Being British and living on my own requires of me to pay an annual licence fee, you can find yourself in bother if you don’t, it’s over one hundred pounds a year for this licence fee and yet I don’t actually watch television because there’s very little or nothing on TV for me. Next licence fee payment I might try and weasel my way out of paying by informing the authorities I don’t use the service I’m paying for.
If there were television programmes I found interesting on TV I’d watch all the time becoming one with couch. I like the idea of being a couch potato but I don’t have the time, or anything worth watching, to force me into pursuing.
At work on night shifts I tend to watch TV there’s always plenty of ironing to complete when one supports the needs of five young people with Learning Disabilities. Watching DVDs is out of the question the cheap DVD player at work tends not to play my discs and I’m stuck with staring at TV while ironing for hours and hours. Last night I watched Night of the Living Dead the 1990 remake directed by Tom Savini, I also ended up watching Most Haunted, a television series of a paranormal nature. Lots of people are Most Haunted addicts and firmly believe that ghosts and other supernatural beasties really exist. I’ll admit I’m very sceptical about such things even though I’ve had experiences that could be considered of a supernatural or paranormal nature.
As a teenager I have a vivid memory of walking home from my nearest large town, with a friend, we’d been shopping for Dungeons and Dragons figures, paints and computer magazines, Spectrum and Amstrad. We strolled through a small wooded area, an area we were both familiar with having spent a lot of time exploring the place and larking about like teenage boys do, nothing weird or sexual in nature just swinging over streams on poorly constructed rope swings and then falling to our deaths when the rope came lose or snapped.
On this particular day as the twilight hours slowly began I noticed at the top of a hill, well above the narrow path we were walking, a tall impossibly thin shadow of a man peering at us from behind a tree, suddenly and unnaturally fast this shadow began speeding from tree to tree down towards us on the path, I alerted my friend and upon seeing the strange figure he made a mad dash for the exit of the small wooded area with myself following not far behind. On reflection we could have easily ran down to the stream through the water and out the other side we would have been in the open far quicker and not have expended so much energy running from something that probably only existed in both our imaginations.
As a young man in my twenties I have a memory of returning home from the pub one night and wandering through my then home without need of light, something I regularly did because I knew where all the obstacles were located, having had a few beers my bladder needed emptying, once pee had passed I was exiting the bathroom when for a split second, before the light went from on to off, I spied standing outside the bathroom door a little girl, pigtails, red ribbons in her hair, Summer dress though it was Winter, white socks and little black shoes startled I immediately returned my surroundings to illumination and the girl was gone perplexed by my weird imagining I relocated myself to bed.
As an older man, in my thirties, I remember two nightly occurrences I had at the time I had been reading Three Men Seeking Monsters a great fun book dealing with three chaps deeply entrenched in a world of the paranormal seeking out creatures within Britain that could be considered out of place or supernatural in their nature. One night, well early hours of the morning, I awoke feeling that I was not alone, though I happily lived alone, in the doorway of my bedroom was stood a man like figure totally shrouded in darkness I stared at it for a minute or two asked it banal questions and then returned to a blissful sleep. The following night I woke gasping for air as I felt that something heavy was sat upon my chest, opening my eyes I witnessed a horrid woman, kinda like the ghost from The Grudge, sat upon my chest she bent low putting her face in mine I laughed out loud and she evaporated and once again I drifted back into a blissful sleep.
Now I don’t consider any of my experiences to have been supernatural or paranormal on all occasions I could have been seeing things due to darkness, tiredness, waking from dreams, being asleep even the shadow man witnessed by a friend could have been our over active imaginations and both of us feeding off each others fears.
The episode of Most Haunted I watched was embarrassing, basically a group of amateurs who have no idea how to conduct a paranormal investigation went into a haunted house, or supposed haunted house, and then in the dark with night vision on their ill equipped video cameras they convinced themselves they were encountering poltergeist activity and evidence of a haunting. They spent the majority of the episode talking to things that weren’t there and screaming hysterically at nothing, how anyone can find the series entertaining, convincing and real is beyond me but to each their own we’re all strange, weird, mad and insane.
I struggled to find anything else worthy of watching and to be honest neither the movie, Night of the Living Dead, or the TV show, Most Haunted, were worth watching they just happened to be on I had five baskets full of clothes in need of ironing and the remote control during both pieces of so called entertainment was on the other side of the room and I was too lazy to fetch it and over to a 24 hour news channel.
I’m not sure why television shows are so disappointingly dull I suspect it’s because there’s a lot of cheap TV, reality shows and their ilk, and far too many channels, air time needs filling and people will watch anything rather than entertain themselves in a more meaningful and perhaps creative way. If I were to find that I had more spare time I still wouldn’t watch TV shows I’d probably try and teach myself to play a musical instrument or go join the gym, play a sport perhaps, find anything to do other than watch TV, not because I’m superior in some imagined way to people who do watch a lot of TV but because there’s not enough material on TV that piques my interest.
Having a bit of an addiction, I spend thirty to fifty quid a week on comic book collected editions, I’d end up eating up most of my spare time reading about super people in their pyjamas beating the living shit out of other super people in pyjamas and my television would continue to collect dust finding itself used two maybe three times a week if it’s lucky. The funny thing about my comic book addiction is that it doesn’t extend to the realm of TV land, I don’t watch any of the superhero TV shows, I’ve tried, but I find them boring and overly concerned with romantic relationships rather than the building of interesting worlds and mythos.