Thursday, August 6, 2009

crap TV

illustration courtesy of

TV does not really capture my attention, with one or two exceptions.  Mostly I find it inconvenient.  Even though I am not paying attention to it, it is on most the day.  Since we stopped taking the print version of the paper, Husband turns it on in the morning while I am blogging and it never seems to get turned off.  He is partial to the news shows which he watches in the afternoon as well.  Me, I’d rather not know most the crap that is fed us as news and I’m usually in a different room.  We have resisted cable all these years having tried it once and found it to be just more crap that you have to pay for.  Finally though, they got a hook in Husband.

“Special offer,” he says to me, “basic cable for 99¢ a month for a year, after that we’ll cancel.”

“Basic cable is crap.”  I remind him.

“Special offer.” he says again.

“Foot in the door.” I tell him.

“99¢ a month.” he repeats.

“Camel’s nose in the tent.” I reply.

His eyes have glazed over, rolling up.  “Cancel” he mutters.

“OK.  Whatever.”  I sigh, “but every time they call trying to sell more service, I’m giving the phone to you and when they start charging full price, you have to call them.”

The sales calls started right away and they started charging us full price 3 months later.  Husband calls and reminds them of the deal.  Three months later, they charge full price again.  Husband calls and reminds them of the deal.  This went on all year.  When Husband called to cancel, they gave us a date that the technician would come and terminate the service and charged us a fee for it.  The day came and went.  Our basic cable continued.  

The phone rang a few days later.  It was the cable company doing a customer satisfaction call.  Their records indicated that a technician had been out to our place to terminate the service and were we satisfied.  I told them, sure, thinking that they would flip whatever switch and the cable would stop.  It never did.  We’re still getting the basic cable service.  It’s still crap but at least they have stopped billing us for it.

Basic cable only has one redeeming feature and that’s the food channel.  For someone who no longer does the cooking around here you’d think that would be the least interesting thing on to me but I find it to be very entertaining...the searches for the perfect (food of choice), the competitions, the throw downs.  Lately I’ve seen a couple of shows showing how products are made and mass produced and the thing that astounds me the most is the tonnage of raw materials that go into the product that only one plant will make in a year.  Like mustard.  Tons of mustard seed, which are tiny, by the way.  That blows my mind.  Where do you get tons of mustard seed?  It was all about bar-b-cue sauce tonight.  Tons of tomato paste.  That’s a lot of resources devoted to tomato paste.

Last night it was all about hotdogs.  We probably don’t want to go there.


  1. Cable hooks you in with just one or two channels that have somewhat redeeming social value. The "reality" shows they offer do not even merit a slow pause while channel surfing. Sadly, not that television signals have gone digital, it's difficult to get ANY channels without the cable.

  2. This is hilarious.

    I think basic cable offers a lot more crap, but there are redeeming features, I agree.

    Cable companies - now that's a different story!

  3. We have cable; otherwise, we wouldn't get the golf channel which my husband really loves. Most of the shows I watch are at night with exception of reruns that occur on TNT in the daytime. No matter what, I tape them so when I do watch I can fast forward through the lousy commercials.
    My favorites: The Closer, Saving Grace, Bones
    Guess I like ones where women are the stars.
    But I'm usually at my computer reading these wonderful blogs!

  4. really funny - i watch television for sporting events for the most part. if i know there'll be a worthy documentary then i might watch. but when i was a kid it was like anything - i couldn't get enough. i loved everything!! the three stooges, batman, superman, i love lucy - you name it i watched it!!! see you. steven

  5. Never have time to watch this time of year, but I do like to sit like a zombie in front of a show I have taped. It will usually put me right to sleep. As for reality TV...I live it everyday here at the campground and I have a starring role!

  6. I can't compare to you really when it comes to watching TV. I watch too much of it. About communicating to your cable company - well done!

  7. the food network is my favorite too.

  8. I'm with Steven - we usually have baseball on, except for right now when the hubby is watching something about the RAF in WW-II. The joys of being married to a historian!

  9. Yes, let's not go there with regard to the tonnage of raw materials that go into hot dogs. The mind, not to mention the stomach, reels.

    Your cartoon is an attention getter.

  10. Woooeeee . . . I am so with you on TV and cable. I'd much rather be blogging or reading or playing with the dogs than watching almost anything on TV. But put me in a hotel room with a remote control and, lordy lordy, something overcomes me and I fall asleep with the damn contraption in my hand. Go figure.

    Fabulous post, Ellen!

  11. I went cold turkey a few months back, shut the TV (satellite) off entirely. Figured I'd get the DTs within a week or so and beg them to reinstall it, but to my surprise I haven't missed it at all. Still have the TVs but now they play documentaries, movies, glass videos (I have a huge collection of those)...and otherwise the boob tubes are tucked back into their little electronic brassieres and stay quiet.

  12. Over from David's POTD. Congratulations for being today's winner. Your post was fun to read.
    I will be back to read your other posts, you have a great way.

  13. Congratulations on your POTD award, which has sent me in this direction to have a look. Great blog. I look forward to reading more

    Best Wishes

  14. Congrats on POTD award.

    We lost our cable (and in fact all TV) as someone under the age of 5 had pulled out the cable. It took us a while to notice. We do watch a fair amount of DVDs, but that made us realise that we don't actually watch what is being broadcast that much. Should save us some money if we can just work out how to cancel it...

  15. Here from David's award of POTD.

    I am so with you on the TV being crap...with or without Cable or Satellite. But am guilty of watching a lot of it, especially afternoons.Then I throw the remote away in disgust saying 'there is absolutely nothing on. And we have 800 channels with nothing but repeats.

  16. hi! visiting from authorblog post of the day. congrats!

    basic cable is crap.......that is how they get you to sign up for more and pay more. it is all about the dollar in today's world.

    funny post! glad I came to visit.

  17. Hello! I'm over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

  18. Well I hate Fashion TV. But my daughter loves it!!

  19. we gave up television almost a year ago now...if there is something we really want to watch we can find it online mostly...really don't miss it all that much. congrats on POTD!

  20. Congratulations on you POTD award. I'm in complete agreement with the cable issues. In my testosterone overrun house, we have high def cable. For sports, you know.

    Me? I escape to a TV free room and either spin yarn, read or knit while music or knitting podcasts serenade my efforts.

  21. Everywhere I leave comments I end up saying almost the same thing. For over four years I have not watched TV. At all. Prior to that time I have huge plasma TV on wall and surround sound and all the extras. Got rid of it all. My life is more serene since then, yes it took a little time to get used to the quiet and then I started finding news online around the world and I probably know the real news as quickly or quicker than a person who depends on TV news. We went through the phase of cable on sale and what about movies but the bottom line is I am so glad not to have it. Will be interesting to hear how you are in a few months. Hope things go well for you and you are satisfied with your decision.

  22. I'm not much of a TV person either and The Husband is obsessed with the news. But I love The Food Network, and my favorite show is Top Chef!

    Congrats on POTD from David.

  23. Thanks everybody and hello to all my new visitors. I am thrilled to win POTD.

  24. Congrats of POTD, Ellen. This post was pure delight to read!

  25. I came here after seeing a segment about your blog on tv! Ok, sorry, that's a bald faced lie. I came here after seeing your mention for POTD at David's. Congratulations on that!

    I have to say I am appalled by the cartoon at the top. Ok, ok, that's a lie as well. I laughed, even though I thought it was probably terribly wrong to do so. Waaa!


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