Messing with a public TV

One Friday night, I was waiting at a gate in Narita Airport where a plane was due to fly to Taipei in half an hour. In the waiting area, there was a public TV on display. It was secured to a wall, and its remote control was secured on a table in front of the TV, with only the channel buttons visible. Subtitles were turned on, yet no audio was audible from the TV, presumably set in such a way that no one will be disturbed by the loud audio.

At that time, a presumably live football match was broadcasting at NHK BS1. Feeling curious about what documentary programs were on air at NHK BS Premium, I attempted to change channel by pressing the [BS] + [2] key of the remote channel without any second thoughts.

Suddenly, I heard someone hissed at me. I quickly turned my back to find two men sitting and laid back on the passenger’s bench visibly frustrated at me, and started to cuss words at me.

The following conversation might have occurred between the two.

“What the…”


“The match!!!”

Hastily, I apologized, switched the channel back to BS1 and proceeded to a seat near the check in counter. From a distance, I still can hear them grumbling about the interruption they faced while enjoying their football match. (I wonder, how would they enjoy that match with Japanese subtitles constantly covering half the screen and without audio?)

Come to think of it, the TV that they were enjoying was a public property, and was meant to be used by the public. As a kid, if someone changed the channel of the airport TV when I was enjoying my cartoon show, I’d be pissed. But as an adult?

We’ve other things to do and care about.

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