Over The Edge

Published in In Dublin on 16th June 1983

One day, Davoc Rynne couldn’t take it anymore.

The pub was quiet.  Conversation was at low ebb.  People in the kitchen were watching it.  Large coloured screen, small crowded smoky room – the ultimate horror.  One had to go through it to the jacks.  I went twice.  ‘Excuse me’ once, two ‘hellos’, maybe two more grunts, and at least twelve others possibly addicted beyond hope.  The barman was so transfixed at one stage that he didn’t hear my call for two more pints.  Now this is serious.  A whisper should be enough.  I mean to say if the price goes any higher, red carpets should be laid out for potential drinkers.  They could become a rarity – extinct even!

Arrive home to find the two eldest kids watching IT!  There was a big SSSHHHHh!  We had entered at a bad time.  I began to get annoyed.  I was offered a beer.  I declined.  I proceeded to walk away.  “Where are you going?”  Off, out, away, departing, splitting.  Walking crossly out of the house, I got into the van and drove the 300 yards to the beach.  I sat there silently fuming.

Things are getting out of hand.  Three years ago, we shrunk the screen size from 20” to a small 12”.  IT was discussed ad nauseam.  IT was put into a press for three weeks.  Taken out just for the news!  Ah well, it was in the way in the press anyway.  Lost again.  Small voices at strange times chirped up.  “Your favourite programme is on Daddy”.   What?  “Good god, what are you saying to me child?”  It appears I was caught watching IT once or twice.

All this and more was building up inside me in the darkness of the van.  Right.  I drive off and leave the addicts or I do something that I have threatened to do on numerous occasions.

I drove back to the house.  I was beginning to get into a trance.  I walked into the room, straight to the horror, unplugged it and moved off.  Damn, the wire got caught in the chip pan (full of oil) and of course it spilt all over the gaff.  That was unnecessary drama, couldn’t stop or the mission would not be accomplished.  Up the corridor,  out the hall door,  across the road,  over the bit of grass.

A sudden worry descended on me.  I could go over with this thing if I wasn’t careful.  I nearly don’t do it.  Now throw.  Oh, it’s gone.  Down on the grass to listen.  The tide was out.  It’s full of rocks at the base of the cliff.  Yes, I heard it!!  Like a mini explosion.  LOVELY.  The relief,  no longer a slave,  freedom, WOW!  I did a little dance.

Oh dear, what have I done.  Remorse, well, no, but certainly reservations.  I mean, it was a little violent.  Hey, I’m not staying here, I’m going to face them.  One gone to bed whimpering, the other thinking it was great craic and of course poor Anne trying to sort out the spilt oil.  Damn that oil.  “What did you do with it?”  from the eldest. “I threw it over the cliff!”  “I don’t believe you.” “Don’t then, and off to bed with you.”  He went.  “I knew that was coming” from herself.

Next morning, the youngest, “What happened to it?”  The story again.  An attempt to justify.  “I mean when you draw a picture and you hate what you’ve done (a common occurrence), what do you do?”  “I tear it to bits”.  “Fair play to you Turlough, I’ve an ally, you understand”.  Another member comes in.  “You could have given it away to some poor person, Daddy.”  Oh my God!  No logical answer to this one.  I stalled and mumbled about the times I tried to have a debate on the subject and was always fobbed off; so I was reduced to violent action.

The eldest comes in giggling.  “I don’t believe you, it’s in the van, I bet”.  “Better look then.”  Youngest comes back in and says “I’m going to the beach to watch telly”.  He can be funny that guy.

Time goes by; the eldest enters with the remains of the dreaded thing, muttering about pollution and giggling.  Hell, it looks ghastly, all black and stringy – at least one tide besides the fall, had got it.  “Get that outta here it’ll frighten the younger ones”.  He did and landed it in the bin.

Now de-programming has to start.  Promises of jigsaws, going to the pictures, making it up to them.  Then the exploitation, manipulation, harassment.  “Instead of going to the pictures, can I go and see Nana at Easter?”  “But I want to see ET”.  “I hate jigsaws”.  “I think its great having no television”.  “Ah but I love The Fall Guy”.  “Will we rent one?”  “OK, OK, anything you say”.  “Rent one?”  “No Way.  Next Christmas maybe, we’ll see. “

I’m exhausted!

Categories: Davoc Stories