The Collection: Remote

Charli Mills’ prompt for this week’s 99-word (no more, no less) story at Carrot Ranch was as follows:

August 1, 2022, prompt: Write a story that features someplace remote in 99 words (no more, no less). It can be a wild sort of terrain or the distance between people. What is the impact of a remote place? Go where the prompt leads!

This pedometer geek writer did not have the remotest idea what to write about and so just went where the prompt led this writer, and it is follows:

Television: the Remote Wasteland

When we were young, it was black and white television only, and the remote was the distance to the set, turning to one of three channels.

My family was the first in our neighborhood to own a color television, but there wasn’t a remote control.

Technology brought cable television, with a remote to scan through many channels.

Televisions in rooms used for eating or sleeping became common, and with it, more remotes.

Now our television requires two remotes to find something worth watching; some days, it’d be easier to return to three networks, getting up, and flipping the dial.

~Nancy Brady, 2022

Or even better, just turning the TV off and reading a book instead.

To read all the 99-word stories about remote places, check out the blog at I am sure the Word Wranglers will have written some interesting tales. I know I plan on reading them all.

#99wordstories #pedometergeek #CarrotRanch #BP #writing

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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16 Responses to The Collection: Remote

  1. Liz H says:

    I know, right? Reality TV doesn’t look anything like what I live, or care to imagine.


    • Yeah, reality TV is neither reality nor TV I care to watch either. On the other hand, my husband and I have been watching BBC’s New Tricks series, which is several retired police detectives and another chief detective (employed) heading up UCOS (unsolved crimes unit). No binging, but a show a night through FreeVee (formerly Imbd) and PBS.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you check it out, let me know what you think, Liz.


  3. JC home says:

    Oh yeah, I remember three channels growing up in The Bronx, NY. There was always something on be it cartoons, The Three Stooges or whatever. Now, all these channels. All these subscriptions. It takes forever to find out…there’s nothing on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, JC. We watch a fair amount of METv, which has many retro shows (Three Stooges, cartoons, M*A*S*H, Hogan’s Heroes, etc.), but mostly we watch PBS and now FreeVee. We actually have antennas (pointing in different directions) rather than subscriptions, and it’s amazing all the channels we get. Still, most of those channels we ignore. ~nan


  4. The excitement of a second channel came when I was a teenager. Colour, hmmm, I don’t remember when that happened in our home. Favourite shows – Bugs Bunny (Sat night before the hockey game), Bonanza (Sun night after Ed Sullivan).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann, we had three, an ABC, NBS, and CBS affiliates, but most of what my sisters and I watched were the locally produced shows. Of course, cartoons on Saturday morning and maybe Ed Sullivan, but bedtime came too early for Bonanza in my younger sister’s and my case. I know the only reason our family had a color TV before anyone else had to do with the fact that Dad worked for a company that had Sylvania as a subsidiary and he got a discount. That, and it was our Christmas present for the year. Seeing the NBC peacock change colors was one of my biggest thrills that year. ~nan


  5. I like police procedurals and British shows are always good so I’m going to add “BBC’s New Tricks” to my list. I’ve never used FreeVee before, but I just found they have a movie (Rampart) that was written by a writer I like (James Ellroy) so I’ll check it out soon. How about remotes that we can talk to and that answer us? It’s a weird world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B, it is indeed a weird world. We actually have a Fire TV, and we can talk to its remote (Alexa), but we don’t. Having said that, though, we have to use both remotes if we decide to use the Firestick to get to our PBS Passport stations (if our antennas’ receptions are wonky because of fog). If you start watching New Tricks, start with Season 1, Episode 1 to get the background on how UCOS (Unsolved Crimes/Open Cases) started. By the way, I love the theme song for the lyrics. ~nan


  6. I don’t think I could run a modern television. It’s complicated and then there’s that long long list of programs but as you say, nothing there really. Yeah, TV was good when it was the one channel (sometimes two, and on rare cold clear nights, three) And it had a bed time, ending with the Star Spangled Banner and done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, D. I have problems running our TV. Fortunately, my husband can do the two-handed remote shuffle. I still prefer the three stations, many of which had local programming like Flippo, King of the Clowns showing Popeye cartoons from 4-5PM M-F. It kept us out of Mom’s hair for an hour while she made dinner and then setting the table. As for the sign-off, we were always in bed long before that with a bedtime of eight o’clock.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jules says:

    I can agree… so many channels and not a thing worth watching.
    Which is party why we now mostly what You-tube shows.
    Hubby likes to learn something, but he’ll watch the Midsummer Murders with me (since we do not get Brit Box).

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you like Midsomer Murders, you might enjoy New Tricks. We don’t have Britbox, but we have FreeVee, formerly IdMb TV. Yes, there are ads, but they actually say how many seconds until the show continues. Our TV watching tends to be mostly PBS Masterpiece/Mystery shows, and that’s how we discovered New Tricks in the first place. My husband watches a fair amount of You-Tube videos as he likes to learn things, too. Mostly about photography techniques and lenses, but other things as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules says:

        I haven’t heard of FreeVee/ IdMb… We get the minimum of a local company. And then share a YouTube account. And that seems more than enough.

        I occasionally watch Penn and Teller… is New Tricks – magic?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. No, New Tricks is not magic. I think the name comes from the expression, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” since three of the characters are retired police officers of some repute. They solve unsolved, open cases from the past. Maybe the FreeVee is connected to Amazon Prime or the Fire TV. We also watch New Tricks on our local PBS station.


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