Was the revolution televised?

On the third Monday of February, people in America celebrated Président’s Day, as per usual. I hope other brands of cheese (and butter) are celebrated in this way.

Being a person not in America, I didn’t really celebrate Président’s Day. But I do like the cheese very much, even if the independent brands are considerably better. Butter is OK to a certain extent, too. So maybe my actions on that Monday, nearly three weeks ago, were celebratory after all.

You’re surely all gagging to find out exactly what those actions of mine were. I will tell you, because I am nice. Not nice enough to tell you all of the most exciting things, but nice enough to tell you two of them.

I did some notable cookery. There was some mashed up baby sheep, with pieces of vegetables including carrot and celery. There was also some minced potato. It was like a shepherd’s pie, but it not actually a shepherd’s pie. Many people are fans of Ben Shephard, and reckon he deserves to keep his pie, and – although I find even Dermot O’Leary preferable – on this occasion I didn’t thieve. It was a deconstructed shepherd’s pie, and rather disappointing it was too. (An actual shepherd’s pie is normally more than the sum of its parts, or something.)

I also broke the television. This happened in between stages of making the so-called shepherd’s pie, but the chronology doesn’t really matter. Half in an attempt to sort out the aspect ratio, but mostly just out of childish curiosity, I did a load of irresponsible knob-twiddling and button-pushing. I managed to poo the tuning to bits. It was a disaster.

Now, I have only a quite hazy memory of the man installing our Sky digibox. It was a long time ago, because we are hip early adopters. (I think it was when Rupert fucking Murdoch himself still performed the installations. I’m afraid I made little use of the golden opportunity to punch his face, but I was young. Come to think of it, it’s fortunate that I didn’t punch the man’s face, because the idea of the man having been Rupert Murdoch is just silly. I would probably have been needlessly punching the face of an innocent engineer. Rupert Murdoch’s face seems too unpleasant to go near, anyhow.)

Even though it was a long time ago, so our television would have still been quite young, I understand that the man who installed the digibox was compelled to remark with surprise that he had never seen such an old television as ours. Maybe such engineers are slightly blinkered in that they only experience the televisions of early adopter types, but fast-forward to today and you’ll find even the most virtuous of anti-consumerists gazing with some familiarity into televisions that make ours a relative antique.

What I’m trying to say is that the old television was old. I say “the old television” because the following Thursday it was taken to the local Household Waste Recycling Centre. There’s a tiny bit of shame, because, at the last minute, while they were at the shop buying its replacement, I managed to fix the old one. Even before that, in its pooed-up state, it did still work well enough, sort of, albeit only when the videotape machine (do you remember those?) was switched on. Maybe it was an act of dirty consumerism, but it was an old television. I’m sure it used more electricity than necessary.

So, now we have a new television. The screen is flat and wide. The inbuilt speakers are not very good but we bought some poncey separate ones, and they are more excellent than necessary. There are many holes at the back – the unused ones will be useful for the storage of bread sticks and cheese straws, even though we never need to store either. It’s no longer very exciting, but it was two weeks ago, a little bit.

At the end of the day, neither were particularly proper celebrations of Président’s Day. The squashed potatoes didn’t involve any butter, and certainly no cheese.