“Oh TV Aerial!”

As I was going to sleep last night I found myself thinking about TV – not the TV interview I’d done that morning with Sky News, nor anything I’d seen on TV during the evening.

No, this would be far too logical. What my tics were concerned about was the digital switchover (something I know very little about and have even less interest in). They’d quickly tired of their usual nightly assault on the lamp-post outside my window, turning their attention instead to a TV aerial on the roof of a nearby building.

“TV aerial, have you heard about digital switchover?”
“TV aerial, you’re so last season.”
“TV aerial, I think they might still need you in the Orkneys.”
“TV aerial, did you get a redundancy package?”
“TV aerial, are you nuclear holocaust compliant?”
“TV aerial, you’re so over.”

When I describe Tourettes as surreal and funny, this is the sort of thing I mean. During my recent interviews on Woman’s Hour and on BBC Ouch I quoted my favourite definition of Tourettes as:

‘Irrepressible, explosive, occasionally obscene verbal ejaculations and gestures.’

It goes on to say:

‘There may be a witty, innovatory, phantasmagoric picture with mimicry, antics and playfulness.’*

If you need a working example of this, going to sleep whilst involuntarily haranguing an inanimate object about how it’s obsolete is a good start.

*Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, Eighth Edition, Murray Longmore, Ian Wilkinson, Edward Davidson, Alexander Foulkes, and Ahmad Mafi, Oxford Handbooks Series.

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