The Plastic Hippo

December 30, 2014

HD Resolution


There are some people of a cynical disposition that suggest it is futile to make noble behavioural resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Their pragmatic logic suggests that it is pointless to make promises to yourself when fully aware that you have no intention or, indeed, the capability to keep them.

When pressed by the children during previous Hogmanay booze-ups, I have declined to offer any rash and ultimately hollow resolutions to pay their university tuition fees or to ensure that they receive treatment from a doctor or hospital when they fall ill or to reduce the family debt, deficit and borrowing. This year, however, a new addition to the household has made me reconsider the whole notion of New Year Resolutions.

During recent years, visitors to the old homestead have been fascinated by the dimensions of the living room television. Ignoring the fake Chagall above the fireplace and the fake Barbara Hepworth in the corner, guests have focussed on the diminutive proportions of the TV set perched on a book shelf. One teenage oaf, visiting an indigenous teenage oaf, once entered the room and asked: “Where`s your telly?” His teenage host, oozing shame from every pore, pointed at the tiny miracle born to the world via John Logie Baird. “No”, said his pal, “where`s your real telly?” So, after the undignified madness of Black Friday (possibly the most insidious American import since Trick or Treat) and before the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child, a larger television was purchased at a very reasonable price without the need to push other people over. To avoid being labelled as scroungers, we honestly looked for televisions that did not have a flat screen but sadly big fat ones that hum are no longer available.

Once installed, the new TV prompted the youngest child to ask me to consider spending more time watching television with the family. Previously, when this had been attempted, the soporific output from broadcasters and the comfort of a sofa had sent me off to the land of nod within about 90 seconds and the fusillade of shouting, shoes, sweet wrappers and occasionally the remote control, removed me from the living room after my snoring had become too intense. Instead, I would watch news streams on the computer situated elsewhere.

The heartfelt plea for familial bonding has, however, made me realise that I have to change my fatherly behaviour and I have made a list of New Year resolutions.

I will stop using the computer.

I will stop reading books and listening to music.

I will no longer drink alcohol or smoke.

I will spend the evening watching attention seeking nonentities cook food for each other in their own homes as they prance like performing bears for the amusement of a television audience.

I will enjoy celebrities I have never heard of eating offal on an outdoor film set.

I will jog.

I will learn to love Jeremy Hunt.

I will stop thinking that Iain Duncan Smith is a dangerous threat that should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

I will finally realise that the government is serving the citizenry rather than serving themselves.

I will do the washing up immediately after a meal.

I will refrain from criticising David Cameron and George Osborne.

I will vote Liberal Democrat.

I will ignore the catastrophe that is engulfing the nation.

I will give up blogging and erase all my internet misdemeanours.

I am told that even the most tenacious of New Year resolution adherents seldom last beyond Easter at best. I am resolute to be better than that. At the stroke of midnight at the change of the year, I am certain that these solemn pledges that I have given will last until about 90 seconds after Big Ben has chimed 12.

After that, I will watch Jools Holland on a great big flat screen telly.


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