Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Telly of Doom

The telly of doom is gone, huzzah! My first mercantile e-venture wasn't, perhaps, the grand commercial success yon marketeering ancestors might have hoped for, but I am mighty glad to have my rompus room restored to me and $5000 worth of eminently thievable electronics far, far, far, far, far away from the contents-uninsured environs of Hôtel Harlot.

My dalliances on the world wide web this past week have been almost entirely with folk named "Pso65" and "BobMan", wondering why on earth I am selling, why am I selling this fine, strapping, hulking fifty-inch spunk of a television. Hôtel Harlot, I have told them, is barely fifty inches from wall to wall, but what I wanted to say is this: "Why are you contemplating buying this fine, strapping, hulking fifty-inch spunk of a television? Surely there's an overseas trip you could go on? A lifetime's supply of cashews and dried apricots you could buy? The complete works of Charles Dickens, and the same in talking-book, and enough left over to keep a Somali village in rice for six months?"

That, however, would have been snide. By keeping my snideness to myself, I received communications, like this one, from a chap who lost the bidding, wrote to tell me so, and received my condolences: "cheers for your thoughts and good luck to you lady with an attitude like yours alexis im certain youll go far , cheers again mike". If that ain't the most flattering and unpunctuated sentence ever to pass between two strangers on ebay, then I'm a monkey's aunt.


Karen said...

I think you can get an almost complete run of All the Year Round for around $2000-3000. You're not a true Dickens fanatic until you hit the journalism!

Congratulations! I have never had any transactions on ebay, although my sister's partner bought something for his car from someone who lived down there and he arrived only to find that the seller lived right nextdoor to the factory!

I hope you filled in the gap left by the television with books or harps.

Maria said...

Not a big fan of the talking-book of Dickens.

Unless I truly couldn't access Dickens in written form, if I were blind and couldn't read Braille, would I be interested in Dickens-in-audiobook. There's something grating about the idea of flicking your stereo on and hearing someone say in a "soothing voice" - "Settle back in your chairs and I am going to read Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers ...{etc} from end to end to you ..."

Excerpts from recitalists I can enjoy; dramatisations and TV adaptations I can enjoy, but the complete works read out to me verbatim by someone selected (as they usually are) because they've got a nice, pleasing, voice to the ear?

That's a task.

alexis said...

The audio Dickens is good for round-the-world car trips, Maria. Especially if you're having trouble tuning into Radio National from the Serengeti.

Thanks for the conga rats, Karen. I'm feeling ever so slightly pleased with myself. I haven't invested in a second harp yet, but I did rush out and make the timely purchase of a heater.

Karen said...

"Conga rats"- I'm going to have to pinch that and slip it into conversation. It's always best to get your heater before the inevitable heater shortage.

I don't know how I feel about talking Dickens. I haven't sampled many talking books in my time. Who was the actor who had the stage show playing Dickens doing his readings? Someone like that could make it reasonable, although I suppose extracts really would serve best. I had a nightmare road trip with my sister to Melbourne then Adelaide then back to Sydney a few years ago. She'd just picked up a copy of the audio version of Tintin in a bargain bin and was insisting upon playing it over and over again. And she decided that we would only eat minties. I think I burst into tears around the Victoria border, when she bought another packet of minties and waved it at me excitedly whilst walking back to the car. Yes, this is a thoroughly superfluous story which has not enriched your life on iota.

alexis said...

No, it has enriched my life, several iotas. Minties, eh? I'm not much of a fan either, but I did used to enjoy shredding their wrappers to achieve the longest possible continuous length of Mintie-paper.

The Mintie people really lucked out when the Mintie Hunt children's party craze took off. A whole packet of Minties sold every time a child turned six!

Karen said...

Mintie Hunt? I don't remember that at all, but I shudder at the idea!
The problem with minties, as with most lollies of that sort is that I don't mind one or two. One or two can be quite pleasant, but then you find yourself eating the whole packet and you don't even know why, since you're certainly not enjoying it. And I shred the wrappers into tiny little bits- I do that with napkins too.

TimT said...

I went on a Fantail hunt once as a kid: I was so crap that an adult had to find one for me.

Easter Eggs also have that mysterious love-hate relationship. A kid I knew had the curious habit, when given an Easter Egg, of most carefully unwrapping the foil so that it didn't tear, and became a little silver square. My father does the same with Christmas Presents - carefully detaching all the tape, often with a Stanley Knife, so that the wrapping paper stays intact. Don't know why he bothers, since we throw it out later in the day.

It would be interesting to hear a Steve Irwin version of 'A Tale of Two Cities'. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness - CRIKEY!"

alexis said...

Sadly, Steve Irwin does Dickens is not to be, unless he had a secret Victorian literature fetish we're yet to hear of.

