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Busted Tees

By Terry Baker

Sometimes, in the small hours of the night, you find yourself groping the remote in your drunken stupor, hoping to find some sort of fulfillment in the comforts of the trusty television. Granted, at three o’clock in the morn, that fulfillment is nipped short by “get rich” infomercials and guitar training from the mighty Esteban. Oh, but the age of technology in the digital realm hath brought forth a remedy for the drunken channel surfer. Lo, it is Video on Demand.

Depending on your cable provider, this wonderful feat of technology is either a blessing or a curse…or both. For you see, some cable providers offer this On Demand service as a complementary service to your paid subscription. Thus, your inebriated choice to view whatever film your lazy eye catches is not charged to your already pricey cable bill. Then, there are some providers that suck not only your monthly tithing, but penalizes your viewing indiscretion with a nominal fee. Unfortunately, I fall in the category of the latter, and my cable bill doth remind me of such indiscretions in their monthly stipend. Every err in judgment from my previous altered states comes back to haunt me in the form of an itemized bill. As if, like a tough love approach, your choices, once so innocuous, come back to taunt you. Upon opening my cable bill and surveying the damages, I am but left to stand and present myself to my fellow colleagues. Ahem. “Hello, my name is _______, and I have a problem”.

Alas, the last sentence of the above paragraph, or most of said paragraph, would have you assume that I have been or need to be party to an AA meeting. I have not, nor do I feel the compulsion to enter such a league of delusionals. But it is that monthly parcel that comes ever so rhythmically into my mailbox that says otherwise. Perhaps I do have a lapse (or two or four) in judgment during, or after, a good night’s spirits. Maybe my inhibitions and cognitive skills are lowered to the point where a hither to known B-film seems like an entertaining venture that would garner a few belly laughs, or induce a handful of MST3K-like quips the few times my lips are not mingling with the adult beverage of my choosing. “Who are you to accuse me, cable bill?!?” I say in a rebutting voice!

Accusing or not, the fine has been levied. We do not try to hem and haw our way out of a DUI by explaining to the officer the reasons we chose to drink and drive. We are simply busted and forced to pay the fine. The dreaded breath-a-lizer is the equivalent to our cable bill. In black and white, it is the cold hard truth before me. I operated the television with reckless abandon. I neglected the use of reason. I abused my privileges of my cable provider and my bill is there to serve witness and proof thereof. I am left holding my checkbook in one hand, the bill in the other, wondering if the amount I scribe was worth the ability. As disheartening as that act may be, you, I, and the cable provider know that I will commit the same acts next month. Two words: Modus Operandi. They are the attributes of the habitual offender. They are the attributes of one with a remote and a taste for alcoholic beverages. For those of us that are blessed with cable providers that charge us for every little VIDEO ON DEMAND shall we all rise and say, “Hello my name is _______, and I have a problem.”

(However, those providers should note that there are eleven more steps to this, so expect at least ten more inflated payments).


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For questions, comments, or the occasional stalking letter, send mail to Noel Wood. Please give proper credit when using any materials found within this site.

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