At the receiver’s end

When I was young, if we wanted to listen to music we used to turn a knob on a Medium Wave radio and it used to croak out music at a pitch of its choice depending on which direction the antenna was pointing to.  If it didn’t produce sound, we whacked it on its head and music promptly followed.  Life is not that simple these days.  They invented this equipment called “Receiver.”

It took them a lot more research to find a problem that is solved by the Receiver.  If you have a lot of audio/video players that want to share the same goddamn speakers, you need a Receiver.  In other words, a Receiver is a piece of equipment which accepts input from several audio/video sources and outputs nothing.  It is an Entertainment device.  Most of the entertainment is derived while setting it up.  This is how it went for me.

When we bought our receiver a year ago, the first thing I did was to study the back of the receiver carefully.  It took me half an hour to figure out that I was holding it up side down.  Not that it made much sense the right side up.  For the curious, the backside of the receiver looks somewhat like this:

After an hour of writhing under the sofas, shoving speakers in every corner of the house and inhaling a few pounds of dust, all I achieved was clean living room floor that I inadvertently cleaned with my undershirt when I crawled around the room on my belly. Oh yes, I got all the connections done too.  For the grand finale, I played my favorite CD.  Then I heard it.  The crystal clear sound of silence, in Dolby 5.1 surround.  Nothing.  Not a peep.  Nothing was there to speak for my hard work other than the clean floor.

Not the one to give up, I went to work checking the connections.  I heard a whirring sound.  “Yes! There is sound!” I told myself.  Didn’t matter what sound.  I jumped out to see where it was coming from.  It was coming from the running power drill, which was carelessly left around, in the hands of our 3 year old son who explained to me that he was trying to help.  If  Wife sees him with it, the power drill privileges will be taken away.  From me.  After the power drill was returned to safety (under the couch), I got back to work.

Then, putting professional contortionists to shame, I snaked myself into the tiny gap between the entertainment center and the wall into a wild forest of open electric wires, spiky tools and broken light bulbs.  When I explained the mortal hazard of my situation to Wife, she asked me to get the toys the Kid threw in that gap when I was done.  The risk I took partly paid off.  I got the toys out.  No sound though.  I halted the work for the night.  I vowed to get back to it at daybreak.

Later that night, Wife handed me an unfamiliar object sealed in a plastic bag.  She pleaded with me, “Please read the user manual.  It might help.”  Just to make her happy, I did read the manual, which has absolutely no useful information.

The next morning I took another swing at taming the beast.  In a stroke of brilliance, it suddenly occurred to me what I was doing wrong.  Within seconds everything was working!  It was just an unfortunate juxtaposition of events that an amazing clarity of thought dawned on me followed by my reading of the user manual.  But the argument about it never ceases at home.

154 Responses to “At the receiver’s end”

  • Oh my God….ROFL……Literally!

  • whaat was it that you were doing wrong? woh to batao….

    • Thank you for reminding me a beautiful Mukesh song. (Pardon my Hindi):
      woh to bata kaun ho tum, kaun ho tum
      mujhse puche bina dil me aane lage
      meethi najron se bijli giraane lage

      (And thank you for helping me evade the question by quoting a random song)

  • I can vouch for this. It is easier to dismantle this thing than mantle it. The behind of my entertainment center has always been a wired jungle. Whenever you want to turn off a particular device it is like diffusing a bomb, which wire should I pull! So I just gave up and turn off the whole damn set by turning off the power surge! And sometimes, I find wires in the back with both ends not connected to anything! It helps to read the Manual, although I would call it Manovel! Hilarious Pic, loved it!

    • Whenever you want to turn off a particular device it is like diffusing a bomb

      And sometimes, I find wires in the back with both ends not connected to anything
      I find them all the time, didn’t know where they came from. I think I cracked the mystery. See, when left alone in darkness, these unscrupulous wires, reproduce.

  • Absolutely hilarious post! Just couldn’t stop laughing at the figure…an input for detonator, ha ha ha….

    Keep writing!

  • Hilarious! Apart from the kid’s toys, I have till date recovered buttons, lost hairclips, one blue and one grey socks, ballpen refills, torn slippers, spoons, padlock keys, 5 rupee coins, bottle caps and pencil batteries among other such interesting articles from under the sofa / bed. I have become so adept at such searches that might even call myself Underneath Explorer ver. 7.0 ™
    Your experience reinforces my faith in ‘manual’labour 😀

    • 5 rupee coins
      I told you, it does pay!

