Man vs television

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I reckon I have happened upon the most fiendishly difficult task in the World - carrying a 32-inch old-style CRT telly down a flight of stairs.

My monster TV was unceremonially stuffed in my bedroom after I bought a slimline flatscreen model to keep up with the Joneses.

For a year it dominated the corner, sullen and unused. It had to be de-cluttered.

The 32 inch CRT must be the most awkward example of shape and weight distribution human engineering has ever conceived.

The front is heavy and just too wide to grasp. The back tapers in a huge unwieldy plastic cone, which insists on tilting at windmills.

Hauling it up there had made me appreciate the ability of the Egyptian workmen who built the Great Pyramid of Giza. But surely, getting it down again would be easy as pie.

After manoeuvring it to the top of the stairs it dawned on me that the force of gravity and the wild gradient of Sheffield staircases had conspired to produce a deadly 100lb missile.

Searching the Internet produced several solutions. There was a system of pulleys and gears, which would enable me to lower it down on a special greased rail. Or I could construct a landing pad of mattresses, wrap it up in a carpet and send it hurtling downstairs.

Alternatively I could strap it to my back like an astronaut, with magical weight-distributing cords, or like a member of 70s rock gods Led Zeppelin, simply jettison it through the window.

In the end I gingerly picked it up and lugged it down in bandy-legged abandon, one slip threatening to send us tumbling to an unpleasantly intimate conjoining of man and machine.

It was impossible to give the darn thing away, so I had to painfully haul it to the Dumpit site to sit alongside dozens of other perfectly working yet unloved examples of redundant 1990s technology. What tales of back-breaking woe lay behind the transportation of specimens much bigger than mine, I conjectured.