Sunday morning, chez Arnold, was the scene for some perfidious treachery on the part of the National Geographic channel.
Allow me to explain.
We have eight English language TV stations. Each of them is on some bogus international programming schedule, notable mainly for being low budget, obnoxiously repetitive and utterly unpredictable. In the unlikely event you did find a favorite show amongst these dregs, good luck trying to guess when it might come on again. No such thing as "Tuesday nights at 9pm" regularity.
Four of these channels are news, which is all well and good given the normal compliment of channels in this modern world, but feels a bit extravagant when News is taking up half of my options. Alas, it can't be helped.
The fifth channel is BBC entertainment, which sounds good at first, but in actual fact, a mere 11% of their programming is tolerable (Cash in the Attic, At the Auction, an occasional Black Adder gift, The Weakest Link.) The rest consists of shows such as EastEnders and Red Dwarf. My American sensibilities just can not get a purchase on these programs; my consciousness simply slips off the surface as if they were greased pigs.
The sixth channel shows old, awful cop shows: Knight Rider, Kojak, Miami Vice and a host of others that you never even heard of because they only ran for one year in the mid-90's on Canadian TV.
The seventh channel is E! Entertainment Television, or as I like to call it F***ING TORTURE. Seriously....if I ever meet a Kardashian or a playboy mansion girl I will sink my thumbs into her eye sockets so fast she won't have time to scream. I would rather we didn't even have this channel.
Which leaves us with our most promising prospect, English language channel #8, the National Geographic Channel.
Yeah, they repeat their shows ad nauseum and yeah, it's real man-friendly programming - but at least it's quality stuff and beggars can't be choosers, eh? Given the choice of 300 channels I would rarely land on this one, but given the choice of eight it's become a default favorite.
I've sat through shows about the worlds largest cruise ship, the world's largest off-shore oil rig, the world's largest crane, the world's largest air-crane (I didn't even know there was such a thing), the world's longest tunnel, the world's deepest mine and a whole host of other "world's biggest/coldest/deepest" programs. National Geographic specializes in superlatives.
And when it's not mega-works this and mega-works that, it's World War II. I have watched more WWII themed shows than I care to admit. I've had it up to HERE with blitzkriegs, U-boats, Panzer divisions and the Battle of Britain.
So after all the Arctic explorations, massive machinery and battleship Bismarcks, I was pleased as punch to sit down this Sunday morning and find a program that piqued my interest.
A show about the architecture of Christopher Wren in 17th century London. Complete with all those really cool graphics National Geographic usually uses to break down the elements of digging the Channel Tunnel. Interesting & edifying. In the world of eight TV channels, this is what's known as a "Jackpot moment."
I settle down with my tea & oatmeal, ready for some quality Sunday morning lazy time, and here's where betrayal enters the picture.....the fecking show was in GERMAN.
In reaction, I did something rather extreme. I took hold of the remote, wound back my throwing arm....
...and pressed the OFF button. Maybe eight channels isn't so bad after all?