Boxing? Not on my box

The Jewish Chronicle Online, 19/11/2010

On Saturday night I made an appointment with myself to stay in and watch the pay-per-view heavyweight championship of the world boxing match between the challenger Audley Harrison and the champion David Haye on Sky.

After five minutes of pointing my two remote controls at my 42 inch plasma screen, I finally managed to get the TV to switch on.

I rang Sky to book the fight. They said I had to order the fight from the TV. So, with one minute before the fight, I was still sitting there staring at a screen with the message ‘We are waiting to approve you’. All my life has been like this, I thought. One constant search for approval.

Finally, Sky approved of me – and Audley, the big one, and David, the small one, appeared. But there were two of them. Two huge Audleys and two tiny Davids.The screen was split right down the middle.

I was seeing everything double.

The four boxers were still standing there in the two rings looking at each other. At least the fight hasn’t started yet, I thought.

Then they all went back and sat down in their corners. I’d been watching round one!

So I rang TV Chris, the guy who’d installed the TV.

“Who’s that?”

“Its me. Peter Rosengard. Do you remember me? You installed my TV.”

“Sorry, no. When was that?

“Five or six years ago. Remember?”

“What do you want!?”

I spent the next round with Chris telling me to point the two remotes at just about everything in the flat including the sofa and the fridge.

The boxers went and sat down again. We were at the end of round two. Still, nobody seemed to have thrown a punch. Maybe they’ve heard about my problem with the TV, I thought, and they’re waiting for me to fix it before they start.

I suddenly remembered I had another TV in my study upstairs. I hung up and ran upstairs. I turned the TV on. This time I got the fight OK – just one ring, one fight, and only two men in shorts pretending to be fighters. But I had no sound.

I sat there alone watching a silent fight, with 25000 silent fans watching two boxers not hitting each other. Then in round three an amazing thing happened. Hayes suddenly ran over to Audley and started hitting him! Harrison just stood there getting punched. The crowd were on their feet, going crazy, in total silence.

I leapt to my feet, wildly pointing the two remotes at the ring, clicking away. I picked up a third one and Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit came blasting on. It was the DVD player. I hit mute.

Audley fell, got up, and was knocked down again.

What a fight, I thought. I was exhausted.

Half an hour later, the phone rang. It was TV Chris. “Have you tried turning the set on and off?” he asked. “Try pulling all the plugs out and counting to ten.”

“Thanks Chris,” I said. “I’ll give that a go.”

I turned the light off.