New Year fireworks at our house after TV goes on blink
"ADRIAN, I love you!" It tripped off my tongue before my brain had clicked into gear – and took a boss at the Asda superstore in Spondon by surprise.
He giggled a bit anyway. It's just that this marvellous man had just promised to give me a new telly. And I was overwhelmed by hard-up mum (haven't paid for Christmas yet) gratefulness.
Because the festive period involved practically every electrical item in my house breaking down. The aforementioned telly just before midnight on New Year's Eve.
This led to a dad rant that my Chadd lad Martin, neighbours and friends had never witnessed before.
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Cue Victor Meldrew explosion from my father: "What a cock-up! None of your tellies are working. I have never known a house where every electrical item systematically breaks down at the same time.
"How will we know when it's midnight?" he moaned relentlessly while grappling with a variety of remote controls.
"Errgh...because there will be fireworks across the whole country?" I ventured.
He wasn't listening. "This is ridiculous. I could fly to America and catch New Year's Eve over there quicker than we could mend your telly."
The fireworks start to explode in the midnight sky.
"See, we've missed it. We've bl**dy missed it. We're at a New Year's Eve party and we've missed midnight. What a bl**dy cock-up! It's a total cock-up!"
Me, my mum and my sons smiled knowingly at the rant. We have witnessed dad's explosions many times before. They are seriously entertaining.
Plus, we were outside watching the fireworks and lanterns float into the sky as we sipped champagne. We surmised it must be about midnight.
However, the next morning, when the leftover champers had gone flat, I really did have some electrical problems to contend with.
My main telly had no sound and my son's fancy gaming computer had broken a week earlier, too.
It was time to dig out receipts and warranties with a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach.
My telly, purchased just before Christmas in 2011, was a few days out of warranty. I decided to ring Asda and beg. But I didn't have to. They were brilliant.
"Yeah, we'll replace your telly. Just bring in your old one and the receipt."
That's when I told Adrian I loved him. A bit of an over-the-top response maybe but the thought of forking out for a new TV made me queasy. Plus, surely a major electrical item should last at least three to five years?
And you have to bear in mind the psychological impact of its New Year's Eve failure on my father – and Martin and my neighbours.
Plus the cost of my dad's flight to America to catch New Year's Eve in the States! It all adds up.
Nevertheless, Asda made amends in the most amazing way and I will be eternally grateful.
"Has your dad got back from America yet?" my neighbour asked.
"Yep," I smiled. "He still missed New Year's Eve in Times Square, though. Barack Obama has deported him for moaning."