Call me mechanically declined.
I don't mind -- I'm used to it. Although it's not true I can't screw in a lightbulb all by myself. I can, and there's about a 75-25 chance I won't break anything in the process.
But it wasn't entirely my fault that replacing the garage door opener remote was so damned difficult.
Earlier in the week, I noticed that the remote would only work if I was basically sitting within two feet of the door. Had to be the battery, I figured, and headed off to the local hardware store for a replacement.
Stuck the new battery in ... and the opener no longer worked at all. Right. Thanks to Red, we have all the instruction manuals for everything in the house, so I looked up how to reprogram the thing.
I followed the instructions to the letter. And again. And again. Nothing, nada, zip. Must be the remote itself, I said.
So I went back to the hardware store and acquired what was supposed to be a universal replacement.
Again, I followed the (obtuse) instructions to the letter.
Nothing, nada, zip.
In desperation, I did what I often do in such circumstance.
"Red!" I sung out. "Help!"
(An aside: You have to understand that, unlike me, Red is a mechanical genius. One time, when a mate and I were struggling to reassemble the kickstart return mechanism on a motorcycle, she came out with a cuppa -- she's Anglo-Irish, so hot, strong tea solves everything -- took one look at what we were doing, raised an eyebrow, and said thoughtfully: "Have you considered that you're putting it in backward?"
She was, of course, quite correct, so I've been generally following her advice in such matters ever since.)
"Call the 800 number," she advised, while probably privately thinking, "you idiot".
So I called Chamberlain, the door opener manufacturer, in the US.
After a few minutes on hold, I had a clever young man on the line whom I walked out to the garage. We followed the step-by-step instructions for programming a remote.
Nothing, nada, zip.
What universal unit are you using, he asked. I told him the brand name. Do you also have an outdoor touch pad? Yes, I said.
That universal remote won't work then, he said.
He reeled off three remotes (Chamberlains all) that would.
Only problem, I subsequently discovered, was that the model numbers didn't match with what was available in another country (Canada, in this case).
So I sent an email seeking clarification. Sure enough, said the prompt person on the other end, it turns out that the Model 953EV remote in the US is ... 953EVC in Canada.
Off I went to Rona, where indeed they had a 953EVC hanging right there on the shelf.
"Outstanding," I said.
Took it home, opened the programming guide ... and discovered after only 10 minutes or so that I was looking at instructions for the wrong remote.
Turned the paper over and sure as God made little green apples, there were the correct directions.
After that, it was a matter of seconds before the garage door was going up and down like the god of garage door remotes intended.
I forebore standing at the end of the laneway and mindlessly playing with it.
I had a beer instead.