The Box

Chris, our future son-in-law, is quietly amused by many of the things that he witnesses in our home.  A prime source for his merriment is our flexible usage of the word “box.”  In our vernacular, “box” can be virtually any device that is electronic in nature:

  • The answering machine is the box.
  • The garage door opener is the box.
  • The VCR is the box.
  • The DVD player is the box.
  • The DVR (digital video recorder) is the box.
  • Each of our 5 remotes is the box.  (We need all 5, because the universal remote is actually only semi-universal.)

I want to give full and deserving credit to my wife for initiating and propagating this simple, yet curious naming custom.  Yet, to be sure, I have easily and unknowing adopted her minimalist identification convention.  Strangely, there is seldom any confusion as to which particular box is being referenced at a given time or situation.

Sometimes, my bride is able to skillfully use “the box” twice in the same sentence, but referencing two different entities, as in:


“I need the box (universal remote) if I am to turn on the box (DVR).”

Although to my knowledge it hasn’t happened yet, I can conceive of a scenario where “the box” could legitimately occur thrice in a single sentence.  Consider the phone ringing while watching TV – an all too likely possibility.


“I need the box (universal remote) to pause the box (DVD) so that I can hear the box (answering machine).”

Yet with all of our boxes, we seem to get along just fine — and give Chris a reason to smile.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!