By John Morrow

I hear that many people are, “cutting the cable,” and finding ways to enjoy a nearly unlimited number of TV stations while saving lots of money. One friend told me he now gets 6,000 channels. I did a quick calculation. If I watched each channel for only one hour, and I sat staring at the screen for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, it would still take me over 20 months to watch them all. Not going to happen. And I’m pretty sure I would need additional training if I’m going to benefit from many of the specialty channels offered in various languages.

No, we still have old-style cable at our house. It brings in enough channels for us to watch what we want, but not so many that it can be overwhelming.

In the evening, have you ever leaned back in your La-Z-Boy, clicker in hand, and begun a search for the perfect program? Row after row of choices appear. “How about that one?” your mate may suggest.

“Yeah, maybe,” you respond. “Let’s just see what else is on,” you say as you continue your downward journey. Finally, around 1 a.m. you select the perfect show and turn toward your spouse, hoping to be congratulated on your searching skills, only to find that they went to bed a couple of hours ago.

My cable service provider that I’ll call, “Old Codgers,” is okay. I know that their little black cable brings all that entertainment into our home, and I appreciate that. The trouble, though, is with how that cable is spread around the neighborhood. Sometimes, the way temporary wires are strung, our area can look a lot like the electrical system in the rougher parts of an inner-city in someplace like Kazakhstan.

One day as I was parking my car, I noticed a fellow standing on our front lawn gazing intently up into our tree. “Help you?” I asked in a relatively friendly tone.

“Oh, I’m from Old Codgers, he reassured me. “I’m just running cable from that post,” he pointed somewhere to my left, “across your yard, up into your tree, and eventually to that house down the street.” I nodded dumbly for a moment.

“There must be a better way,” I said, as I began understanding his intentions more fully.

“Yes, there certainly is,” he agreed. “Another fellow will be along some time in the next two-to-15 months to bury the cable.”

“That sounds wonderful. Why don’t you just bury it now?” I suggested. I had recognized a surefire way to improve their system and was sharing it freely.

“Not my job. That’s a different department.” After an extended conversation that stayed civil, but not quite as friendly as before, Ed (we got to know each other rather well that afternoon and ended up on a first name basis) relented and removed the cable from our tree.

Miraculously, two days later, a different crew appeared on our lawn. By the time I found my shoes and stepped outside to see what was happening, they were done. In mere moments they had created a slender trench and buried the cable under our lawn near the sidewalk that runs along the front of our property. A workable solution had been found. Now we have our cable TV, memories of our new friend Ed, and a widening strip of dead grass marking the home of the new neighborhood cable addition.

John lived in Port Stanley in the ‘60s and moved back 10 years ago after retiring from a career in education. You can find him most mornings sharing coffee and wisdom with friends at a local coffee shop. John enjoys writing about the humour he sees in everyday life.  

Read other columns by John Morrow, or listen to John’s podcast Laughing At Life.