Unless you count Heathrow Airport, the last time this writer was in London was a long time
ago. Then and there, the word "scheme" was used to indicate a path one might take to acquire something. There were for example Car-for-Hire schemes and home financing schemes and even value for your money schemes at Wimpy Hamburger Bars.
A scheme in English seemed synonymous with our word "plans."In American usage if I am not mistaken the word "scheme" is reserved for something nefarious. Long ago I decided that the British use of the word was just plain peculiar. For this post I decided to look the word up and discovered the following from Dictionary.com
Hmm. Must be an English Dictionary. At any rate today is last day to plan or scheme for the complete
9 episode third season of the popular Public Broadcasting (PBS) mini series Downton Abbey. Tomorrow said series will available for public purchase in the United States . The series currently airs locally on Sunday Nights at 9pm on Channel 56 and last night the fifth episode of the season was shown. While many enjoy the weekly installments there are others who prefer their entertainment and perhaps enlightenment in one big gulp. Some will purchase the boxed set of the third season and watch the ten plus hours in a single sitting or two. They will then be five hours and five weeks ahead of the rest of the North American world.
Some are even further ahead than that. In late December of the year prior PBS in exchange for a rather generous donation would have sent you the complete third series for arrival in early January. You may have seen the offer made many times during a Channel 56 auction. Some of you may might even wonder how such an offer was even possible. Others get positively petrified at the idea that Television which was once a fixed and definite time commodity has become unstuck in the cosmos and can now appear anytime. The phenomena ever has a name and is called time shifting. Einstein had somthing to say about that.
Truth be told, the physics of Sir Issac Newton works just as well at explaining why you can watch Downton Abbey now while others have to wait and it has nothing to do with time warps or parallel universes. It was filmed in England. The Brits saw it first and then shipped it out world wide. Apparently we were next. And if you live in Australian outback you may still be waiting.
The only thing the least bit tricky or sticky wicket about it is that if Downton Abbey were an American venture, impatient Americans wishing to get the end first would just have to bloody well wait like everyone else. That is what our friends in the British isles had to do. Starting tomorrow in America the program producers and select retailers can sell the DVD's to the impatient while Public Broadcasting continues to broadcast it free of charge. PBS obliges because it recognizes the high cultural content of the program and serves as a disseminator of said rather than profit maker.. That's why PBS needs your help at auction time.
I spent a good portion of Sunday (which annoyed the wife) , trying to figure out the various schemes and calculating the cost per episode on my Amazon Kindle HD Fire device. I guess I also irritated Amazon by constantly punching in and out of Buy Now screens without buying, I sensed that when I received a message telling me the price might go up at any moment.
Later when the fourth season is due to premier I can buy the Season 3 DVDs for posterity, at prices approaching dollars in single digits. In the scheme of things the extra estimated $2 cost is worth it for a jolly good show.