Like many middle-aged men, set in their ways and attempting to exercise minute forms of control over the universe, I like to sit down with the TV guide each week and circle my choices with a red felt pen. As my father before me, I too refuse to let my son circle his programmes in biro until I have placed my mark on the forthcoming TV schedules, thereby clearly stating my position as alpha male in the house.
Maggie doesn’t care much for television, and where I would happily invest in a 50-inch plasma screen if I had the money, she feels a 15-inch portable takes up quite enough space as it is and in an ideal world we wouldn’t have a telly at all. The Antiques Roadshow and Masterchef are the only programmes she insists on watching, although she is partial to the occasional bit of The Vicar of Dibley. Beyond that, however, I’m allowed to hold dominion over the TV, apart from when the kids get in from school, that is.
After breakfast this morning, Maggie was casually glancing through the Radio Times when, just as I was about to make a breakthrough in a “Diabolically Hard” puzzle in my “Extreme Sudoku” book, her hand slammed suddenly and purposefully, hard down on the paper as she uttered “No, No, No!”
“What is it, oh sweetness of my life?” I asked.
She turned and fixed me with a hard stare. “We are not watching ‘Strictly Lady Sumo’ tomorrow night!”
I can’t imagine how it got circled. Meg must have been randomly scribbling in the TV guide again…