I have rejoined the world. Perhaps I’ve mentioned from time to time that I haven’t had a functioning television for ages. It was fine for a while looking at programmes on my laptop but, since that’s also where I do all my work, it felt like watching telly in the office.
After mentioning this to a friend, she turned up with a telly that a relative of hers was throwing out. Though I no longer have a connection to a satellite dish, nor even to an aerial, the plan was that I could at least watch DVDs on it.
That’s when I discovered my DVD player no longer worked either. This is The House Where Nothing Works. So I sat in the sitting room with two televisions on which I could watch nothing, a defunct DVD player and two Sky boxes that went awry some time ago.
What did I do next? Sent away for a “smart” DVD player, that’s what. Smart: I liked the sound of that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t smart enough to make contact with the television. Oh dear. I started to suspect there was a conspiracy to stop me joining the world and watching telly like any normal human being.
And, like any normal human being, I spent hours on help forums consisting of people offering the helpful advice: “I don’t know how to fix it either.” Then, idly and without hope, I pressed the remote once more and, lo, the smart DVD menu suddenly appeared.
I was gobsmacked. Somebody not very smart couldn’t have pressed the button properly the first time, because this is also the house where You Press Buttons and Nothing Happens.
But this time it did happen and I had access to Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and more. I couldn’t believe it. I was terrified it would go off suddenly and never come back on, or that there would be a portentous knock at the door, and two grim-looking men in raincoats and fedoras would say: “Ya been tryin’ ta watch television, pal. It ain’t for you. Capiche?”
But, no, I put YouTube on to watch – on the big screen! – a new video by my favourite vlogger, Jonna Jinton. And then, after my usual trepidation about joining anything, I signed up with Netflix, and a whole new world of entertainment opened up before me.
I was like an excited wee boy as evening approached and I could sit down in the dark with a big bag of jelly beans to watch as many cartoons as I liked. The new set was fine, though it was smaller than my old massive one, and a dink on the screen created a long white line running from top to bottom.
I was going to get a repair man to examine my old one when, on a whim, I took another look at it myself. The problem had been with a connection port thingie. Then I discovered there was another such thingie on the back, so I connected the smart DVD player to that and – bingo! – we were away.
Hell’s bells, I could have been watching DVDs on it all along (well, if I’d had a working DVD player). D’oh! Not smart, d’you see? Unlike my new box.
Ach, who cares? It’s great being reconnected to the world.