The BBC's spinning globe would envelop the screen, a sombre voice would essentially inform you that "we're shutting down and we suggest you do the same" and the national anthem would be played. You'd prise yourself off the couch, bow to Her Majesty and shuffle away to your crypt.
Either that, or you'd defiantly flick through the channels in a desperate bid for something else to watch only to wake up three hours later, with drool gurgling from an open mouth and the hazy vision of a bearded professor presenting a bewildering documentary charting the history of the Allen Key.
That's the problem with a major championship on the west coast of America; it leads to this type of boggle eyed nocturnal activity in front of the idiot box. And the rewards for such devotion? A front row seat for the battle of US Open attrition that led to Webb Simpson becoming the 15th different winner of the last 15 majors.
It was not what you'd call riveting stuff, even though the crowing halfwit with a Union Flag hat on who gate-crashed the prizegiving provided some light relief. Cast your mind back to April and the Masters, when you had the modern maverick of Bubba Watson going for broke and striking it rich at Augusta with his own brand of swashbuckling, grip it and rip it golf.
Sunday's show was far less spontaneous and starred a controlled, well-oiled golfing machine in Simpson who stuck rigidly to the script. "All I was really concerned about was keeping the ball in front of me and making pars," he said having closed his ultimately successful campaign with eight straight pars following a telling burst that included four birdies in five holes from the sixth. On a brute of a course at the Olympic Club the emphasis was always going to be on damage limitation. The shackles were on and the world's finest were more often than not required to show their survival instincts rather than their flair.
At times, the Lake Course resembled a torture chamber and looked about as much fun as five hours on the rack. But Simpson, who wielded the dreaded belly putter to profitable effect, refused to buckle in the face of the unrelenting inquisition. He was perfectly designed for this type of success and, in the circumstances, it was an exceptional triumph. To close the championship with successive 68s, the last of which arrived when the pressure and intensity of major Sunday goes off the scale, made him a thoroughly deserved winner. He kept his head while others around him were occasionally losing theirs and managed to shoot low – two-under round that course must have felt like a 63 – when some of the rest were shooting themselves in the foot.
At this so-called Graveyard of Champions, a place more famous for the big names that have lost down the years rather than those who have triumphed, Simpson was very much alive and kicking. There can often be a certain amount of irony in sport and there was a decent dose of that at the weekend.
In his formative years, Simpson's spell in the US collegiate scene was spent at Wake Forest on an Arnold Palmer Scholarship. While the 26-year-old would take Olympic gold, this same San Francisco venue was the scene of one of Palmer's most excruciating defeats when, leading by seven shots coming onto the back nine of the 1966 US Open, he would crumble and eventually lose in a play-off to Billy Casper.
It all added up to an intriguing tale. Simpson, a Walker Cup winner with the USA at Royal County Down in 2007, has now added his own chapter to the unpredictable story that is golf's majors. It was only his fifth appearance in a grand slam event and he's already a champion. "I think, the prime age for golf 10, 15 years ago was mid 30s," he suggested. "Now it's moving closer to the mid 20s or late 20s. There are so many young guys."
Goodness knows what Lee Westwood makes of that particular observation. The 39-year-old was very much in the hunt with a round to play but the momentum was halted when his drive on the fifth sailed into the trees and was never seen again. This was his 57th crack at that elusive major crown and, overall, he has posted 14 top-10s, including seven top-threes in the last four years.
The majors have become something of a feeding frenzy of late with a wide array of players sticking their snouts in this golden trough but Westwood, and even more disappointingly Luke Donald, have yet to taste the finest of fare. Simpson found a recipe for success, but it's becoming increasingly mystifying that Westwood and Donald's appetite for major glory has still to be satisfied.