Saturday, January 07, 2006

The pros and cons of watching telly in bed

Busy day today. After a momentous effort to get me and two boys washed and dressed before lunch on a Saturday morning (face it, the men of this household are biologically predisposed to wear pyjamas for the first 12 hours of weekend days), I clean the kitchen, (actually B cleans the kitchen and I move things from one place to another telling her how guilty I feel about her doing it when it was my job to do but actually make no effort to stop her), enjoy a cup of tea with my mum and aunt who pop in and take N to a birthday party. From here it’s off to Tesco to return the freeview box purchased before Christmas to sit on top of the telly in the bedroom.

Now a small ‘is it me or is it everyone?’ moment is required at this point… I was clever enough to keep the receipt for the freeview box when I picked it up just in case it didn’t work (self fulfilling prophecy). You see, when I installed it first time around I found that it would run the 5 terrestrial channels and even go through the setup routine for freeview channels but the bugger just would not find a single channel when it searched; it was like a 5 year old boy looking for trainers that are on the floor right in front of him, invisible to all but him. The same happened when I tried it downstairs where the other box sits and found that it wouldn’t work there either. What's more, i tried the good box upstairs and found that it worked, proving it was not the TV's fault. Now at that point I should have known that the bugger was, well buggered, but, and this is my point, 'is it me or would everyone' have carried on fiddling with all the different settings, unplugging and replugging scart leads and aerial leads and wotnot and basically wasted hours proving that it didn’t work? Like what I did.

So I’m at Tesco and I’ve really wound myself up for a fight when it comes to explaining with the use of logic that it doesn’t work and all the bloke says is, ‘we’ve had loads of them come back, just take another and you should be ok.’ Not confidence inspiring and, to add insult to injury, he doesn't even want to see the receipt I had so proudly flattened out on the counter. Bastard. I want an argument. I want to feel justified. I want someone to say, ‘you did all you could but you couldn’t save this one’ in a Dr Kildare kind of way.

But all I get is a new box that is potentially as dodgy as the first.

So S and me go for a ribena in the cafĂ© and window shop for a wireless router. We get home in time for me to stick a picture on my blog profile – That’s me and N and he is 6 days old and I am knackered but I am always touched by the way my fingers support his head – and for S to watch some CBeebies. Then it’s off to pick up N from the party all sugared up with no place to go (including bed) and back to run baths and fill cups with milk (that promptly get spilled on the table).

To be fair the boys get off to bed without too much fuss and B does lend a hand and I prepare the patient for surgery (to continue with the Dr Kildare metaphor that I am slightly proud of). I carefully open the freeview box, remove the wrapping, add the batteries to the zapper and place all the instructions to one side (remember there’s a masculinity point to be made here). Clamp, forceps, EKG and Chem7 (and other terms I heard on ER), I position the box on top of the telly and carefully attach cables. I switch on the TV and allow nature to take it’s course – will the setup routine shoot though all the channels as before or will my viewing capability be increased from 5 channels of shit to 35 channels of shit?

The tension mounts as I select ‘first time installation’ and lo and behold the channels start pouring in, even the unavailable ones like UKTV Gold and Red Hot TV but we’ll live to fight another day on that one.

I select the programme guide and find Luton ahead of Liverpool on BBC1. At last, some time for me. A rare chance to see the European Champions knocked out of the cup by lowly players who probably only earn twice as much as me in a week as I do in a year. I settle on the bed throwing Andy’s stuff on to her side in an act of supreme selfishness (that’s footie for you) and promptly fall into a sleep so deep that even John Motson’s ecstatic cries at the Liverpool revival fail to rouse me. And I miss what is later described on News 24 as one of the great FA Cup matches.

The time now is 23:31. I am wide awake and shall remain so for hours causing me to be tired and grouchy tomorrow, whereupon I shall sulk and not mark the English and Maths books I dragged all the way home on Friday, which will cause me to become stressed about parent meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday and will leave me even more sad and disillusioned about my career.

And I might even get irritable bowel.

So I think I’m going to have a large glass of the 40% proof plum stuff that B brought from Romania and hit the sack.


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