naturally, I wanted to make sure it got to you safely, or if there were any complications I should know about.”

“Oh, no, I got it,” Sonny replied. “But I can’t approve it. Or rather, I can’t approve all of it.”

This took Moe by surprise. “What? Why not?”

“Because I take most of those requests from someone else now.”

What?!” Moe stared at the television god with an open look of disbelief. “But… but we’ve been working together for years, you and me! We were inseparable! Our physical domains were even packaged in the same box, made by the same company! What do you mean you take most of those requests from someone else? Who is it?”

Before Sonny could answer, a flash of white light heralded the arrival of a form in his “In” box. “Hold that thought,” he said to a stunned Moe as he checked the newly arrived paperwork. Nodding to himself, he dug out a response form, filled out his approval notice, then filled out a second form to carry out the request. Both forms were stamped with the seal of his office, put in his “Out” box, and vanished instantly in that same flash of brilliance.

“What was that?” Moe demanded, his voice carrying some of the upset that he was feeling.

“Oh, that was a request to turn on and display a particular channel,” Sonny informed his old partner casually.

“From who?” Moe asked, folding his arms expectantly across his chest.

“From Chaz, the cable box god. You know him, right?”

“Nevermind, I found it!” Remy called back to his girlfriend, relaxing on the couch to watch some TV. It took some trial and error, but he finally found the remote that turned on the TV and changed the channels. Lily would still be at it in the kitchen for another 20 minutes or so, which gave him just enough time to catch the rest of this week’s How I Met Your Mother before they sat down for dinner.

Maybe I could convince her to ditch some of these old remotes, he considered idly as he started to lose himself in the TV show.

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