So. I once would have been ashamed to say this but we have become one of Those Families.
The ones who worship at the altar of the religion that is their giant telly.
We got one quite by accident. We only ended up in the department store’s audio-visual section because I’d wanted to look at Kenwood mixers again.
Something comes over you when you get middle-aged. If food becomes your porn, small kitchen appliances with expensive price tags become your sex toys. You wake up bathed in sweat, coveting a magnificent beast of a food processor. You just KNOW your whole life will take on new meaning if a willing device is sitting on your worktop, eager to frenziedly whip your ingredients into submission.
But some people - normally men, which is strange because they are the ones who say size doesn’t matter - think their lives will be infinitely brighter not by a cake-maker, but a telly the size of a car.
I always scoffed at such folk. Why dominate your life AND your living room with TV? Get a life; get a pair of walking boots. Or a stamp collection. John Logie Baird never meant for you to forsake all popular pastimes.
Anyway, I was quite happy with our old-fashioned tubby-telly. It wasn’t that dissimilar to the one I used to rent from DER when I was first-wed (£6 a month, I think it was; I had to go into the store with our little payment book). But it was big enough to be able to see Teletext back in the day. And it still worked like anything, so why get rid?
And then. Having been dragged away from the 1400-watt, variable speed Chef Titanium I’d covered in drool, we ended up in tellies.
Would you believe it, they were closing the department down. Bloke’s eyes went as big and square as SpongeBob’s pants. And if there’s one thing I love more than whipping up a meringue in 0.95 of a second, it’s a closing-down sale.
Within minutes, and without one jot of market research to find out the difference between plasma and projection, LED and LCD, without giving a fig even for pixel size, we two TV ignoramuses had bought a 50-incher. (It’s sleek, slender and black, with HD but without 3D; I don’t want to sit there with those funny glasses on).
As the actress said to the bishop, it looked much bigger back at home than it did in the shop. Had we made a pretty huge mistake?
Well here’s a funny thing; within five minutes of watching it, the TV had shrunk. We actually thought; should we have gone even bigger?
Now I know why Those Families love living it large. Everything looks amaaaazing in HD on a screen as big as a billboard hoarding. I’ve even started watching football.
And I’m deeply regretting the fact that we sent The Descendents DVD back to LoveFilm so swiftly. How magnificent would George Clooney’s 50-inch face have looked?
We’re watching far more TV now. You can’t help it. You’re drawn in; hypnotised. It’s like being at a drive-in movie. I’m training Bloke to come round in the adverts with a tray of Cornettos.