Exactly one year and two months ago I unplugged my TV and haven’t missed the cursed contraption for one second since then.
Fourteen months ago we moved house to a quieter neighbourhood. (This was not to escape from the SAPS, SARS, or the debt collectors – no matter what rumours you may have heard to the contrary.)
Even before installing the dish, I switched on the TV to one of the SABC channels just to see if it survived Operation Relocation. It did, and was still working. The A-Team, a series from the early 1980’s, was being aired. I remembered it well.
The next day, at around the same time – while I was busy arranging the furniture to the wife’s exacting strategic directives – I switched on again. Surprise! The A-Team. Again. I suddenly realised that our new house was haunted! I was caught in a Groundhog Day time warp – doomed to watch the same repeats, day after day, year after year, for the rest of my life, until I got old and died! Or even longer.
With a lightning lunge, I dived for the wall plug! My trembling hands ripped the plug from the socket and I fell back to the floor – sweating and heaving – my heart pumping savagely.
I was saved! I could see! I could walk! Holly Holy!!
(Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit here, but what the hell, it felt great.)
There and then I decided not to renew my DSTV contract, which would have expired at the end of the month anyway.
All of a sudden I had gazillions of hours of free time on my hands. Do you know that I have not seen one, repeat ONE, episode of “reality” shows in all this time? Not one infomercial? Not one news broadcast? Not one soapie? And best of all – not even one rerun. I’ve successfully broken the spell of the Groundhog Monster.
We have since donated the TV (passed on the curse) to charity.
Now I have time to read all the old *classics that I’ve always wanted to. We go for walks, eat at the table (mostly by candlelight), listen to music on the home theatre, talk, and go to the movies.
I fiddle around the garden, make noises in the garage, do the needed repairs and maintenance around the house, and go to the toilet without having to wait for a TV ad break. Visitors are welcome at all times – they never interfere with my “viewing schedule.”
Once your friends and family know that you are no longer addicted to the box, they are less likely to start a discussion with: “Did you see … on TV?” You will notice that your conversations with them tend to be much more meaningful, personal, and sensible.
I don’t care if they show pornography, murders, rape, pillaging, strikes, riots, corrupt politicians, or any of South Africa’s other national sports and pastimes on TV. I’m immune. The One-eyed Monster has been exorcised from my house.
I haven’t got a TV license, (or a TV, for that matter). It’s the right thing to do.
Unplug the Monster; you might be pleasantly surprised.
PS Do you realise that the moment you press the “On” button, on your TV’s remote, your life stops and you go into limbo? It only starts again once you press the “Off” button.
*(Go to http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/ for free downloads of classic books)