      I have become so adept at such searches
      I see a lucrative part-time job in your future 😛

      LOL. Reading the manual definitely is

  • LOL.. To my arms matey!!
    Why is it that we all *HATE* manuals? Why, a cursory glance at any Nokia manual hands out so much of new info! (Did you know that pressing the # key for a while changes it from ‘general’ to ‘silent’? Me neither. Until my 4th Nokia phone’s manual came in handy)
    And this always happens to me too – and I hold Murphy responsible for this – anytime I get something new and excite myself to radioactive levels, it ALWAYS ends a damp squib. EVERY single thing I have got in life has NEVER worked on day 1!
    And not (just) cos of my not reading the manual :( I strongly feel there is someone out there still trying to ‘build’ my character and patience and what not!

    • Why is it that we all *HATE* manuals?
      I don’t hate manuals! I don’t mind going out to a drink or something with. I just don’t want to read it.

      anytime I get something new and excite myself to radioactive levels, it ALWAYS ends a damp squib
      Wait until you get married. (OK, OK kidding! People, don’t kill me)

      I strongly feel there is someone out there still trying to ‘build’ my character and patience and what not!
      ROFL! Not to sound cynical or anything but the entire life is a character building exercise until one dies.

  • Ha ha ha ha! LOL! This is hilarious! Quarters only, eh? Ha ha ha ha!

  • I wonder why the user manual would help? I always assumed it was a free coaster the company gave as a thanks for buying the product. Things were so simple before this moment. 😉

    • I always assumed it was a free coaster the company gave
      LOL. Ya, multiple coasters actually, given that now you get user manuals in all languages on Earth.

      Things were so simple before this moment.
      You should at least read the manuals for the funny warnings. “Don’t use the hair dryer on sensitive parts of the body” and so on.

  • But why are you all so wired I say?

    Now you guys know what it feels for us (lafemmes) to open our car hoods and see the mess of wires when our cars go kaput and AAA say they will be there in less than say 1000000000000 minutes!

    The wife will know!!

  • Quoting you-
    She pleaded with me, “Please read the user manual. It might help.” …
    clarity of thought dawned on me followed by my reading of the user manual.–

    How dare you do anything without asking your wife? !!! 😛

  • The backside of the receiver is just rocking .. lol, the highlight being ‘ neighbour’s woofer’.

  • ROFL! that pic was kickass :)

  • I dont think anyone over 16 is capable of installing anything. Luckily my son is just the age, and I hand over the things to be installed, configured whatever and enjoy.

  • That is absolutely hilarious! And true. I’m fourteen, and I installed my Home Theater a couple of years ago. It wasn’t much of a problem, but I too had a clean floor.
    1] That image was totally ROFL. Speakers leading to underground, neighbour, restroom, nothing, anything::awesome.
    2] Which company did that “entertainment system” belong to?
    3] I’m tweeting this.

    • I’m fourteen
      Ya, I used to do things my parents coudln’t figure out at that age :)

      That image was totally ROFL
      Thanks bud

      Which company did that “entertainment system” belong to?
      It’s Harmon Kardon

      I’m tweeting this
      I am glad you listened to my post 😛

  • Haha…lived through it. It’s even worse when you’re a girl and everyone expects you to screw up regardless. Granted, we generally suck at anything electronic, but it just takes us one call to get sweet-talk a customer service dude into coming home and set up the whole thing for us :)

    • Haha. That is a gift some people have – getting customer service people to actually help! I apparently have the opposite of the gift, a gift to turn the most nice customer service people into unhelpful and clueless gits.

  • Extremely hilarious post. The diagram was very creative.

    “It is an Entertainment device. Most of the entertainment is derived while setting it up”, “The crystal clear sound of silence, in Dolby 5.1 surround.” – lol

    Reminded me of the following joke –
    During the French Revolution a priest, a lawyer and a technician were lined up at the guillotine to be beheaded. They were given the choice to look up or to look facing down in the guillotine.
    The priest said, “Well Heaven is up, so I’ll look up, so I can see where I’m going.” They placed the Priest in the guillotine facing up and released the blade. The blade stopped just inches from the priest, so they let him go, thinking it was a miracle.
    The lawyer thought, “Well if it worked for the priest, it might work for me,” so they placed him in the guillotine looking up. They released the blade, and it stopped just inches from the lawyer, who claimed he can’t be executed twice for the same crime, so they let him go.
    The technician thought, “Well why not?” So they put him in the guillotine looking up, and the technician said, “Wait a minute! If you swap the red and the blue wires over, you might make this thing work.”

