Friday, 30 March 2007

Oh the footility

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.

10 comments:

Karen said...

It is indeed an ethical quandry, but I suggest you look at it this way: the N. Salters of the world will watch television for seventy hours a week, no matter how many copies of Middlemarch you liberally scatter in their way. If the N. Salters of the world don't have their plasma TVs, they will be forced to cran their necks attempting to view the game over the tops of many heads at the pub. N. Salter may need surgery on his eyes in the end, but at least his spine will be OK. It's the best that can be hoped for.
As for N. Salter's girlfriend, the time N. Salter spends watching the footy is no doubt a blessed rest from listening to him talk about the footy. Needless to say, N. Salter's priorities are certainly out of whack, so she does very much need rescuing.

(Will respond to Tim's comment later tonight).

alexis said...

Poor N. Salter. If only there were more bingo halls up round his parts.

Karen said...

And he probably thought being N. Salter was sufficient punishment for being N. Salter!

I often wonder how some young men manage to acquire girlfriends. Only an hour ago I saw a 4WD being driven by a young man so patriotic he felt the need to block his entire rear window with a flag. In the corner was a sticker which read "I'm rooting for Australia. Ralph magazine". I wondered if he had placed that sticker on his car in the expectation that girls would still want to get into it.

alexis said...

Hey, I don't want to be too harsh on N. Salter. He probably has a lovely baritone and whips up a scrumpy creme brulee. Perhaps the lady fell in love with the profound soul that occasionally peeks out from behind the footy-fiend, or perhaps he lied about the extent of his sports devotion, or perhaps - oddly - she shares it, or perhaps her self-esteem was so tattered that playing support role to the grand-prix felt like some kind of honour.

As for Ralph, I bought a copy once, for research purposes. It consisted almost entirely of "Phwoar! Check out Anna Kournikova's knickers!" Maybe the fellow with the flag was being ironic (she says, charitably).

Maria said...

I think you're all being too harsh on N. Salter here - a creme brulee and a beautiful baritone will overcome many shortcomings. If he's got the brulee in baritone, he can probably get away with lots of lounge lizard activity - when you think about it, there aren't a lot of bachelors who offer much more.

On the other hand, perhaps he's a crashing bore and a constant complainer, and his footy TV time is about the only time she gets away from listening to his long recital of the Icelandic telephone book, and she's rather relieved by it?

nailpolishblues said...

I think we should start a campaign to have clever young male bloggers follow the lead of Papertrap and donate sperm. Just to even things up a bit.

Karen said...

Ok, maybe I got a little too carried away with being harsh. It's a weakness of mine. I'm sorry. I plead a tempestuous mood.

You bought Ralph for research purposes, Alexis? I can't even be shocked at that, since I sometimes go to the magazine aisle of my local Coles and flick through Ralph, etc for "research purposes". I would certainly join you in Norway. Have you seen that Dunlop life painting ad that's on at the moment? It really makes me want to punch something hard.

There certainly has to be some sort of antidote to a brave new world of AFL sprogs.

alexis said...

Maria, I'm troubled by the aspersions you appear to be casting on those who read the Icelandic telephone directory. I, for one, would be fascinated by anyone, not in Iceland, who made a habit of reading the ITD. I might suspect them of viking tendencies, but a viking tendency doth not a crashing bore make.

Nails, I'll leave this project in your capable hands.

I haven't seen the Dunlop life painting ad. Is it on telly? I ain't got one (though that'll all change in a couple of days). Ralph didn't deserve a second flick through, though there was a rather beguiling article about a man who swallows snakes for a living.

Karen said...

Yes, it's on telly, but I've seen print ads and I seem to remember bus stops too. It features an Australian Netball player drawing a naked man very poorly. The tag line is something along the lines of "When you grow up in Dunlops you're good at sport and nothing else". I wonder about the mentality of the parent to whom that slogan would appeal.

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