My telly broke just after Christmas. First it made hissing noises when I switched it on, then the stench of burning plastic began to evaporate from its side. Alas, I have decided it can’t possibly be safe to use anymore. Remembering 80s health and safety adverts of ex- and imploding tellies all too well, my trusty old friend named Aiwa has now joined someone else’s trusty old friend named Hotpoint by the bins outside the house.
I have been TV-less for six weeks now. I have missed all of celebrity Big Brother, but was quite happy to invent my own story lines with the help of newspapers I found on the tube. How can you cope with no TV? Well, let me tell you. I like watching TV actually. I like the idea of just switching your brain off for 30 minutes of Wife Swap. I am not one of those The Revolution Will Not Be Televised apostles. I did not deliberately set out to fuck with Aiwa’s wire-age. I did not mean to set Aiwa on fire either.
Annoyingly, living without a box of moving images in the house is a lot harder than I thought. What else is there to do when you get home after work, when the brain is fried, the limbs are aching, the mind is lonely and the flesh is weak?
To date I have tried the following:
Read books: I have now run out of books and am back to where I started. To Kill a Mockingbird. For the n-th time. Internet – gets a bit tedious when there are only about six websites you want to look at, all your friends seem to have evacuated various messenger programs and you catch yourself Googling people you went to primary school with at 2am. Phone people – easier said than done when they are watching Eastenders. Tidy up the flat. This gets very boring very quickly, especially when you are the domestic Anti-Christ. Listen to plays. This is like TV for the blind. Quite pleasant actually, but you end up not being able to sleep because you’ve created all these fabulous images and films in your head. Write loads and for the hell of it. Then you realise this was a shit idea because, again, you end up with an emotional diary that would put a Manics-loving, ever heartbroken and royally messed up sixth-former to shame. Dust off your VHS collection, wondering if you will ever have a video recorder again or of dear Ferris and The Lost Boys will forever sit on that shelf motionless.
I am sure that all those deliberately TV-free hippies do is sit around banging on about not having a telly, not being subverted by adbreaks (Must. Buy. Cillit. BANG.) and not having to worry about evil radiowaves roasting your braincells at night. Or they knit. And fuck, do I hate knitting.