How big is big enough? And how big is small?
I don’t mean to confuse you but it would appear that the world has moved on apace and I haven’t moved with it.
I’m sure we all remember when things were bigger: the Wagon Wheel, the Mars bar, Andrew Mitchell’s political career hopes.
We all know that you don’t get as much as you used to – and if you do, you have to pay more for it. That’s the nature of the world.
But it’s come to my attention that although the world may have moved on I haven’t.
What first sparked my self-doubt and navel gazing cum cod psychological meanderings is Christmas.
Not in an ethereal, ‘What’s the meaning of all of this?’ but rather about my telly.
I believe I have a normal telly, it sits in the corner of the room quite nicely. It turns on when I point the remote at it, it turns over and does all the things one would expect of a telly.
But apparently that’s not enough any more. My telly simply doesn’t cut the mustard. It is no longer a ‘first’ TV.
You may be wondering what a first TV is. To be honest with you I don’t know, but I do know what a second TV is – according to Currys PC World.
The catchily named high street electrical retailer’s festive advertising campaign tells us of all the bargains we can bag – including TVs measuring 24in or 27in and then describes them as ‘perfect second televisions’.
Take a look below to see a video of Black Friday madness in Batley.
I saw the ad and immediately headed to the cellar for my tape measure. After throwing stuff all over the place I managed to dig it out.
How do you measure a TV screen? Apparently you start in the bottom left and go to the top right in a diagonal fashion.
And what was my vital statistic? A humble 24in.
My partner explained that it wasn’t the size that matters but rather how you use it. I was unmoved.
My televisual masculinity had been damaged.
I asked my friends about their TVs. In private of course. It turns out I’m not alone. Most of my pals had ‘second’ size TV sets.
The notable exception was a friend who got divorced. He spent a lot of time on his own so it ended up being big because he was using it all the time.
But it’s not just big that can be small. Small can be big too.
Do you remember the humble tape recorder or indeed the Walkman? How could you forget the thrill (and indeed shrill) of pressing record and play on your tape recorder to the radio and getting it just right – ie after the DJ (who may or may not now be the subject of a wide-ranging Metropolitan Police enquiry) and before the next load of guff spouted.
You’d then pop that into your Walkman and enjoy 45 minutes of pure aural bliss. Then turn the tape over and repeat.
Can you imagine doing that now? You’d be laughed off the bus. I suppose you don’t need to carry a pencil to get tape back into MP3 players after an unfortunate unspooling near Wombwell either.
Not all big things get bigger and small things get smaller though. In my previous working life I worked with something that was quite big and then shrunk to a minute size.
But then expanded to be three times the size it was and people loved it even more.
I speak of the mobile phone. You used to have a normal clunky handset but then around the millenium the Nokia 8210 came out. Wow. It was the size of a penguin biscuit and seemed to replicate the behaviour of said chocolately snack when sat on.
It was great phone for looking swish and playing snake on. And that was about it. Nowadays phones, which are ubiquitous, are much bigger to enable us to do lots more things.
And I suppose that’s the rub. Phones do more but tellies and MP3 players still do pretty much the same job now as they did then – ie show a picture or play a sound.
Who knows what the future holds?
But I know I’m proud to be smaller than average in certain departments!
So it appears that it’s a case of another week, another Tory attempt to woo the north.
In this column we’ve been through the seemingly already decided battlegrounds for next year’s general election.
We’ve already heard of the Northern Powerhouse and HS3 in 20 years from the Tories.
But they appear to have switched their message slightly.
As well as banging on about jobs they’ve also decided that the NHS is an area they need to score in.
Labour transparently had this as one of the prime election ‘buttons’ to press but have been somewhat sidestepped by the blue corner.
Rather than just saying “OK we’ll at least match what the Tories say” Miliband’s lot got themselves into a flap.
But George Osborne’s latest wheeze must surely be his best.
As well as promising years more of roadworks to ‘upgrade’ the M62 from Brighouse to Junction 20 as a ‘smart motorway’ the Chancellor also promised a viability study to see about a tunnel under the Pennines!
I looked and, no, it’s not April 1.
Apparently the study will look at the whys and wherefores of tunneling under the Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester – just over the top of Holme Moss.
Well, if the Government are into austerity I can help them.
However much they’re paying someone to say that it’s not worth £6bn to build a tunnel, I’ll do it for half.
Do we have a deal George?