Saturday, May 15, 2010

T.V. License

I've just opened a letter from the post office. It's about me not having a current TV licnese.  It's bilingual Irish and English, so it opens with: dear customer/ a chara. In Irish 'a chara' means friend, so right away I'm on my guard. Do Irish speaking people attack T.V. license inspectors with hurley sticks and goats horns? And because of this do the T.V. license people strategically address them as friends? Maybe there isn't a word in Irish for customer, after all, I only learnt Irish for five days a week over a period of 12 years, so I obviously only know how to ask if I can use the toilet and just about say what my name is.
Anyways, bottom line, I don't have a T.V. license and I need one and they cost 160 quid. As an English speaker, I am aware that the T.V. license inspector has heard all the excuses so I won't bother getting  back to them with mine, which is: I don't have the money, well I do, but I don't really and in my house, bills like this don't get paid until I get some important looking summons saying I'll be going to jail next week if I don't pay. Thing is though, I'm half tempted to let them arrest me so that I can spend a night or two in Mountjoy for not having one. I fantasize about smuggling in a mobile phone and calling the Joe Duffy show from the women's prison. The conversation would be the same as most chat show conversations in Ireland, we'd say words like 'shocking', 'ridiculous', 'disgraceful' and 'waste of taxpayers money' and  'overcrowded prisons' which would be followed by professional do-gooders calling the station offering to bring bowls of stew and apple tarts to my three young children left helplessly at home without their mother. Others would go on about how lone parent Jezebels like my good self are a thorn in the side of this country, and where else would you expect people like me to end up in but Mountjoy, and that who do women without husbands think they are to be having tellies anyway. Maybe they have a point. Most of the time I don't get to watch it at all. I spend most of the day trying to earn a crust and then in the evenings I run around like a headless chicken doing the housework. So the no T.V. license may end up as a blessing in disguise: a few days of respite, and come to think of it, if I do go to jail, I might get one of those cells I've seen on T.V. shows about female murderers. They always have tellies in their cell, and I'd get to watch it in peace, and come to think of it, I wouldn't even have to pay for the T.V. license...

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