Spaced – Wired for sound (and vision).
Chapter one : Sunday Afternoon.
It was another quiet Sunday afternoon at 23 Meteor Street. The flat on the first floor was, as usual, untidy.
Tim and Mike were sitting on the sofa, as usual, watching Tim's favourite video; 101 painful skateboard accidents. They winced every time someone on screen landed awkwardly on their genitals.
Daisy, as usual, was sitting at the kitchen table, her head resting on the keyboard of her typewriter. She was surrounded by women's magazines, trying to gain inspiration before she fell asleep.
Colin, as usual, was doing what dogs normally do when they have nothing better to do: he was chewing one of Daisy's favourite shoes.
"Hello people!" said a voice.
Tim and Mike looked around in perfect synchronicity. There, in the armchair by the window sat a thin man, barely taking up half of the seat. They cycle shorts he wore were probably two sizes too small, and looked like a second skin. Tyres O'Flaherty, Tim's cycle courier friend, smiled a wide, brown-toothed smile.
"Oh. Hi Tyres." Said Tim, looking around the flat. He'd never heard the door open, which was surprising as Daisy kept reminding him that it creaked and banged very loudly when Tim came home in the early hours from a club. Propped against the wall by the door rested Tyres' bike. Tim was certain that the saddle glinted like a sharp knife does in the sunlight. He winced at the thought of sitting on something so thin.
"Is that the only video you have!" asked Tyres.
"No." laughed Tim, looking back to the TV. There was a shelf next to the TV where he kept his videos. There was just the box on the shelf which read '101 painful skateboard accidents'. "Er, yes." He said, blushing.
Looking left and right, as if checking no one was listening, Tyres whispered "If you ask no questions, I can get you free cable TV."
"Can you? Really?" asked Tim.
"I said if you asked no questions!" snapped Tyres with a snarl. "Are you deaf of something?"
Daisy lifted her head, woken by Tyres' voice.
"Oh, hi Daisy!" said Tyres, his voice as serene as could be. "You look awful. Tim kept you awake all night, did he?"
"Well, there was all that banging last night when he got home from the club." Shrugged Daisy.
Tyres smiled at Tim and winked. "Dirty pair!" he said.
"It wasn't like that." Said Tim.
"Yeah, right." Said Tyres. "I'll tell you what. If you lend me a tenner I'll get my uncle Rob to come round later and install cable TV for you. It won't take him long. Just wire the cable in, install the box and before you know it…"
"Bob's your uncle, and we have cable TV!" said Tim.
"His name's Rob, not Bob!" Snapped Tyres. "Call him Bob and he'll kill you!"
"Sorry." Said Tim. He fished his wallet out of his pocket and pulled out a ten pound note. Handing it to Tyres, he looked down as he placed his wallet back in his pocket. When he lifted his head again, Tyres and his bike had gone.
A second later, there was a knock at the door.
Tim stood and crossed the room to open the door. Brian was standing in the hall.
"Hello Tim. Can I borrow . . . a broom?" asked Brian.
"Yeah, sure." Said Tim, reaching into the cupboard by the door. He pulled out a broom and handed it to Brian. "Tidying up?" he smiled. "Have fun!"
"Tidying up?" said Brian, looking puzzled. "Yeah, that's right. Is it supposed to be fun?"
"Maybe. Sometimes." Said Tim, closing the door.
He went back to watch the rest of his one and only video.
Just as the video was finishing, the doorbell rang. Tim opened the door to greet a very large man.
Looking left and right to make sure no one else was listening, the man whispered "I'm Rob."
"The cable TV man?" asked Tim.
"Keep your voice down!" snapped Rob. "I'm not here for the good of my health mister! I'm just doing a favour for Tyres, that's all. Got some stuff to unload, you know?"
"Er, right." Said Tim. "Come on through."
Tim led Rob into the living room.
Rob stood in front of the TV, scratching his behind. The jeans he was wearing were slowly sliding down, revealing his hairy backside. Daisy put her hand over her mouth to stop herself being sick.
Rob couched and tutted loudly. "Have you really been watching this pile of junk?"
"What's wrong with it?" asked Tim.
"Well, it's about fifteen years out of date. Never mind. If you ask no questions, I've got some stuff in the back of the van I need to get rid of."
"Really?" asked Tim.
"I said don't ask questions!" Snapped Rob. "Don't ask where it comes from, OK? Not that it's hot or anything, you know?"
"Er, OK" said Tim sheepishly.
After half an hour of moving surprisingly quickly for a large man, Rob installed a new TV, DVD and cable TV box in the corner where the old TV had been.
"OK." Sad Rob, wiping a drop of sweat off his brow. "You have a 40 inch plasma TV, DVD recorder with Dolby 16.1 mutli-surround sound system with tower speakers and a cable box 6000 with, er, well, 6000 channel presets. You have a new modulator, de-modulator, amplifier, rectifier" (Tim and Mike sniggered to each other, but stopped after a stern look from Rob), "and an alternator."
"An alternator?" asked Tim.
"Yeah, I nicked that from the car of a guy I didn't like. You don't have a car, do you?"
"Er, no." replied Tim.
"Never mind. You can keep it anyway. Here's the remote control. You have several hundred channels to flick through." He handed the control to Mike, who was standing next to him.
Mike took the control and handed it to Tim. "You have the conn, Mr Bisley."
Tim looked at the control in his hand. He held it gently, as if it was a newborn baby. It hand more buttons on it than Daisy's typewriter.
"Here you have the main menu," said Rob, pointing at a button on the remote, "here's the music menu, the film menu, and the news menu."
"What's this button do?" asked Tim, pointing at a brown button.
"That's the takeaway menu." Said Rob.
Tim and Mike looked at each other and smiled. "Wow!" they said together.
"Well, my work here is done. I'll see myself out." Said Rob, gathering up his tools.
"I'd better be off too." Said Mike. "On manoeuvres tonight."
"Anywhere nice?" asked Tim.
"Sorry, my friend, can't tell you. Need to know basis."
"And you don't know yet?"
"Er, no." said Mike quietly.
After Mike and Rob left, Tim sat on the sofa and stared at the new TV. He pressed the large red button at the front of the remote and fell backwards with the blast of sound that came from the huge tower speakers on either side of the large screen.