To Be Frank: Tuesday, January 20th

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We were facing – I won’t make any bones about it – a complete and utter unmitigated disaster. Again.

’Twas a dark and stormy night, as Snoopy used to say in the Peanuts cartoons. Or, to be more accurate, it was that very windy one recently, when some of us enjoyed the added bonus of a power cut or two. Or in our case, three.

Now, I’m fairly used to power cuts. Round these parts, Murphy’s Law is in full effect – if it can go wrong, it will (you try getting even a simple luxury like a mobile phone signal, for example. Pah! It would be faster to write a letter!).

Anyway, this was a power cut and a half. Well all right then, three power cuts – maths was never my strong point. But it’s particularly annoying when you traipse all around the house, resetting all the digital clocks ... only for the power to go off again a few minutes later, and you have to go back and do it all again. And then it happens again!

And I’ve got to say, in 20 years of living here, I can’t ever remember a power cut so bad that it actually managed to reset all the central heating timer controls to zero (but you soon notice that on a cold and windy night, I can tell you).

But worse was to come. Oh yes. Just when I thought I’d finally reset everything, and we were starting to thaw out again, out of the corner of my eye I saw the television screen suddenly go: Phzzzzztt!

Oh no! Panic in the streets of Snettisham!

At least the Sky box’s red light was still on – meaning in Sky-speak, “Relax – I’m still recording.” Which was a bit of a relief, as The Other Half was only recording three programmes in the next two hours!

The television set itself, however, was a different matter. It looked, as we say in technical-speak ... dead. Needless to say, switching it off and switching it back on again (that modern cure-all for any technological problem) ... didn’t work.

Now, I have been here before. In fact, a while ago I summoned a TV engineer when I thought the set had gone kaput ... only for him to pick up the remote, press the right button, and it sparked back into life. Just like that. It had only gone into standby mode! Well I didn’t know, did I? Still had to pay the call-out charge, mind ...

So, I was wise to that – but do you think I could solve the problem this time? Could I heck as like. I was pressing buttons, unplugging, re-plugging, re-pressing ... nothing.

Then The Other Half says: “Does it have a reset button?”

“Well I don’t know, but there’s a hidden panel on the front of the set,” I said.

The Other Half pressed the first button on it she saw. The set immediately sparked back into life. There was a loud clunk – my jaw had hit the floor.

“I’m not worthy!” I dribbled.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to press buttons until something happens,” she said, sagely. “Can I charge you a call-out fee?”

“But you live here!” I said. “You haven’t been called out anywhere!”

“What about a call-in charge, then?”