With the Grand World Tiddlywinks Championship about to take place in South Africa, will Hong Kong be treated to the precious sight of threatened mass self-immolation by Westerners unable to see the exciting blow-by-blow live tedium in the exact TV broadcast format they desire?
The displeasure of the Big Lychee’s working classes has already been aired in the Legislative Council via a question asked by the Hon Ip Wai-ming. The poor do not have TVs with [something called] DTT decoders, he lamented, and thus cannot see the exciting blow-by-blow etc for free! What is the government going to do about this appalling infringement of human rights?
With no-one to stand up for them in the corridors of power, anguished expatriate males compelled to stare at televised sports at strange hours of the night have no alternative but to wail loudly and repetitively about the wantonly cruel, traumatic injustice of it all. It is like being deprived of Rugby Sevens tickets, only day after day after day. Imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever. The All-Planet Tiddlywinks Competition will appear only on a satellite channel we can’t get here! It will not be in 3D! It will not be in stereo! It will not be in wide-screen! It will not be in high-definition! The screeching commentary will not be in English! The commercials will break in at the wrong time! And – Oh, the humanity! – we will have to pay for it!
The official concerned, quite rightly, told the pro-grassroots legislator that his constituents would be best advised to get a good night’s sleep, perhaps after reading an improving book or two, in order to get ahead in life and avoid the fate of an old age spent picking through garbage and wet market leftovers. But the government has no real answer for Hong Kong’s white middle-class men as they pour fuel over themselves and light matches amid shrieks of “Call this Asia’s World City?” Perhaps an offer of free one-way tickets to Rotherham, Huddersfield and other places of dark obscurity, complete with discount coupons for plates of sausages and baked beans, would put all concerned out of their misery.
Or maybe there is no misery. Perhaps, while I was distracted, market forces, government arm-twisting and sheer serendipity contrived to have the Global Tiddlywinks Finals broadcast to everyone, everywhere in the televisual configuration that those mysterious forces beyond his control demand he have – complete with shining, sparkling, DTT decoder. What a letdown.