Some weeks ago, the Kerry Packer free-to-air Memorial Channel gave me a Very Large Telly to reward my pressing a buzzer and saying the word "triangle". So theatrically captivating was my buzzer-pressing and so uniquely skilful was the way I manipulated my vocal organs that I now have no moral qualms at all about possessing a VLT and/or all the filthy lucre it will fetch on ebay.*
The Very Large Telly people phoned today, and arranged to deposit the VLT at Hôtel Harlot next Monday morning. While I am, of course, looking forward to meeting it, I'm also keen to move it along quicksmart, not least because of the fellow on the aeroplane who virtually promised, nay, downright threatened, that eligible bachelors the world over would besiege me with offers of romantic devotion in exchange for a widescreen plasmarised view of the footy.
Now, I've known an eligible bachelor or two in my time - indeed, some of my best friends are eligible bachelors - and I'm fairly certain that none of them are persons who start salivating at the onset of the AFL season. Armed with this knowledge, I did not believe, nor did I wish to believe, the words of my aeroplane interlocutor. But today, shortly after negotiating VLT delivery, I read this in the Sydney Morning Herald, wherein an unashamed sports bore proclaims, "I'll trade it all - the job, the girlfriend, the life expectancy. I'll trade it all for a gigantic plasma television and unlimited, non-stop sport." Maybe N. Salter and I could enter into some kind of bartering arrangement: I get his job and his life expectancy and his girlfriend** - perhaps he'll throw in his soul? - and he gets my VLT.
Egad. I'm sure we used to squander our passions on less inane inanities. Soap collecting, playing the spoons, philately. Whatever happened to the manly pursuit of flower pressing? When did the N. Salters of this world stop train-spotting and start lusting over televised footy? What this chap needs is a shed, with lots of bits of wood, and a hammer or two. And I need to feel that my transactions on ebay won't turn me into Mephistopheles.
* The qualms only kick in if I recollect that the retail value of the VLT could feed an undiscerning family for a couple of years, that it is an aesthetic smutch on domestic interiors, and that the VLT will no doubt spend the rest of its days guzzling electricity and exposing spongy young minds to pixelated moral toxins. Right. I have qualms.
** Whom I would, of course, immediately restore to her natural habitat with a suitcase full of improving literature.
THE PLOT THICKENS
Saturday, Thornbury: The Age reveals "Elite AFL footballers are being asked to lend a hand to lift the nation's sperm supplies." ("To lend a hand"? Is that what they call it these days?) Methinks I spy a sinister eugenics program in the offing. Those who watch the AFL are leaving their gels in droves, thereby significantly decreasing their own reproductive potential. Meanwhile, those who actually play are being called upon to propagate a high-kicking übermensch with muscular thighs and gross motor skills. Mark my words, in twenty years' time, there'll be no little N. Salters propping up the plasma tv market, just a whole herd of kids with crew cuts and mouthguards. By this stage I will have defected to Norway, where I intend to popularise the noble art of apple bobbing.