I don't buy newspapers. If I want to know anything, I look out the window to see if it's raining or sunny. Besides, if I want 'other' information, I can look at the many newspapers online.
The same with TV. I've not had a telly for many years.
I think the last time I had one, Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell, and Martha Longhurst, sat supping stout in the snug of the Rovers, and put the world to rights.
I don't miss not having one.
I'm not a sports fan, reality show fan, soap addict, or 'talent'(?) show watcher. It doesn't leave much else on there, does it?
I can watch a DVD; one that I want to see, when I want to see it.
I got i-player for that.
When I had my pc built, I specifically didn't want a TV card.
I had my cable disconnected many years ago.
About four years ago, I started to get letters from the TV Licence people.
'We have no record of a TV Licence at this address. If you watch TV, you need a licence ..... etc. etc.'
I didn't reply. Why should I?
About every six weeks I'd get another letter; each one more menacing than the last.
They would explain the penalties for not having a licence to watch TV, and eventually even threatened court action if their investigations revealed I had a TV, and no licence.
One day, a knock at the door.
Jovial fat man with clipboard from the TV Licence people.
He caught me on a good day.
'Come in!' I said, sweeping him into my small accommodation.
The poor man hardly got a word in, as I ushered him into each room, to show no TV.
'This is the bedroom. This is the living room. This is the toilet. And this is the airing cupboard. Do you want to look in the shed?'
'Now write down I don't have a telly, fuck off, and stop sending me these bloody letters.'
He left, and I heard no more; until .......
The beginning of this year I started to get the reminder letters again.
The ones that steadily got more threatening, as they informed me there was no record of a TV Licence at this address; the last one, from Luton Enforcement Division, dated August 2012, headed in large red capital letters:
OFFICIAL WARNING: WE HAVE OPENED AN INVESTIGATION
signed by Derek Helsey, Regional Enforcement Manager.
Well, yesterday morning there was a knock at the door.
Small man, with hand held computer thingy.
' I'm from the TV Licence, and we have no record of a licence.'
'I haven't got one'. I said.
His eyes momentarily lit up.
'A licence?' he offered.
'No.' I said. 'Or a telly'.
He looked a little shocked at this.
I carried on; I'd been waiting for this moment.
'Why do you keep sending me these letters? I haven't got a telly. Don't want one, and haven't had one for years.'
He went to speak, but I beat him to it.
'I don't get letters from Anglian Water telling me I haven't got a fishing licence.'
'That's a bit different sir, .......'
Sir? Is he taking the piss?
'What do you mean different? No different at all'
'Erm, not everyone goes fishing.'
'And not everyone has a telly!'
'Well, 98% of the population does.'
Oh, getting all smart and technical now are we.
'Well, I'm part of the 2% that don't, and I like it that way.'
He asked if he could take a look inside, and explained that it would stop the letters from coming for a year.
'A year? What happens then?' I asked.
'We go through the process again.'
'Are you part of the SS?' I asked.
I told him there was no way he's coming in without a search warrant.
He fumbled with his hand held computer thingy, pushing keys, and said he would put down that I didn't have a TV. He warned me that the letters would come again after a year.
Bring it on.
Normal service will be resumed later.