Friday, November 19, 2010
Dear Mr. TV License
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for writing to me once again. I very much look forward to your letters and to our subsequent correspondence and I am particularly flattered that your contact with me has become more frequent over the last several months. I can only imagine that the reason for your most recent letter of urgency to me is that Mr. Cameron has been reminding you that the budgets are stretched pretty thin and, as a result, the BBC may finally have to look for alternative ways to fund its mission of falling just short of public expectations for engaging programming and attempting to maintain relevance in an increasingly competitive and dynamic television marketplace.
This may come as a surprise to you, but as we have discussed about eighteen times over the last twenty-five months, “my situation has not changed and I do not require a TV license”. Although this used to be the extent of what I was required to tell you and our conversation would end cordially after this revelation, I have decided to elaborate in an effort to remove all ambiguity from our future communications, which according to my schedule, and based on past experience, should commence just shortly after you receive this forthcoming letter.
While it is really none of your business what I decide to own or not own, and legally I am not obliged to reveal my personal tastes or habits to you, I will nonetheless hereby declare what seems like the impossible. I do not own a television. It is true, and much to the disbelief of friends and colleagues, I am quite happy to keep it that way.
The reasons behind this very difficult lifestyle choice are varied and complex, but it is largely due to the fact that I have absolutely no interest in British television whatsoever. I understand that by not owning a television I am forgoing the unpredictable weekly drama of “The X Factor” and the award winning writing of the “Eastenders”, but I made the decision having fully acknowledged the consequences of not being able to speak competently at work about what happened on “Celebrity Big Brother”.
I hope you don’t misinterpret my criticism and take it personally. I have similar sentiments towards the vast majority of programming across the pond, but the difference is that if I do choose to watch Bristol Palin attempt ballroom dancing or follow the romantic trials of New Jersey teens in a hot tub at least I am not taxed extra to do so.
I realize you may be concerned about what I choose to do with the rest of my time and how I treat that void that only “Strictly Come Dancing” could fill. Please rest assured that I have miraculously found other things to occupy myself with including, but not limited to, a job, friends, clubs, books, and travel.
I hope that you appreciate my honesty and I enjoyed this opportunity to discuss the issue with you candidly. I could have just as easily told you that owning a television is of the devil and against my religion, but that would have been dishonest. Just as lying about owning a television to avoid the TV license is unethical, so too would be making up a fantastical lie about why I don’t own a television just for the sake of ridiculing you.
I sure feel like we understand one another a lot better now. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the issues I have raised, please feel free to contact me during my regular operating hours of 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you experience that I have what seems to be an unusually high call volume, I am simply busy being a productive member of society and suggest that you try again later.
The Bloke Who Doesn’t Own A Tellie