    Keep them coming.

  • AHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHA ROFL like literally! 😀 😀 😀

  • whacking still helps…
    just in case you were wondering

  • Hi TD,

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    That’s a sissy-receiver. I’m guessing you haven’t seen this, eh? :-)


  • I am sure the back cover of the contraption doubles as a pasta strainer.

  • Wondering why you did not “whack the receiver on its head” for desired effect? If it worked for an old radio, should work for the fancy receiver right?

    • Whacking the receiver!! That is most expensive thing I ever bought (other than the cars)! I kicked my son out of his bed and gave it to the receiver until I found a place for it. It’s that precious 😀

  • I could associate with this.
    One time I had installed my TV, DVD player and Sound system all fixed in a single furniture unit, after a days research & hard work. The next day wife started to modify the furniture and everything had to be dismantled.
    Managing Wire & wife is necessary to face the music or avoid facing it…whatever is applicable :)

    • haha! Rearranging the furniture.. I share your pain buddy. It’s like Murphy’s law. It rains the next day you clean the car. In the same way, wife decides to rearrange everything the day you wired the speakers.

  • Thank God u posted again! i was beginning to get really bored with life. Yes, i did LOL in office.. yes, it IS a brilliant post, and u shld wear the shirt you wore while writing this one, more often. I’ve heard it has some connection with inspiration.. the clothes you wear.

    OK, that shld tell u how bored i have been in the gap that you did not post.

    Even my friends love ur blog now!

    • He he. Thank you. Nice to be missed :)

      u shld wear the shirt you wore while writing this one
      Assumptions, assumptions! 😛

      I’ve heard it has some connection with inspiration.. the clothes you wear.
      Ooh, there’s an idea! We should start an Inspiration line of clothing 😀

  • :-)))))))))
    Had a great laugh…..
    Bring in more…

  • Ha haha hahaha :) and you do like the rear of the receiver don’t you?
    This reminds me of the cable tv connection in our place. I hounded the cable guy and threatened him that I wouldn’t pay since the reception was so crappy, and it turns out in the end that my husband had messed up with the connection with an additional wire! I watched blurred tv for 6 months and i also had to pay :)

    • I watched blurred tv for 6 months
      You are completely underestimating your husband, and men in general. He *knew* what was wrong. He just wants to send you a message that you shouldn’t be complacent with mediocrity. If you had taken action 6 months ago, you could’ve saved yourself from the trouble. I am with your husband on this one. (Please tell you husband, I expect him to side with me when I need support)

  • Is this why people say — your wife can be right at times..listen to her! 😉

    Brilliant! :)

    • your wife can be right at times..listen to her
      There is NO argument that she is right at times. We only argue what “at times” means. I think it’s 10% and she thinks it’s 90%.

  • Let me take a guess at what you did finally. You turned on power and it works !!!
    Great guessing work… 😉

  • “Restroom, neighbor’s woofer,quarters only, coffee maker, hair dryer, we are still figuring out,pirated cable ,middle ear,nothing, anything”


    Looks like you had a “lot” of fun 😀

  • ya, well manuals are for nerds, amateurs, we don’t need them….we can figure all the buttons ourselves (pun intended) :)

  • ‘Fries anything plugged in’!!!!! ROFL… literally..

  • “When whacking the receiver on the head doesn’t help, try whacking the husband.” Smart wife! 😉

    While you were down on the floor fixing things, you could as well have ROFLed at the thought of this post! Nice one :)


    • I was sweating like a pig, crawling under a sofa where a spider family reunion was going on, twisting my arms in improbable angles to place the wires in right holes, while trying to shout my lungs out at the kid not to open the recliner of the sofa which will ensure he can never ever have a sibling – you won’t believe it but I was actually thinking I gotta post this!

  • Simply mindblowing hilarious! You have an amazing gift for bringing out humour out of the most frustrating situations. And that pic of the receiver should receive the Oscars equivalent for humor!

  • tdna:

    somewhere along the line, it looks like you were trying to rtfm. i have a question. if you rtfm, how will it improve your other skills? 😉

    – s.b.

    and i have no idea why men dont read manuals! its not like they’ve learnt everything in nursery while we women were learning abc’s….

  • Tell me wht is it with u guys & the user manual! Y can’t u just read it & utilise the rest of the time to say vacum the house/run the dishwasher/washing machine?:)

  • Hilarious…I just saw the picture as well!!

