Regular droppers-by will know that a month or two ago I parted ways with an obscenely big smellyvision, a hulking hulk who for two weeks impeded access to the Harlot kitchens and (at least, so I feared) wafted its televisual pheremones in the direction of lusty young tv burglars. Apart from its brief dalliance with this hulking hulk, Hôtel Harlot has hitherto been telly-free. Which was all more or less as I wanted it, except that it has rather hampered the Lexicon Harlot ability to add meaningfully to conversations about the latest ABC stevedoring unionist doco or what the young folk are getting up to in their bikinis at Big-Brotherville.
I was sucked into one such conversation last week, and I ruefully confessed that I didn't have a telly. I say ruefully, but there's something about the words, "Oh, I don't actually have a telly", that necessarily sounds smug: "Oh, I don't actually have a telly. While you're watching Big Brother, I'm gathered round the piano playing charades and translating Shakespeare into Sanskrit, you slave to tawdry mass culture, you."
Immediately, with smug-tolerating magnanimity, my conversationalist offers me her spare, an 18-inch Panasonic minus its aerial. I accept. I buy a set of rabbit-ears, $11 at Kmart. I have pixel. I watch the news. I learn more about AFL in seven minutes than I have learnt in the preceding 28 years. Ah, Melbourne. Bless this city, I say, where anyone can have a free telly just for sounding smug in the right quarter.