Friday, March 20, 2009

Encounter with the TV man

Last night just after 8. I managed to catch the 5.52 from W Sussex so had gotten home at a decent time. The buzzer.

"Hello"

"Hello ma'am. I have a letter for you"

Check time again.

"Can you put it through the mailbox and I will pick it up later?"

"No, I need a signature. If not, I would have done this hours ago"

"I will be right down"

He must be a burglar. Do burglars ring the bell? Maybe. Maybe I will open the door a crack and see. What if this guy has a gun or knife or something? Enough paranoia. Go down. Open door.

"Hello"

"Here is your letter ma'am. It says you have not paid your TV license"

"Are you the TV license inspector? I have never met one"

"Yes, so you need to pay your license fees within..."

"But I don't have a TV"

"You don't have a TV?"

"Correct"

"Are you sure?"

"I think so"

"Can I come and check?"

"Now?"

Narrowed eyes. "Yes"

Should I say that I can't let anyone in when partner is not around? Cultural exception. This guy doesn't look like the sort who would buy it.

"Can I see your ID?"

"Sure" Man pulls out ID and hands it to me.

"You are really a TV license inspector!"

"That's what I said ma'am"

"Come on in"

He follows me up the (spiral) stairs.

"These stairs are dangerous. Do you go up and down every day?"

"Don't have a choice. But you get used to it. Here we are"

"I am going to go here and check..."

"That's the kitchen"

"Many people hide TVs in the kitchen"

"Why would I hide my non-existent TV?"

"The detector did not detect anything"

Living room next. Nothing.

"Can I go here?"

"Sure"

Man goes into bedroom. Kneels down and points detector device under the bed.

"Since I did not know you were coming, I wouldn't have hidden it even if I had one"

"You took your time coming down"

"Fair enough. There's a room upstairs. You might want to go up and check"

"Another spiral staircase!"

"Yeah. Sorry about that"

Man goes up and comes back in a second.

"You really don't have a TV"

"I told you that"

"People say that all the time"

"How many times have people told you the truth"

"In my five years in this job, thrice. Including you"

"Ah. That's the first time anyone associated me with being truthful!"

"When did you move here?"

"A couple of months ago"

"How long do you intend to stay here?"

"End of this year for sure"

"Do you intend to buy a TV?"

"No"

"You are really not intending to buy a TV?"

"That's correct"

"Why?"

"We don't watch it"

"What do you do then?"

"Why are you asking me all these questions?"

"The other two people who did not have TVs were crazy. You look like you are fine, even seem to have a proper job"

How does he know I have a proper job? Is he stalking me? He is not a TV inspector after all. No, no, chill, I am still wearing my suit.

"I am very much fine, thank you"

"We might come up again in a couple of months to check"

"You are welcome"

I let him out of the flat and close the door when I hear the sound. Man promptly fell down stairs on his way down. I open my door.

"Tell whoever is coming up next to watch out for the stairs"

***

In totally unrelated news, I was just chatting with the Don and he was telling me that yesterday they announced the MP candidate for Thiruvanthapuram. It's a Sonia boy - name is Shashi Tharoor. People are apparently scratching heads and wondering WTF is going on. (Hey Feanor - Looks like now is the time. Before those papers come through, go file your nomination)

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please tell you made this up...

blackmamba said...

anon, Veena never makes things up.

Also, guys, did you know Mallika Sarabhai is up against LK Advani?

Space Bar said...

i love the bit when he fell down the stairs. if you had any sense, you'd have recorded it and put it up on youtube.

bm: and one press conference of hers was pretty hilarious. i have a feeling i'm going to have to do a series of election watch posts. but that would also mean i sit in front of the tv. decisions, decisions.

feanor, please join politics. you can join at least one of your illustrious batchmates and cock a snook at him.

Veena said...

Anon: See BM's reply

BM: SB is right. We need to do an election watch - SB please to start.

SB: If I knew he was going to fall down, I might have vid-ed it but well.

I actually like the idea of Feanor vs. Tharoor. I mean, look at the similarities - both don't know a word of Mallu, never lived in God's own country, both share alma mater, Foreign Service connections - this is all too much.

Feanor - please to let me know if you are interested. I am sure I can get the Don to introduce you to appropriate comrades back home.

Btw, who is illustrious batchmate?

Veena said...

Btw, who is illustrious batchmate?

Oh never mind. I keep forgetting you guys are so old. Even though you seem to do a good job of reminding me all the time.

Cheshire Cat said...

So the TV license fee is actually a sanity tax? I should get rid of mine as well.

Maddy said...

is this for real? when we lived in UK, i had heard that they had checks done, but with under staffing everywhere, nobody i knew had ever got checked.

In fact they were the best when we were leaving. I called them and in one week got a pro rata refund for the TV tax prepaid for that year. Even the county tax guys took ages!!

Surya said...

Shashi Tharoor for MP! from Trivandrum!!?! How does one go from being a UN Sec-Gen candidate to wanna-be MP? Shouldn't he at least speak Malayalam??

Funny story..btw. Imagine having a namecard that reads TV inspector..

Fëanor said...

Hey! I know one word of Malloo. 'Shingdi'. As for politicking, the only bit of teflon on me is my bald pate, and that's nowhere near sufficient to get good at the game. On the other hand, I'm sure the commies would support me on account of my shady past in Russia. Decisions, decisions...

Veena said...

Cat: You should but that would mean giving up watching tennis as well.

Maddy: Real alright. They usually send threatening letters which say someone will come and inspect but it never happened before.

Surya: Apparently he says speaking mellifluent Mallu is not going to help if you want to get things done for the constituency from Delhi. So there.

Feanor: Come on now, you are already a civil servant. Politicking is far more easier, you shall find.

Cheshire Cat said...

Veena: Not to mention soccer, cricket and, er, greyhound racing.

kevin venus said...

that' super :)

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