I had a shock for my husband and child on Saturday evening. They were due in from watching Millwall beat Stockport so I switched on the kettle to make tea, rearranged the shortbread and angel slices on the plate (don’t worry, I haven’t gone all Nigella on you it’s just that I’m really into afternoon tea at the moment) and switched on Sky so they could watch the ever-so exciting live football match. Nothing. The Sky box remained on standby. I manipulated the remote control. Nothing. I pressed the “on” button on the machine repeatedly. Nothing. Oh dear.
They took the news well, I’ll give them that. David approached the Sky box like his name sake Mr Attenborough approaching a dozing wildebeest, sneaking up on it as if to catch it unawares. It was almost like the little man inside the box was refusing point blank to make all the lights go on and, by catching him on the hop as it were, he’d be jolted into actually making it work. “It doesn’t work” David said, gazing up at me from floor level. Mac wrenched his coat off and joined his father in front of the TV “Perhaps the little man inside the box is asleep and doesn’t know you want it on daddy” he said. You’re probably ahead of me. Yes, Mac truly believes that “little men” work televisions, Sky boxes, washing machines, traffic lights……shall I go on? I wish I could say I was making this up, but I can’t.
It was decided that Mummy Shall Ring Sky. Daddy is incapable of ringing workmen in case they “throw me with a question”. Quite what they could throw him with is beyond me.
Anyway. I rang, I reached the Helpdesk who asked me what I could see on screen. “Nothing” said I. “Oh dear” said Helpdesk Man. David had eaten all of the shortbread at this point and had started on the angel cake. We decided to reset the machine. This involved me standing on my head, juggling phone, power cable and the re-set button. Mac helpfully held the phone to my ear but got bored after two minutes and wandered off with it. Calling him back, I heard Helpdesk Man inform me that “after ten minutes with all the lights on the box, the lights will then go out leaving just the standby light. Leave it no longer than two minutes and then turn the Sky box on. This should resolve it”. I wondered what would happen if I left it longer than two minutes but with the anxious gazes David was throwing in my direction I really didn’t want to find out. “What’s it doing mummy?” asked my pride and joy as we sat in hopeful silence. We decided to help him with his reading. The onscreen message read “The software is being upgraded. Please do not touch any buttons or power cables. This can take up to ten minutes”. Mac repeated it word for word, he has an amazing memory. “Like this button mummy?” Mac said, fingers inches away from the remote control. David had to leave the room.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. Helpdesk Man seemed to take it personally and suggested that I ring the Repairs Super Speedy Hotline. They certainly were super speedy too. Within minutes they had ascertained that I was a householder without access to Sky and with a concerned pale and clammy husband and a child who wanted to watch Bob The Builder if he couldn’t watch football.
RSSP Man: Right, I can get someone out to you on Monday afternoon.
Me: What, this Monday?
RSSP Man: Yes, this Monday.
Me: Bloody hell, I was expecting it to take longer than that!
RSSP Man: We can do later in the week if….
Me (cutting in): No you won’t chutney!
It was bad enough I had to deal with a Sky-less Saturday night and all day Sunday, it’s just inhuman to expect me to wait any longer.
Sky Man arrived at 2pm. He walked in, took one look at our defunct box and said “Ah, once they stick on standby you’re up that well known creek that rhymes with Bit”. Just as I was envisaging a long, drawn out procedure to ensure my box is delivered before the next televised football game (or even Christmas) he whisked out to his van and came back with a brand new one. “Something smells good” he said he wrestled with the myriad of cables behind the TV. “Beef Wellington, special anniversary dinner for me and my husband” I admitted, preening slightly. “Oh, nice! Good job you’ve got Sky back then isn’t it!” he said jovially. “Er, I don’t think so actually, no television tonight! My cousin is picking up our little boy from school and well, it’ll be dinner and bed and…….” I faded out at this point as I caught sight of his expression. He couldn’t get out of the door quick enough.
And I’m still blushing.