  • lol! Neat work on that picture. :)

  • OMG, this could be a slice of my life! atleast you took the proverbial bull by the horns and ensured that you installed it. I’ve lost count of the “cool gadgets” that my hubby buys and then it takes a combination countless hints, threats, and not so subtle nagging to get him to install it, even then the attempts are usually futile. Case in point airport express bought in Jan this year, date of installation : yet unknown.

    Keep the posts coming!

    • Case in point airport express bought in Jan this year
      Just like good wine, good access point needs to age 😀

      I don’t get it. You complain if the husband doesn’t install them. You complain if he tries to install it and renders it completely useless in the process. There is no pleasing you!

    • Thank you Praveen for the link. I am speechless. I can’t believe so many of my articles have been stolen and mutilated like that. I am assuming the person who copied the articles does not know that the content is copyrighted. I sent a note requesting the removal. Let’s see what happens.

      Update: As I suspected, the author of that blog didn’t know about the copyright. She promptly removed the reproduced content upon request.

  • so reaing the manual did help right ?? 😉 LoLz

  • was the receiver China/India made?? i noticed a pirated product socket as well…woohoo!! 😀

    hilarious in true Twisted fashion. albeit wires and all. don’t listen to wifey, you cracked it all on your own man! :)

    ps: if i connected each end of a wire to the ‘detonator’ and the ‘neighbor’s woofer’ would that mean kaabooooom for Mr Rao upstairs??

  • Really really good.. Funny!

  • I lived the picture :)

    Anything , nothing and neighbour’s woofer were hilarious.

    And its a very male thing isnt it? not reading the manual 😛

  • **she asked me to get the toys the Kid threw in that gap when I was done.**
    I tell you the women know what is priority. If you had just asked her, she would have solved the situation and given u the manual much earlier…you could have heard music all through the night lol!!!!! MEN hmmppfff

  • TD…today my hair dryer boinked and i got a new one. The manual said “Can get really hot”.

  • Another Wonderful Post!! :-)

    Looks like you are managing to squeze in more time now a says. Replyin to comments so fast!!

  • I patiently read through the 85 odd replies to ur post (which i never do.. i generally read a post and get the hell out) to try to figure out what is the simple thing that u were doing wrong! but in vein!

    nice post… but i loved other previous posts better.. “my friend and his opinion of a wife” being one of my favorite.

    i HATE stories that keep me guessing after its over!!

    at least email me the reason if its something as stupid as forgetting to plug in the device..

  • First time reader and commentatotr. ROFL :)

    What is it with guys not reading the manual and not asking for directions 😛

    Blogrolling you.Hope you don’t mind

  • user manuals arent for extra ordinary people like you!

    Grrr….I actually made this comment last week, it never got published!!

  • Aiammo !!!!!! ROFL!!!!!!!!!!
    first time here…liked your estyle of writing !!!! hilarious!!!!
    and loved that pic !!!!

  • Colleague told me about your blog and came by & you are a funny guy!!! Should be fun meeting you :-)))

    All you bloggers are such fun funny people. She is a hilarious person herself!! lol

  • It was hilarious, just like sick fun :)
    Keep rocking, keep writing

  • Me likes :-)
    Happy to have discovered your blog :-)

  • hahahahaha… rofl at Middle year in the speakers slot 😀

  • Where have disappeared? Its high rime for a new post…
    waiting eagerly… :)

  • damn this is super hilarious… keep it comin… i m bookmarking ur blog

  • Waiting for new post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • As usual, great !!….nothing to say now…as everybody has spoken just about everything :)

  • Hey man,
    this was hilarious. I could see myself in this story…..very well written. This is the first time im dropping by here… will do so more….
    Rajesh Ramaswamy

  • Hilarious!!! Loved every bit.

    Blog-hopped my way here.

    Waiting to read more.

  • Lol. Hahaha. It is highly likely that your user manual aided subconcious solved the problem. So your missus is right 😉 😛 Im a chick though, so Im biased by default. Haha.

  • LOL..I can never again look at radio again without smirking!

  • Love the jpeg.

    Sheer genius, that.

  • Hey… all well? u have not updated ur blog in a long time…

  • LOL as usual :):)


  • Reading the user manual? That’s tantamount to surrender isn’t it? V Funny :)

  • Been a while since you wrote anything and been a while we laughed so much :)

  • why have you stopped writing???? you write so well!!! wonderful!! a day happily spent!

  • I dunno which part was sad… u getting no sound or me getting everything in the diag… u shud have done engg… everything makes sense now…

    PS: did u check if the power button was plugged in??

