Free At Last!
By Bernie Suttle
Denial of an addiction is not a step towards recovery. After many years and accumulating cost I finally had to admit I was hooked. Yes, I was hooked on television.
I guess it all started with radio, then records, progressing into the hard stuff. I was using Cable TV with 65 channels. I was watching shows I didn’t like ceaselessly interrupted by commercials but hoping that there would be a better show next Thursday.
I had to go cold turkey – cut it off completely, but did I have substitutes to ease me through? Like a reforming smoker chomping Nicoderm, I tried flicking and clicking my new Roku and Chromecast devices. Will this work? What if I get the shakes or a cold sweat? Can I do it? Drugs and Liquor are easy to quit. Just stop buying them. Not so with cable TV.
Cable has built in physical and emotional barriers to quitting. If one fails either, TV Just keeps coming. I call the cable company. They answer after four minutes of disclaimers and caveats, and then present a panoply of options: order additional products (Channels), billing questions, technical assistance – nothing about stopping their service. Am I the first to ever try this?
I try, “Order additional products.” I am warned that my conversation will be recorded and they tell me that my call is valuable to the cable company before I am assaulted with eight minutes promoting even more products (Channels) at a bargain price – temporarily. My blood pressure is rising at an alarming rate.
Then I hear a consultative voice saying it is incredible for me to just quit. If I would stay he will give me a new promotion just made available that will cost less than I am now paying.
“Sorry, it’s still not worth the price I would pay.”
“How about 84 channels, 105 channels?”
“No thanks, I just want to keep the Internet without TV.”
“Your Internet will increase when not bundled with TV. But if you take our Mega channel plan you will pay less for both than you do now – temporarily.” My knees weaken. My palms are sweating. For a frugal person it is hard to deny their mathematical logic.
But No! Dammit. I’m no TV junkie. “Cut it off. No TV!
“Well, I’ll have to clear it with my manager.”
Then it is done.
I feel relaxed; my breathing is easier. No longer TV dependent and $1,000 richer at the end of the year… I look up and say, “Free at last, free at last, Great God Almighty, I’m free at last!”