I have a love-love relationship with Easter eggs, but that may be because all mine this year were made of very flash Swiss chocolate.

Karen said...

(Tearing her mind away from the extremely distracting idea of Steve Irwin doing Madame Defarge)

Fantails are the same as minties. I don't like them, but I can't stop once they're there. Easter eggs too- and the sort of lollies which get packaged up for Christmas. They're the worst lollies imaginable, but the context of Christmas makes you eat the whole bowl. I do draw the line at bad chocolate though, even if it is Easter. I think I may have discussed this with you before, Alexis, but I absolutely love Japanese chocolate. I have been searching for years for a shop here stocking this brand called "Melty Kisses" (which is as wonderful as the name suggests).

I'm the opposite to your father, Tim. I'm pedantically destructive (if there is such a thing). I like to rip the packaging into the smallest bits imaginable. People have tried to stop me by telling me that this is an indication of various unflattering things, but all to no avail.

TimT said...

I think he's nuts.

Easter eggs should never be made out of good chocolate, because a) It distracts our attention from the sudden rush of the sugar-and-cocoa hit, b) It's just a waste of good chocolate, and c) It distracts our attention from the sudden rush of the sugar-and-cocoa hit. I can't stress that one too much!

alexis said...

I don't think you understand.

Karen said...

I don't think I understand! You clearly have quite a radical theory of chocolate consumption, Tim. I, on the other hand, insist that all the chocolate and cakes I consume be the best available, for I do not wish to waste my finite stomach capacity on anything second rate.

TimT said...

I view easter eggs as little nuggets of nostalgia. Any diversion from the classical form which I remember from my childhood I look upon as heresy. Hence 'caramel' easter eggs or 'Mars' easter eggs on the supermarket shelves don't get a second look.

Rich dark chocolate, Lindt, and the like should, I maintain, be used on other chocolate products: but not the Easter Egg!

JahTeh said...

Minties, fantails, Lindt bunnies, Mars bars, caramel eggs, you people are cruel, a dieting fat person reads this blog. I did get a small choc bunny for Egg Sunday and I hid it but not so well that I couldn't find later.

Karen said...

(I'm sorry, Jahteh. Look away now).


That actually makes a frightening amount of sense. Even I, chocolate snob as I am, can appreciate that there is a whole other order of chocolate which is reserved for guzzling rather than connoiseurship. My preference is for tiny wafers of dark chocolate ether, but such fare requires work. You have to find the right place on your palate for it or else it will wash away without making an impression. Sometimes one does want something a little less demanding. I'm such a snob that I generally sneer at Cadbury, but the chocolate in the Furry Friends bars is, I have found, impeccable for achieving that instant and easy gratification one sometimes needs. Milka also.

As for childhood and nostalgia- My sisters and I have fond memories of El Caballo Blanco and Magic Kingdom, but I very much doubt that we would be similarly amused these days. Your longing is not for the object, the easter egg itself, but for the moment of eating the easter egg as a child, which is ultimately irrevocable. Even if you could find the very same easter egg, you would not respond to it in the same way. Indeed one would require an altogether different easter egg to illicit a comparable response in your adult self, with its markedly altered perceptual apparatus (if a comparable response were in fact possible).

So it's just as Alexis and I originally said!

TimT said...

You almost had me there. You're just saying that because you want all the easter eggs for yourself.

Mr Mean said...

A heater, eh? Surely the TV was more than capable of generating enough heat to keep Hôtel Harlot warm all through the Victorian winter, without hardly making a dent on the screen's half-life!

Although, of course, if only the game show folk would be so obliging to give you a projector (and a digital TV 'set-top box', plus a DVD recorder if they really wanted to) instead — that'd allow you to get a 50-inch image while taking up very little physical space, as well as keeping the room toasty while you ignore the broadcast.

Karen said...

Golly, Tim, I just had a flashback to what I did when I had the Lindt chocolate bunny last sunday night. I decided that I had to have all eggs and, strangely, all dolls to myself. You don't have ESP, do you?

alexis said...

These are all very astute observations, Mr M. Truth is, I'm more of the gather-round-the-piano or let's-play-charades type than the telly-watcher. It's become a matter of perverse personal pride.

Mr Mean said...

Well, the most recent television broadcast I saw¹ was this programme², bringing the total time I have spent in 2007 watching TV to just under two hours (compared to say 30 hours of SCRABBLE).

Alas, "let's gather round the piano" would mean sending guests to the store room to disturb the evenly settled coat of dust.

Perverse personal pride, you say? I look forward to seeing the Harlot float at the next Sydney Mardi Gras!

¹Or, more precisely, tried to cognitively remap fuzzy patterns of colour to your form, thanks to sub-par analogue reception of metropolitan TV channels in CBD residential buildings via the common antenna.
²… that I was told I had to watch.