The Law of the Missing Remote

By | June 8, 2006

There must be a law that describes this, but I can’t find one. We have four air conditioners in our flat, and four remotes. Each remote used to sit snugly in one of those wall clasp things, and everything was hunky dory. No missing remotes, no mess. Until one of the remotes broke, so now we have three, to operate four units. So now, of course, the remotes have to be moved around to operate air conditioners in other rooms. So now we have no idea where the remotes are. We are now, one week into this crisis, down to one remote. I have no idea where the other ones went. What is this called, when the removal of one item triggers a collapse in the order of all the other untis?

I assume the same would happen if you have five remotes governing four units. Quickly you’d stop looking for the remote in the wall clasp, and start leaving the remotes around anywhere, thinking “Hey, we’ve got plenty of them, why bother to put them back?” So after a while you’d be down to fewer remotes than there are units.

I can think of 100 ways to solve this problem, but not one that isn’t hopelessly nerdy, involving string or rubber bands or something to keep the remotes in place. When you have to start stringing your remotes to the devices you’re trying to control remotely, they’re not remotes anymore. And you’re a nerd.

One thought on “The Law of the Missing Remote

  1. nightingaleshiraz

    lol. i don’t know the name of the Law either, but there has to be one. and quite possibly, it’s related to that other domino-phenomenon in household life: when — in a corridor full of lightbulbs — one of them blows, and then *every* other one will blow within twenty-four-hours of the previous one (regardless of when you put them in and how long they’ve been in there). what *is* that?


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