Tuesday, 10 November 2015

It's all about the bog. And the age old art of distraction. And television.

It's perfect. Cocooned in a quiet, calm space, void of most distractions and nothing to do but wait, all sorts of thought passages which previously couldn't make the headlines in the conscious brain seem to step forward and announce themselves. For me, it's the most creative, lifesolving place available (and most favoured for the execution of a Peace Plan).

Peace Plans are limited and in high demand, which makes them extremely rare. Executing a Peace Plan for a visit to the Bog, involves diverting the three snorting, cavorting, scratching, licking, farting, four legged, curly tailed members of my family towards a passer by in the window instead of beaming at me from under my feet plus managing my escape with the distraction of the two legged, ankle biters with something more interesting than mommy's lap. Which is hard to compete with. Sometimes I fail at all attempts and end up with the five of them snorting, cavorting, scratching, licking, farting and clambering up my knees for first place as sidekick on the Porcelain Throne. Mostly though, I manage a few micro seconds with the help of the television (and maybe a plate of snacks which serves as tummy filling activity for the two leggeds and a nice, solid distraction of drooling and wide eyeing and clambering for the four leggeds). Bliss. Thanking the universe for televisions. May Charles Jenkins rest in eternal peace.

Although that's a bit fuzzy, the history of television is not a clear picture. The Russians had a hand in it with Paul Nipkow as well as the British with Alan Swinton and what race would be complete without the Americans hot on the heels with Charles Jenkins, John Baird and Philo Farnsworth. May you all rest in peace - Nipkow, Swinton, Jenkins, Baird and Farnsworth. Without you, I might be doomed to a view of  . . . well, not peace.

One does need to be careful though. In the haste to get the two leggeds settled and to a state of seated safety with knickers by knees, a brash push of buttons to execute a blast of colour and sound in order to stun and mute the two leggeds into required near catatonic state (which is the best way to execute this Plan of Peace, as sidelining in the moving pictures with subtlety doesn't create the impact necessary to break concentration and part from mommy's hand or leg or arm or whatever appendage has been taken hostage and could put the whole operation in jeopardy) the channel might still be set on whatever was previously being watched by the larger two leggeds of the house. This would put the Peace Plan in immediate jeopardy while explanations to questions like "Why is the man hitting the lady?" and "What's that red stuff squirting out his head?" and "Why are those people wrestling with no clothes on mommy?"

All of those could take a very long time to put in to perspective for the two leggeds tiny brain. The Peace Plan being completely dismantled until further notice while explanations are taken care of which would then cause default action of dancing and crotch clutching to extend the respectful status of dry pants.

Friend or foe - that box of moving colour and sound certainly enhances the success rate of an executed Peace Plan by ten fold. As evil as it can be in tarnishing young minds with scenes not meant for their age and creating atrophy in development by anchoring young bottoms to the couch and preventing bodies and brains from flourishing - there is most definitely a place for it. Little fevered heads are kept still with Teletubbies and Barney or splintered arms are rested with the Master of The Peace Plan at 7 Pontac street - Sean the Sheep. (What a legend. Thank you Aardman studios and your amazing model makers, may you have many years of prosperous box office ratings in your future, with not a rumour or hint of ending Sean the Sheep episodes until well into our primary school years). Or, most importantly, the saving of mommy's sanity, for when it's been a long day and the two leggeds are simultaneously collapsing from exhaustion and refusing the horizontal closed eye position with much vigour, while vociferously ranting the ridiculous notion of a nap in the middle of the day, and that colour suddenly beams out with corresponding notes of a magical world rapturing their little brains - all resistance crumbles and with lots and lots of luck, sleep creeps up and envelopes or at best, a smidgen of quiet lethargy resets the scene.

Hail all - Nipkow, Swinton, Jenkins, Baird and Farnsworth - long live television, and Aardman and Sean the Sheep - protector of dry pants and master executor of The Peace Plan!

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