Recently I endured the painful experience of being forcibly pinned down by my best friend.
He isn’t usually given to violence, or sexual deviance with older women but, in his defence, he had discovered me throwing the contents of my handbag at the television. On reflection this was probably quite a disturbing sight for him. He had recorded several episodes of his favourite programmes on the Sky box and was in imminent danger of not having a screen to watch them on – again.
He didn’t seem particularly surprised to find me in such a rage. This was probably because he’d presumed that I had been watching the Chelsea match and was suffering from a serious bout of indignant rage following Diego Costa’s late winner against West Ham. I wouldn’t normally give a shit about West Ham’s result but I had placed a small wager on them winning the league this season (lunacy I know) and anyway, I fucking hate Diego Costa.
To avoid the sight of Diego Costa’s smug and frankly rather unfortunate face, I had been trying to watch the Olympics. But the television coverage of the Games had finally driven me to the brink of insanity.
Don’t get me wrong, I am usually a great admirer of the BBC. Their sports coverage is notable for its polish and professionalism, unless Adrian Chiles, and you really can’t top the sight of Gary Lineker doing Match of the Day in his boxers. Unless, of course, you are watching Jason Kenny remove his skin suit after yet another victory in the Olympic velodrome.
But then you wouldn’t see that, because those wankers at the BBC would be in the middle of one of their ludicrous and wholly unnecessary channel changes.
Every bloody day the Olympic coverage started on BBC2. After 45 minutes it switched to BBC1. When it was time for the news it got relegated back to BBC2 and then an hour later it was back on BBC1 again, but only for 30 minutes. Confused yet?
Naturally nothing is as important as that exercise in misery and despair otherwise known as Eastenders, and it couldn’t possibly be broadcast on BBC2 could it? As soon as Sharon’s stopped yelling at Grant or whatever the fuck, sports fans have to switch back to BBC1 only to find themselves changing channels yet again to accommodate the next news bulletin, because we’re all tired of cheering and need reminding how shit the world is.
I wouldn’t have minded if the channel switches were timed so that you only missed the odd second of the Olympic action, but no. Every bloody time we were forced to endure that self-indulgent sequence of demented animals doing gymnastics before the programme returns to the live action. Clearly they think that viewers would rather watch animated crocodiles performing synchronised diving than Jason Kenny’s bare chest, er, I mean the apparatus finals of the men’s gymnastics.
By the end of the first week, the BBC had managed to turn every single race, dive, fight or performance into a bloody terrifying white knuckle ride. I was living in constant fear that the transmission would be cut at the vital moment. Max Whitlock would be in the middle of his double twisting, double back summersault with pike in Rio when I would hear a desperate Clare Balding pleading me to switch to BBC1 immediately. I feared having to endure the opening credits before discovering whether or not Whitlock had nailed his dismount. Would he already be in the ambulance on the way to hospital like that lad with the iffy leg?
This alone might have inspired me to launch the entire contents of my handbag at the TV the next time that I heard an instruction to switch channels. But on the evening in question, when the inevitable command was issued I calmly ignored the RSI and pressed the magic button only to realise that nothing had happened. There were no strutting storks or hammer throwing skunks or whatever that animal is, just a trailer for the new series of Only Connect or some bollocks, because the remote control had died from overuse.
Where the fuck were the spare batteries? I threw myself off of the sofa and made such a splendid dive for the cabinet drawer (without pike) it would have earned the pride of Tom Daley if he wasn’t shit at it. But the batteries weren’t there. By the time I eventually found them my living room looked like it had been wrecked by a tsunami. Those monumental fuckers at the BBC had finally pushed me over the edge.
I reached out for some ammunition and started raking around in my handbag in the hope of stumbling across something really lethal. A few seconds later I was hurling lipsticks, coins and various other crap at the screen in the absence of a Cruise missile. It now looked as though the tsunami in my living room had been closely followed by the Loma Prieta earthquake.
That was when my friend walked in, grabbed me and held me down until I stopped thrashing about. I did eventually calm down but only because hypoxia had set in. My friend then released me and surveyed the devastation.
“Did Liverpool lose then?” he asked.
People often enquire as to why I always seem to have a new television. They look quizzically at me when I tell them that it’s because I’m a football fan. A fan who has spent many years perfecting the art of lobbing things at the TV when matches don’t quite go according to plan. Which, in fairness, they rarely do for Liverpool these days. If only the same could be said of that fucker Diego Costa.
Still, the Olympics are over at least.
Oh fuck – the Paralympics.
The new Samsung is on its way.