John Walker's Electronic House

by on Dec.15, 2004, under The Rest


It was how I knew I had transfered from ‘feeling a bit ill, but ignoring it and just carrying on’ (which lasted from last Thursday through to Tuesday), and ‘I’m dying, I’m dying, everything aches and if I have to blow my nose one more time then my nostrils will crack up to the bridge, why can’t death just take me?’ (yesterday and today).

I picked up my duvet and carried it through to the lounge.

It was almost involuntary. I just knew, Wednesday morning, that the only right thing to do was to carry my bedclothes to the sofa, and to set up camp there. The sofa isn’t comfortable for this. It’s only a two seater, and I’m three seats long. But more severely, I no longer have any tolerance for daytime TV. To be honest, I have no tolerance for any TV at the moment, not tuning in for anything but Dick n Dom in da Bungalow on Saturday mornings. This is true. I’m missing loads of great television, and have been for almost a year now, but I just don’t have the drive to watch what’s on the telly. DVDs – all the way. Good TV series, on disc, watched at the times I choose at the pace I wish for. I think I’m prematurely ready for the forthcoming TV On Demand service the BBC are supposed to be launching next year.

In fact, this is almost exclusively how I consume radio now. Apart from whatever is on as I do the washing up, it all comes via their archive. The BBC’s Listen Again service is my favourite innovation of recent times. I probably listen to two to three hours of Listen Again stuff each day. It seems the only sensible way to consume such things. I want to listen to the Moral Maze each week, but 8pm on a Wednesday isn’t ideal, and certainly not on a weekly basis. However, at When I Chose To Click On It pm is perfect. And I think I’ve decided the same needs to be true of television – if a programme is good, I want to commit. And I don’t want to start worrying about going out on a Tuesday in case something is on the TV, or whatever. So hurry up with that.

Which is to say, er, that I haven’t the ability to sit in front of the endless drivel that once would distract on a sickly morning off school/work. Which is to say: I’M BORED OUT OF MY MIND.

I’ve also learned the interesting fact that I have no friends whatsoever. In the last two days of complaining to everyone, no one has come to my flat to make me Lemsip. No one has suggested a game of Scrabble. No one has even produced an interesting “Ahhh.”

This is the standard of texts I’ve received:

“Look u silly man, take some more cough mixture, think of all the little dying children & just be grateful ur alive! No sympathy I’m afraid. U most soldier on 4 the kids.”

Thanks, JO DOLBY.

But it does give me some comfort. I had begun to wonder if I was the only person who said, “cough mixture”. I realised a couple of years ago quite how ludicrous this sounds, and I think someone else questioned my use of it. I was beginning to think that no one else used this term, instead the more logical “cough syrup” or “cough medicine”. “Cough mixture” does sound as though it should be something taken when one finds that there is not enough coughing occurring. Anyway, somewhere within JO DOLBY’s CRUELTY, a sliver of hope was found that I was at least not the only person to say this silly phrase.

She’s lovely really.

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