Apparently England have won the ashes.
Well thank fuck for that. Perhaps now I can have my TV back.
No such luck.
It might come as a bolt out of the blue to hear that I am not sporty. I excelled at tap dancing during my school years and was pretty good at sprinting (years of practise from chasing after the ice cream van). I also learnt karate for a few years and controversially quit about 2 months before my black belt exam just because I couldn't be bothered with it anymore.
My Mum and Dad were furious and said I would regret it forever. I didn't really care, all I knew was that I wouldn't have to spend 2 hours on a sunday fashioning my legs into some stupidly unnatural stance, counting in Japanese and punching mid-air.
Years later, of course I do regret it. Boasting that I have "a brown and two-white stripe belt in Karate" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as saying you've got a black belt. It could mean anything, so generally people are not too impressed. I think I was reasonably good at it too, which will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me now.
Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I am not in the slightest bit interested in sport. I don't like watching it, I don't like talking about it, and I certainly don't like doing it.
Mr G, on the other hand, can't get enough of it. Being Welsh, it is a mandatory requirement of his citizenship that he has to follow rugby. But he also loves football, cricket, golf, wrestling, boxing, athletics, snooker, darts, zzzzzzzz.
We once met some Americans on holiday, so upon our return I caught him staying up late to watch baseball and American Football as well.
He will basically watch ANYTHING. I'm sure he does some of it just to annoy me, but every single day without fail, I will come home from work to find Mr G already reclining in front of the TV, as happy as a pig bathing in its own excrement, watching one of the above mentioned activities, whilst simultaneously playing Championship Manager on the laptop.
From time to time I will dare to make some comment about wanting to watch something different, and Mr G will throw a big wobbler and find some way of making me feel guilty for even suggesting that there could be anything more riveting going on in the world than a football match between Southend on Sea United v Kingsbridge Wanderers.
On the occasions where I have felt duty bound to make some kind of effort to appear interested (usually for the "important" matches), I have found a good way of entertaining myself, by imagining all the possible scenarios that could occur during a game, and waiting for a particularly tense moment to innocently enquire about it. For example:
"Do you think any goalkeeper has ever gone to make a save and accidentally knocked himself out by banging his head on the post?"
"You know when they kick the ball into the crowd?"
"Well, is the person who catches it allowed to keep it?"
"Not really love, they throw it back out so the game can carry on"
"Well if I went to a football match and David Beckham kicked the ball and I caught it, I would hide it and take it home with me. Do you think I would get into trouble?"
"How do they all know the words and tune to the songs?"
This game can be played for all sports. How about rugby...
"You know when they tackle each other?"
"Do they ever pull each other's pants down by accident?!"
"Yes my love"
"Yes my love"
"Has a cricket ball ever been hit into the crowd and smashed someone in the face?!"
"I expect so. Shhhhhh."
"Why do they rub the ball against their willies?"
"How does the crowd start a Mexican Wave?"
"Hmmmm... I'm not too sure on that one."
I actually have since found out the answer to this, as I started one myself at an Elton John concert in what was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Basically, you just make eye contact with several people sat above or below you, mouth "Mexican Wave" and wait for word to spread and a small amount of hysteria develop. Hopefully the people you are in attendance with will not be totally mortified like my sisters were, and will then help you start off the initial attempt, otherwise you will have to go it alone. After several false starts, it will eventually take off, and you can sit back and smile to yourself that if you were to die at this very moment, you would die happy.
Anyway, I digress.
So Mr G is addicted to sport. I am not.
I'll never forget the day I came home from work and heard voices coming from the living room.
I walked in to find him sitting there, playing football on the XBox, wearing a HEADSET.
After almost dying of a laughter induced asthma attack (and I don't even suffer from asthma) I eventually managed to choke out "What the hell are you doing?"
As if it was the most normal thing in the world, he looked at me like I was stupid and said "Playing football. What does it look like?"
"It looks like you're wearing a headset love! That's what it looks like! Who are you talking to?"
"Marty!! We're playing each other! Over the Internet!!!!! It's like being in the same room!"
"I'll drop you round his house and you can sit in the same room and play against each other if you like? You loser."
He muttered something scathing about me "not getting it" into the mic, and I went and texted Marty's girlfriend asking her if she was laughing at her boyfriend as much as I was at mine.
Just this month, I noticed Mr G had kindly informed me via the medium of a Facebook status update, that he had taken the decision to upgrade to Sky HD in time for the football season.
Later, when I put the big rubber "REJECTED" stamp on his plan, I had to sit through the usual lecture about how amazing the picture quality is with High Definition. I advised Mr G that if the picture got any sharper, he would need to wear a pair of safety specs to watch TV. He tutted at me that I "just didn't get it", and I reminded him that perhaps if I actually got to watch some TV myself, I might feel the need to watch things in High Def. As it stood, I really did not need to see a slow motion shot of Wayne Rooney's testicles as he skidded in to tackle his opponent any clearer than I already could.
Mr G helpfully brought to the table a solution to the entire problem:
"I've been thinking about this, and if you pay an extra £10 a month into the joint account, we can get multiroom, and you can watch whatever you want up in the bedroom!"
"Good idea love! Ooooooh, and how about this!!!!!!!!!!! You pay an extra 200 quid a month towards the mortgage, you can just have the living room and I'll happily lie in the bedroom watching X Factor on the 15 year old ten inch TV. Get lost. Is that HD enough for you?"
So whilst Mr G may well be sat downstairs at this very moment in the same position he was in at 8am this morning, watching the highlights of the cricket game he just spent the entire day watching, he is definitely not watching it in High Definition.