In 1965, my neighbour bought his first TV. Until then, he had been blisfully unaware of the countless friends that he had: long lost friends, friends of his youth, old school pals…
They would go out of their way to bump into him on the street and then make as if it was a perchance encounter.
“Fancy you meeting you, George! It’s been so long”. They would at first inquire about his health and then boldly say : “You’ve bought a TV, I see”. Well, the trouble with television is that it proudly advertises itself from your rooftop!
They would flock into his living room to pay him a friendly call, and once they were snugly seated in front of his TV he was simply ignored. Once, someone complained that the reception was not very good, and asked in a petulant tone if he could do something about it!
When there was a football match, he could hardly breathe for they would flock in – reinforced by their sporting friends. “Ton George won’t mind, he’s such a nice fellow!” Indeed, Ton George soon found himself relegated to a stool on his doorstep where, for all his neck’s craning, he could barely catch a sight of the screen. Once, he tried to say something but was unceremoniously silenced with a disapproving “Shhh!”
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and he decided it was time to act. And so when the next big match came (Manchester United v/s Benefica), he quietly slipped out and went to the pictures!