Chapter 2 – Batteries – February 2026
"ZIVA!" Tony yelled in the direction of the kitchen from his recliner in the family room.
She peered around the corner of the doorway, "You bellowed?"
"Stupid remote isn't working again," he whined and then sneezed three times. He hated being down with the flu, and having to rest was driving him crazy when he could be outside, at work, or anywhere else for that matter.
She walked over to his side, and pressed the button to power on the TV, cable box, and Blu-Ray player; nothing happened. She tried again with the same result. "Remember that the doctor said that you should be gentle with your vocal chords and lungs," she reminded him as she shook the remote and pressed the power button a third time.
"Told you it isn't working," he grumbled.
"Did you try the remote for just the TV?" she gestured to the stash of remote control units sitting on the end table next to his recliner.
He handed it to her and had a coughing fit. She pressed the power button and the TV came on. She picked through the pile of remotes and found the one for the DVD player. She pressed the power button and the device came to life.
"I don't want to watch a disc; I want to watch the classic movie channel," he complained.
"Fine," she walked over to the cable box and pressed the power button on the device. It powered up to the default channel quickly. "What channel number is the one you want?"
"Three-twenty-four," he replied as she entered the channel number manually; the classic movie channel appeared on the screen. "What if I want to view the guide or change the channel?"
She sighed and walked back to the end table. She picked up the universal remote and opened the battery door. "I see the problem," she had to keep from grinning. "Your battery thief is at it again." She showed him the empty battery compartment.
"Little brats take after…" she shushed him before he could put his foot in his mouth.
"They are half you and half me; I will replace the batteries and be right back," she headed to his office to retrieve new batteries and couldn't help but smile. One or more of the kids had been pranking their father with the remotes on and off for the past month. Today's culprit had managed to snag the batteries between breakfast and heading out the door to the school bus. The loose batteries were found within a day or so, never in the same spot. The last time, the batteries had shown up on the kitchen counter behind a cup of pens.
As she was replacing the batteries in the remote, she heard a noise from the family room. Tony was holding up the missing batteries, "Found them in the side pocket of the recliner. Touché to the battery bandit!"