100 channels and I’m watching ‘Squirrels under Siege?’ | RecordCourier.com
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100 channels and I’m watching ‘Squirrels under Siege?’

by Christy Chalmers

After a five-year hiatus, my husband and I have officially rejoined the world.

We got cable.

It wasn’t planned. It just happened.

Previously, we lived at an address that was not blocked by mountains, trees or anything else and we were perfectly content to watch whatever we could get using a set of rabbit ears, even if the reception was scratchy.

Then we moved. We hadn’t given much thought to how this would affect our television reception until my husband tried to watch “The Simpsons” and could only see a vague series of faintly-hued shadows.

Not being able to see “The Simpsons” is untenable in our house. The next day, he started calling cable providers, offering them huge amounts of money to fix the problem right then, even though it was about three days before Christmas and the cable people said they couldn’t get to us until January.

The bribery worked and, for a pound or two of flesh per month (not really, but it’s not much less), we got a hundred or so cable channels.

I’ve been watching a few of them, marveling at the selection of drivel. So far, I’ve seen a show called “Squirrels Under Siege,” a documentary on a family of California ground squirrels; “Rollerjam,” in which cadres of musclebound people on roller skates clothesline each other; and some stuff that is just disgusting and unbearable.

I have time to watch this because by moving, we have temporarily stumped all those direct marketers and charities who were filling our box with junk mail.

Before, I had to wade through dozens of letters soliciting money and catalogs offering useless, annoying products. Thanks to them, in fact, I had to throw out about three dozen sheets of unused address labels when we moved.

Now the mail box is almost empty. Not even Newsweek can find us, and we were paying for that.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not criticizing the postal system, which did bring us several holiday cards and notices we did want. Besides, I know that soon, this free time will be devoured again by junk mail. The direct mailers will find out where we are. They will unleash a flood of pleas for money. They will probably sell our new address to at least four times the number of companies that had the old one just to get even with us for moving without telling them.

Until that happens, I guess I’ll be devoting time to watching events like snowmobile racing and shows with names like “Revenge of the Rejects” and “Battlebots.” But, on the bright side, I’ll be able to grow that pound of flesh we’re paying for the privilege.