There are no bad owners, only bad dogs

2004-09-28

Another way to tax people!

Wooohoo! Got my blinky box today!! It's already at home, just waiting for me, to soothe me, to lull me. Aaah. TV. I hope there's a show on about a robot driving instructor and his best friend, a talking pie. I can't even type that without giggling.

Here's the best part: Because I now own a television, I must pay a sum equal to the cost of the televison (coincidence -- the license costs 121 and the tv just happened to cost the same) for a license to watch said tv.

I'll let that sink in for a minute.

That's right. An entire industry is devoted to policing tv watching in this country. There is a company which is contracted to drive around in tv detection vans (I know! I'm thinking Maxwell Smart!) and detect an oscillating thingy and then give a 1000 fine (or jail time!) to those saucy scofflaws who do not have a license to watch their own tv in their own home! Who is the perpetrator of this sheer madness, you ask? The BBC, I answer. It's how they get away with not having commercials. Even if you never, ever watch a BBC show on your tv, or if you use the tv only to watch dvds or tapes, you still have to pay the license fee (about $220 a year!) to own a tv! Wha...?!? Can this be true? Luckily, Greg remembered seeing an episode of The Young Ones in which Val had to eat the tv in order to avoid the fine for having no license. It seemed like silly humor at the time. But it was true.

And their Web site is a delight. If you click on "How to Pay," you get an explanation of how much to pay, but not necessarily an explanation of HOW to pay. The only HOW to pay they tell you about is if you're paying by credit card.

Greg thinks that people are going to just start ignoring me soon (already happened!) when I talk about this insane Nirvana I've invented called "The United States." Oh, sure, gas only costs a buck and a half a gallon. Riiiiight. OK, you don't need a license to watch tv. Whatever. There really are stores where you can get any kind of light bulb you need. Oh, that's just going too far! Next you'll be telling us that sometimes, it doesn't get cloudy all day there! Do you think we're morons? What? You do? Oh. Well.

But there's a 28 day grace period during which I can watch my tv without a license, so tonight, it's 4 channels worth of auto racing, evening soap operas, and something else unwatchable. I can't wait!

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