The Future Proofing of Nonsensical Gubbins


Here’s the story of time, televisions, and mothers.

I remember watching all these programmes when I was little about how utterly wonderful the future was going to be, but not a single one told me the future would give me a colossal headache. We got a new TV this week. 48 inches. I know, far too big. Whilst I was installing it, father regaled me with a story of the time he got a bonus and bought the largest TV he could find as a present for mother. Black and white, 11 inches. Hey, his dad had a car you had to start with one of those handles you put on the front and crank. The old days weren’t necessarily better. Anyway, I was playing around with the new TV and the image went all funny. It can convert 2D to 3D! OH – MY – GOD: THE FUTURE IS HERE! Of course, after five minutes, my head was thumping and my eyes on the verge of bleeding. The future sucks…

It’s more of a gimmick, than anything. I mean, why are technology companies constantly trying to outdo each other? I’d just love a television company that made a product that broadcast normal television programmes. None of this super four dimensional quadruple definition 1000 hertz surround sound curved thingamajig – CURVED! Who the hell needs a curved television! You may as well hang a cowbell from a mobile phone. They make mobile telephones for people who just want a phone, why not a TV that has a button for on, off and volume? Curved, gee, what’s next? Floating?

But no, these days all TV’s are SMART, aren’t they? Still can’t make me a cuppa tea, though. What? Hey, if a piece of technology can’t make tea, the best reaction to it that you’re gonna get from a Yorkshireman is a vague brief nod of approval.

So we went to pick up this beast of a television. Dad wanted a 60 inch but we talked him down from that particular ledge. The car is extremely small, so one of the back seats had to be put down and the front passenger seat moved all the way forward. The headrest also had to be taken off. So you can imagine the scene. Mother driving. Dad squashed in the back. And all of six foot me in the front seat, knees pressed up against the dashboard, head down with the TV resting on the back of it. Yes. It was heavy. It was only after we got home that I realised the passenger airbag was in the dashboard, all of five inches away from my face. That could’ve bloody killed me if mother had crashed!

After the new member of the family was unpacked, mother and father left me to it. My folks are in their 60s, so technology doesn’t come easily to them. Mother, in fact, hates it so much she avoids it altogether. She still doesn’t have an email. “If they want me, they can ring or write a letter. If they don’t, they can sod off.” Lovely woman.

Being a typical guy, I immediately threw the instructions on the floor and started trying wires out in all the sockets until something fitted. I’ve never used a SMART TV before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The woman in the shop said we needed one to ‘future proof’ ourselves. Future proofing? If it works, IT DOESN’T BLOODY MATTER! I want a television that works, you mad witch! She ended up lumping us with a goddamn Bluray player! What the hell is a Bluray player! Who cares about frickin’ HD! I JUST WANT TO WATCH MY BLOODY MOVIES! WHY CAN’T THINGS BE SIMPLER! What’s happening to our world!

So I switch on the new TV. A woman starts talking to me! It’s like bloody Star Trek. “Hello, and welcome to the future.” Seriously! It’s like a time machine with a sexy American voice! “Please set up your Wi-Fi.” Ah, okay honey. She tells me my code is on my Wi-Fi router. So I go to my Wi-Fi router with a pen and paper – THERE ARE 15 BLOODY CODES! Which one! You know what, it was the tenth! TENTH! Oh, my – thank God is gets easier from here…

Well, funny story. When it loads up, the television picture is in a yellow box on the upper right hand side. There are three boxes down the left hand side and one big box along the bottom. So I just start randomly clicking buttons. I end up on the internet. Well, not before it needed updating. That had me worried. Because how long has this set been in the shop for the software to not only be out of date, but also take a RIDICULOUS amount of time to update? It’s insanity!

I then found a timer. No sound. Meaning it’s only useful if you’re in the kitchen. And who the hell has a 48 inch TV in the kitchen? I then found the calendar. No idea how to use it, there were no instructions. I then found a stock market application. Then a weather one that didn’t even recognise the UK. Then several on demand ones. And fifty others! That it wouldn’t let me download! WHY DO WE NEED ALL THIS GUBBINS!

The on demand sounded brilliant. But BBC’s stuck loading, with that annoying pink swirling circle thingy in the centre of the screen, which at one point, froze. Even the loading icon gave up the ghost! ITV’s doesn’t have anything on it. Channel 4’s you have to sign up to – which involves you giving them your address. Oh, yes, fine – do you want my bank details, too? And Channel 5 – I mean, who the heck watches Channel 5? All they have is CSI and I SAW IT LAST WEEK!

And then came the 3D. Oh, the 3D. That infernal contraption. It wasn’t working. They gave us these fancy glasses and it just wasn’t working. No instructions, once again. You had to turn them on! That’s not intuitive! Who looks at a pair of glasses and thinks, ‘Ah, yes, they need to be switched on.’ NOBODY, that’s who! Yet muggins here is banging these things against the table trying to get them to come on. And even switching them on wasn’t the end of the nightmare. The light in the centre of one pair flashed for a few moments then stopped, but the other never stopped. It’s still going! Five days later! If you walked in on me watching something in the dark on 3D, it’d look like I was being possessed by some alien spirit!

Modern TV’s can go to hell…

We’re getting a new satellite box next week, because our old one is out of date. Sky, the makers of it, told us it’s not future proof. FUTURE PROOFAGAIN! Is that like the ‘in’ phrase at the moment? I’m tempted to tell the installer guy when he comes that technically, time is a human invention and actually doesn’t exist at all, meaning nothing can be truly future proofed because the concept of future is an existential pile of bollocks…

It’s Mothering Sunday in the UK on the 15th of March. So I’d like to end this anger fuelled hate rant by saying a big thank you to mothers all over the world. You do a great and difficult job to which everyone else is eternally grateful. Mother’s Day may only be one day a year, but the sentiment is true every day. Even if it doesn’t seem that way.

I mean, all my mum wanted was a television and we gave her a nightmare…

American humorist, Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), once said, “When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s