My father phones, sounding a bit shifty. He tells me how last night the SkyBox stopped working, reporting a viewer card error. He didn’t need all his scientist know-how to know to promptly switch it off and then on again, as everyone knows this is how 99% of things get fixed. Sure enough it was working again, and then some.
See, as I have mentioned before, my parents only got Sky to pick up S4C – Big Brother and endless Friends repeats perhaps not being their thing – and as a result got the most basic of packages. As far as I can tell, S4C aside, the most basic Sky package is basically Freeview, with a couple of the more average channels replaced with scores of phone-in quiz show channels, channels showing soap operas from Nairobi, and the remarkably unfrightening Zone Horror.
Now though, following last night’s viewer card error, they seem to have the most deluxe package going. All the sports and movies channels, all those dubiously named ‘entertainment’ channels, and some twenty extra music channels. And yes, probably all the porn too.
My father is a deeply moral and law abiding person. I remember him dropping me off to see Batman Returns at the cinema under the old BBFC certificate rulings, and just as I was entering the screening theatre seeing my Dad rushing over to the usher to confess that actually I was only eleven, but it was my twelfth birthday the next day so would it okay for me to see the film and if it wasn’t that was perfectly understandable and I could go and see Beethoven instead. Around about the same age I also remember late one night coming off the ferry from France, and my dad driving to the red gate of Something To Declare, to explain that he was carrying one bottle of wine over the allowed amount (again, under old import laws) as he had planned on drinking it the previous night but had forgotten so would it be okay to keep it and if it wasn’t that was perfectly understandable and he could hand it over or pour it into the sea. On both occasions his taken aback audience were disarmed by such honesty, and just shrugged “yeah, okay”.
Nonetheless my father is also Valley stock, and won’t easily forget Murdoch’s cozying up to Thatcher. I detect the resolute tone of a man without remorse, albeit an excited one: it’s time for payback.
“Just don’t phone up any of the box office channels and order some brand new movies in,” I warn him, “that’ll probably give the game away.”
5 weeks ago