Wright's Aerials
The Megajoint

Today I went to a big new house, very posh in a tasteless sort of way. The man of the house was a local businessman and local football magnate, pompous and full of his own self-importance. The woman was gormless and seemed to think that being married to a rich man gave her class. The teenagers were appallingly rude. The complaint about the TV reception was ‘poor Freeview in the maaarster bedroom’. In Yorkshire you can always tell people who are putting it on. Just ask them to say ‘master’ or ‘headmaster’. Whether they would admit to maaarsterbation I don’t know.

In fact, all reception, analogue and digital, was terrible, in every room. There were tellys all over the place, one in every bedroom, one in his office, one in her sewing room, one in the kitchen, two in the guest flat, and so on. Every telly had a cheapo setback ‘booster’ behind it, connected between the aerial wall socket and the set. I went into the loft to meter the aerial signal as it entered the distribution amplifier, and . . . there wasn't a distribution amplifier! The aerial cable and all fifteen downleads were just taped together! The builder had fitted a mains point in the loft for an amplifier, but there was no amplifier! It was an amazing big bunch of coaxes, 16 of them all joined together. It seems that the builder had set an aerial firm on and told them to put the cheapest possible aerial in the loft. This they had done. Who was responsible for the megajoint I didn't find out, but I should think it was the builder's electricians. Anyway, Mr Big had moved in and found reception not to his liking, but it was in between Christmas and the New Year when he decided to do something about it. Why people who are moving house like to be ‘in by Christmas’ beats me. You can’t get anything done at that time of year.

Of course, the builder wasn't answering the phone, so Mr Big decided to find someone out of Yellow Pages. He didn't find an aerial firm though, he found a local TV repair shop. They duly arrived and diagnosed 'weak signal'. Apparently they didn't even go into the loft. They tried a setback amplifier and got a slight improvement on the living room TV set, enough to satisfy Mrs Big. They disappeared, and came back with a box full of the things, and fitted one behind every telly. These amps sell for about £5.75, and they installed nine for £270. Stupid of them really, because they are easy to find since they have a shop on the High Street. Mr Big has put all the amps in a cardboard box, and he is off to the shop tomorrow to wreak vengeance. Then he's going to ‘deal with’ the builder. I gather he won't be satisfied with his money back for the boosters. He wants blood, or at least asphyxiation by means of booster mains flex…

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