The Cable Guy

Did you know that I’m not a big fan of Jim Carey? I mean, I can appreciate his skill as an actor, but I’ve never been able to sit through Ace Ventura or The Cable Guy. I’ve seen enough of the movie, however, to have an idea of the kind of ridiculousness that is supposed to ensue when the cable guy comes to your house, though.

So, you might know that we have never had cable television. Well, John says we had it at our apartment when we first got married, but I can’t remember anything about it. Anyway, we’ve never had cable because it is just one more bill to pay, and who has time to watch tv? We had more time to read and we never had to bother wondering what our kids were watching, because whether PBS is playing Sesame Street or a Ken Burns’ National Parks special, it was all good. And we had Downton Abbey, so there you go. Enough said.

Then one day I realized that I was scheduling my writing deadlines around the availability of our DSL internet. So I called up the cable guy and guess what? About 120 tv channels come with the cable internet service. We will no longer have to go on vacation to see HGTV. I won’t have to look away when someone tweets about the latest episode of The Walking Dead. We all rejoiced. Maybe cable tv was just the shining light we needed to clear the hurdle of all our first world problems.

The cable guy turned out to be this extremely nice, intelligent man who liked our H-scale model train and didn’t mind that all five of us followed him from room to room asking a thousand questions about technology, his dinner plans and his career path. (I was very concerned he would not get dinner in between our cable installation and his next customer. I’m such a Mom that way.) He was so friendly, and so well-informed, that I wrote an email to the cable company commending him for his excellent customer service. It was very Herb Noll of me, I agree. (I mean that in the nicest way, which those of you who know Herb will understand).

The first thing we did after our cable tv was installed was leave our house to go to Woodland Park. It was like fish out of water. We just reacted. Sadly, once we procured dinner and stopped at the bank, it was too dark for the park, so we came home. But then—what is that shining light coming from the formerly antenna-adorned box in the living room? Cable tv was there to entertain us! And like children with a really bad case of ADHD, we settled in to flip through the channels, forward and backward, over and over and over again.

My kids adapted much more quickly: the next morning Henry asked, “which channel is KET?” and proceeded to find his favorite PBS show. And then on Saturday afternoon, I found Pride and Prejudice on Oxygen, and I was in heaven. I mean, I know I can rent that at the library for free, but to just randomly find Mr. Darcy on my television, awkwardly trying to tell me he loves me in the antiquated, poetic language used in early 19th century England…..sigh. happy sigh.

So there you have it. Other bonuses of joining the 21st century and installing cable: We can have people over to watch sporting events, even if we don’t care about the game at all.

We can watch the History channel and AMC shows on the tv, instead of the tiny screen on the iPad.

Our kids won’t think the Wild Kratts are the same thing as Animal Planet.

But no matter how long I have cable, I will still never understand reality television. I’m just saying…if I want to watch stupid people argue, I’m sure there are a few things I need at Walmart.

Still, as wrong as cable might be, it feels oh so right. Also, Footloose was on last night. Win!

Darcy says, “I love you most ardently…even if I am wearing silly clothes and I’m not nearly as attractive as you imagined me to be when you read the book.”

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