"It's not working," grumbled my cousin in a grouchy Scottish accent. Although he is actually Scottish, so that's not unexpected. I glanced up at the TV screen, putting aside my copy of Radio Times, and thought about vocalising my surprise that my cousin was able to watch television without falling asleep, considering his reaction to the Olympic opening ceremony,* but I decided to settle on the more obvious approach.
"What's not working?" I replied, looking at the screen. "Those bicycles appear to be working." I prided myself on knowing the word "bicycle", as that's the kind of jargon that only people who are interested in sports know, and as we can all agree on, I'm not one of them.
"No; the TV isn't working," replied my cousin. I nodded sagely, as we had spent about twenty minutes trying to get the opening ceremony to load last night; he slept through Voldemort anyway, which isn't the easiest of tasks. But as he said that, it was clearly working; there were cyclists (Another piece of jargon! I'm on fire!), moving, on the screen. To me, that counts as "working".
"I'm trying to get the volleyball up."
"Beach volleyball or real volleyball?"
"Radio Times says it's on BBC Olympics channel 10."
"Do we have that?"
I reflected. "No," I settled on.
"Gah! But we've got to watch volleyball!"
"Don't you know?" gasped my cousin. "It's an unwritten rule that every volleyball team is composed of the most attractive people in the world! Beautiful women, handsome men... and the beach version is better, because they're wearing less clothes!"
I was going to point out that the synthetic "beach" that is hosting the volleyball tournament is the bastard offspring of Horse Guards Parade and Skegness, and mention my thought that what they should have done was held it on the small sandbank which appears when the Thames is at low tide (for that authentic "we're in London" feel), but I don't think he'd have been interested, as he was clearly frustrated at the lack of scantily-clad women hitting balls around.
"It's on at some point between 9am and 12pm tomorrow," I admitted, thumbing my copy of Radio Times. "You could watch it at your grandparents' house."
"And I will! In fact, I think I'll tape it! Thanks!"
"Not a problem," I replied blandly. Then I glanced at the television. "Flip over to fencing, will you? I think we should be watching something more ridiculous."
He did so, but was clearly lost in the thought of beach volleyball.
Yes, I remember being 18 too.
* His excuse being that he's just come back from Jakarta. Lame.