So I discovered this excellent Panasonic 15” flat screen CRT telly on top of my wardrobe. I hadn’t used it in a few years and had originally bought it for video editing as a third monitor on my desk.
Julia and I decided it would make a nice addition in our house in Birmingham, and should we ever get round to renting it out it would be great in one of the bedrooms. We postponed going up quite a few times though, so I took the TV out of my flat and put it in front of my door. There’s a landing where I put stuff from time to time.
The weeks pass, as they do, and on Tuesday something rather bizarre has happened: my upstairs neighbour took it upon himself to decide that my telly would be classed as RUBBISH… He took it downstairs and put it on the side of our house.
I live in Haringey, so it must have taken about 30 seconds until someone grabbed it. Now it’s gone forever, with only a remote on my desk to show for it.
I was literally gone for one hour while all this happened, because I remember clearly seeing the TV when I left the flat – and it was gone when I came back. Only one question springs to mind: WTF?
He bumped into my wife later that day and told her about “the incident”, being a tad apologetic about it. Apparently it by now it had occurred to him that I may possibly not share his view on my belongings being in need of immediate disposal. He kindly offered to replace the TV, should I “need it after all”.
You think I’m making this up, but the story gets better!
I tried to speak to him the next day but didn’t catch him. Instead I left a message with his flatmate, who kindly passed the urgency of this matter on. Classy character – never shows a hint of emotion or interest in anything for that matter. Julia and I had planned to go to Birmingham this coming Monday for a dentist appointment when it’s Telly Transportation Time (not that it’s my neighbours business).
In the evening they both came round and my neighbour apologised. I explained the situation, however I wonder if I made it clear enough that there is difference between “mine” and “yours” and what these two words mean. After a brief discussion about the fact that some cash towards a new TV would probably be my preference, his flatmate decides that used CRT tellies are obsolete and readily available for about £10 on the high street.
Be that as it may, I have no interest in an item from a bargain crap shop. Giving me a “new used” telly is still missing the point that my neighbour effectively STOLE my property and threw it away. What kind of world are we living in?
Anyway, after arguing about screen sizes for a while we agreed that over the next few weeks we’ll come to some arrangement and the two of them went upstairs. Julia and I didn’t think anything about the rattling upstairs that followed our encounter.
10 minutes later, there’s another surprise knock on the door. It’s my neighbour again with a remote control in his hand. Accompanied by the words “There you go – really sorry about this”, he presents a 22” Sony TV which is now in the same spot that my old TV was in before it was effectively stolen.
Now I find myself in the possession of a “new used” telly.
I’m rather speechless at this point. All I can do is laugh at the situation. This is classic screwball comedy. Hollywood writers don’t come up with this stuff easily. It’s one of those moments that’ll one day make it into my blockbuster movie.
I should start writing the script soon…
UPDATE: The Story doesn’t end here
A couple of days later my neighbour’s REAL reason for throwing out my telly becomes clear:
It’s summer, and it’s cycling time!
Now my front door is graced with a couple of (nearly identical) bicycles chained to the railing. Not that him or his boyfriend are actually using them – they’re just parked there now until 2045 I guess. What a frigging numbskull that guy is. I can just see our next chance meeting in the hallway:
“Hey you don’t mind about those bikes, do you?” – That’s when I get that big fat Crocodile Dundee Knife out of my rucksack. Or the sawn-off double barrelled shotgun. We’ll do both versions – that’s always good for the DVD audience. With a swift move I blast his private parts off (we’ll shoot this in slow motion). He looks down in complete shock and I smile at him.
In a distinct Horatio Caine like fashion I put my designer sunglasses on. My last words are “Maybe I do, Alex… maybe I do…”