The other day, I turned on my television and there was nothing there. And I don’t mean that it was only showing the re-runs of “Survivor: The Golden Girls Edition.”

I mean there was nothing on the screen at all, just a lot of numbers and codes and flashing lights that seemed to indicate my television was being used as a relay station for NASA. I understood immediately what was happening — the TV wasn’t working — and I understood what I had to do about it.

Now normally, when something isn’t working around the house, what I have to do about it is call someone who knows what to do about it and how to fix it. I am generally very good at this, assuming that I can find my phone and I have remembered to charge it.

But this was just the TV and I already had the remote control and how complicated could fixing this simple problem be?

My remote control is a universal remote control with one button for every planet in the universe. I began pressing them all.

I hit the guide button, because I needed help, and I hoped it would help me understand what a guide button is. I hit the list button because I wanted to see what my options were for the settings button and whether the salad fork goes on the right or left.

I hit the day button with the arrow going to the left, which I figured would take me back to yesterday, when the TV worked, and the day button with the arrow going to the right, which meant I had already missed my appointment with the dermatologist.

I hit the little triangular button A because that seemed like a better grade than triangular buttons B, C or D.

I hit the live button because, yes, I want to live and I wanted to make sure the TV wasn’t, in fact, dead, particularly since I’m almost sure the warranty had run out.

I hit the swap button, just because it seemed like fun and because I felt that everybody should visit Italy or hit the swap button at least once in their lives.

I hit the menu button because I was starting to get hungry.

I hit the FAV button because it was right next to the menu button.   I hit the shift/mode button in an attempt to shift the mode from useless, large black screen to the weather channel where I could watch weatherpeople uselessly standing on sandy coastlines getting their windbreakers broken.

I considered hitting the M2 button but decided against it, figuring I should start with the M1 button except I don’t have an M1 button.

I hit the list button which gave me a list of all the buttons I had hit, alphabetized according to last name. 

There was, still, a button called last, but it really was next-to-last because before I could get there I hit exit.