  • I dunno which part was sad… u getting no sound or me getting everything in the diag… u shud have done engg… everything makes sense now…

    PS: did u check if the main power cable was plugged in??

  • awesome posts!
    btw, i njoyd readng ur replies to the comments more!
    write more!u r much in demand!

  • TD, please get back to your writing. we’d love to read your posts. happy holidays :)

  • TD, we’re hoping to hear back from you soon. wishing u all the best in the coming new year…

  • HILARIOUS Picture, man! I’m 17 and doing engineering where we have a workshop class including wiring (although why it’s included in a course for Biotechnology, God only knows), so now my family expects me to be the in-house technician…
    Keep posting, I’m something of a fan now! 😀

  • Cound not stop LOL. Such things do happen at our homes too and the best part is hubby still wants to keep doing without even hitting the manual once.

  • cmon…wen r u gonna update!!!

  • I have such an experience, where i took little longer..err..about a week to do it right way.strange enough i developed a liking for the simple stereo sound of the television speaker while trying to get the 5.1 Dolby working.That affection still sails along.

  • Hey TD where HV u bn? i jus realized its bn almost a yr since u put up a post! wat gives?

  • Hilarious.

    Please start updating. Puhleese 😉

  • hey! long time no post? waiting eagerly..

  • Hilarious diagram, that really caught my attention, and then I went on to read the entire post. I remember facing similar ‘trauma’ when I was setting up my Home Theater. Wait till Bluetooth takes over completely, that would get rid of the wires, true, but installing the system will be much more ‘interesting’ :)

  • This is awesome.. in fits of laughter.. must I say that u r very witty.. loved the diagram.. :)

  • This is really Awesome!! Belly twisting, yet elegant humor. Thanks for the wonderful read! :)

  • Heyy! When are you publishing newer posts?! Its been a year and more!!! Pls humour us with newer posts… ur writing!


  • hah hah… is no more simple…. :)

  • Dude,
    Where are you? You have disappeared… No posts

  • This is hilarious. Judging by the number of comments, I suppose I’m rudely late to the party, but I just discovered your blog. Awesome read.

  • It really isn’t right to ignore so many comments pleading you to write you know? The least you should do is come up for air and say am done, if you really are, and which of course, you should not be.


  • A huge thumbs up to your article! Simply awesome!

  • Pls Pls restart writing…

  • I very recently discovered this blog and this is the definition of HILARIOUS! This is the best humor blog I have every read. Please start writing again. I noticed your last response to comments was regarding someone stealing your material. Please dont get discouraged if thats what has turned you off. True wit can never be stolen. However much any shameless idiots may try….

  • What happened?? This is toooo long a silence.. Quite disconcerting..

  • Dear TD,
    Its been a really long time since you posted something.We are genuinely worried.Why have you not been publishing?Atleast can you put up a post just to let us know all’s fine:)Sincerely missing you,funny man!

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  • Reclining ergonomic chairs usually are absolutely de ideal piece of furniture one can have relaxing from his or her residence, both equally to get furnishings along with comforting requirements.

  • my sister ordered sofa beds on the internet, they are quite nice and very comfy to sit in ~’,

  • Thanks for give quite excellent informations. You’re amazing. It exhibits how very well you realize this subject.

  • *Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

  • Discovered your blog only today. too bad you stopped writing. I am pretty much in a similar situation like yours. Indian American, but could identify myself mostly with the “American” part. Don’t get me wrong, I also do love many things about “India”, but living here for over 15 years has its toll. Lots of great posts, amazing sense of humor. I don’t know if you will ever write, but if you do please drop me a line. My ADHD needs some distraction. some additional fuel. Give me fuel, give me fire.. (by this time you should be hearing the guitars)

    – confused to the core Anand aka Andy! :)
    (when i am not confused they call me an entrepreneur)

  • Please get back to your writing… We’re waiting for your coming back…

  • Spot on mate. My first visit to the site and love it. Speaking of manuals, do you remember Rooster brand mosquito brands that came with a manual of sorts in all prominent indian languages.

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  • what happened Mr.TD you aren’t blogging from a very long time?

  • Hi Sir, Can i use your blog for one of our free magazines. We work for an NGO and are publishing a free online magazine. Can we use your article for that Magazine.

  • Indian American, but could identify myself mostly with the “American” part. Don’t get me wrong, I also do love many things about “India”, but living here for over 15 years has its toll. Lots of great posts, amazing sense of humor

    if u want to know abot the wild life sanctuaries of India

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