I never had second thoughts. He had just bought a new, up to date, 70” smart television set, so I had to get a bigger one. It was inevitable that I would outdo him. I always did. Like the wristwatch he bought. It was fantastic and did everything but make a cup of tea! It forecast the weather, had the internet, and even told the time and date! I had to get a better one. It was difficult but the research paid off and I bought a state-of-the-art smart watch. It answered questions, searched the internet, and connected to my TV and my earphones. And it told the time and date too!
So, a new TV was essential! I went to TV Visionworld, the biggest stockest in town. The choices were astonishing: there must have been two hundred televisions on at the same time. I went to the large size sets and checked them out. There was a 75” smart TV on offer, but at just 5” larger than Don’s. it wouldn’t do. Then a larger one, at 85” caught my eye! What a beauty! And it was on sale too! I was approached by a salesman who asked what I was looking for. “I’ve found it, I think!” I said. “What can’t this one do?” He explained it was the state-of-the-art and was on special for that day only. I knew it was slightly out of my price range, but I had to have it. I could not have him having a bigger and better set than me, could I?
I waited anxiously at home for it to arrive. It took two men to carry it in. Once unpackaged, there it was in all its magnificent glory: the biggest and best TV in the street, without doubt. I managed to fix the supports to my wall and tried to lift it up onto them. But it was too big and cumbersome. Then, there was a knock on the door. It was Don. He walked in and the first thing he said was, “Wow! Look at that!” I was undeniably chuffed. I said it was state-of-the-art and the best thing since sliced bread and it could do everything.
I asked him to help me get it up on the wall. With some effort we managed and there it was, simply superb. I plugged it in and connected the aerial. Then, with Don watching quietly, I set it up. It connected with the internet immediately, and there it was. The first pictures! Marvellous.
I sat back and gloried in it. But there was a problem. It was like sitting in the front row at the cinema! It was so big I couldn’t see all of it at the same time! My lounge chair was against the wall and wouldn’t go back any further. Don said, “I wish I’d got that one, but it was just out of my price range. What did you pay for it?” I told him it was on special. He said that it was about the same as he paid for his and he wished he’d waited another day or two. He left quite downhearted. I was in a quandary. I had bettered him, but I still wasn’t happy. Was it so important to beat him all the time? He didn’t seem competitive, just pleased, usually, with his purchase. Not this time though. He was clearly disappointed.
Now I had second thoughts!
I looked at my TV again. It was huge. I went outside and looked through the window. That was better, but how could I spend all my time outside peering through the window? Besides, I couldn’t hear it anyway! I could wear wireless Bluetooth headphones, but the more I thought about it, the more ludicrous it became.
I did what is best in these circumstances: I slept on it.
The next morning it was clear what I had to do. I could return it and see if I could exchange it, but the store might not allow that, and, in any case, it was too big to transport on my own, and all the packaging was in the bin! There was only one answer, and it meant swallowing my pride, which was hard to do! I called Don and asked him to come over. A few minutes later he knocked and came in.
“Is your TV the same brand as mine?” I asked, casually. Don said that it was, in fact it was the smaller brother to mine, and had all the same trappings as mine. “Would a TV this size work in your place?” I knew the answer. His TV room was twice the size of mine.
“Yes, it would be perfect I think.” Don stared at my monstrosity. “Want to swap?” I asked, perhaps a little too flippantly. He looked at me, mouth open. “Are you sure? Yes, I’d love to. But I can’t afford to pay any extra.” “No need,” I said, magnanimously. “I reckon I scored a bargain, and it was about the same as you paid. The wall fittings are the same – I checked online.”
Don smiled and was out of the door like a shot out of a gun. He was back in a few minutes, with his TV on a trolley. “Give us a hand, eh?” he was incredibly happy.
We manhandled my TV from the wall and replaced it with Don’s. It fitted perfectly. I plugged it in and saw that it was exactly right for my room. I helped Don wheel his “new” TV over to his place, and the two of us carefully hung it on the wall supports. We laughed about how we were getting good at this sort of stuff! Don and I stood back and looked at it. Somehow, it wasn’t too big anymore. It was just right. We smiled at each other and shook hands.
I went home, thinking I’ve learned a good lesson here. At least until the next time!