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If my dad was still alive – he would be turning 100 at the end of this year – he would tell me I would get square eyes.
I sadly lost him when I was 21 – 10 days after I got married – to an unexpected heart attack, but his words still ring in my ears.
He was a British serviceman with a healthy dislike of Americans, and that included television which, in the then-Rhodesia, was dominated by programmes from the US.
Dad refused to get a TV and warned me that apart from getting square eyes watching the goggle box at friends’ houses, I would learn nothing of value “from inane programmes like Leave it to Beaver”.
But lockdown means I am getting oblong eyes – from watching YouTube on my superior Samsung smartphone.
I am addicted to many things but especially YouTube, as She Who Must be Obeyed has control of the TV remote and I dare not interfere with her Showmax series and the thousand and one other things available on DStv.
So, YouTube it is, during the endless hours of lockdown. And I have become quite the expert.
There is nothing I cannot find on the internet, or YouTube, and I have lost count of how many subscriptions I have.
I watch anything and everything – from war planes taking off and landing on aircraft carriers (my love of aviation is another legacy from Dad, who served in the Fleet Air Arm) – to epic fails, all the best bits from British comedy shows, classic clips from American TV chats shows such as David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, the world’s fastest workers, cops smashing motorists’ windows, wonders of nature and sport. Lots of sport.
I have watched Shane Warne’s ball of the century dozens of times, the best yorkers ever bowled, Brian Lara’s triple century, the funniest run outs, stump mic fights and rugby, lots of rugby.
Who threw what punch when, who are the dirtiest players (put your hand up, Bakkies Botha), the best tries, game-changing moments, fights with referees … it’s all there.
Eventually, I have trouble focusing. By that stage, She Who Must be Obeyed is fast asleep, and I turn on the goggle box. Forged in Fire – a repeat.
I am going to need a new prescription for my spectacles before lockdown is over.
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