On 10th September, 2010, someone who makes a fuckload more money than me while sporting a clearly visible ass crack (my ass crack is hardly every visible) will unplug something or flip a switch or shoot a hamster running in a wheel or whatever it is that makes my cable go, and my cable won't go no more. This will happen because I called Rogers last week and told them that I hate their guts and I don't want to give them money anymore and I hope they get oozing cysts on their eyeballs. I did not use those words exactly, but trust me -- it was implied. That gave me 30 days before they cut off my cable and Internet, leaving me - as they implied - isolated off from the world as I await my inevitable tv-less, World Wide Web-less death. To prepare myself for life without cable, I have already disconnected everything that was attached to my TV, save for my DVD player, VCR (shut up) and a pair of $20.00 bunny ears (yes, I know they're called rabbit ears but I think bunny ears sounds cuter) that I bought at Best Buy. With these bunny ears, I get four or five English-language channels (depending on the weather) and 473 French-language channels (all of them clear as day, even in the midst of toad-raining Armaggedeon.) If I want to go from watching CTV (comprised mainly of the news, Dancing with Something or Sue Thomas: FBI) to watching something on Global (comprised mainly of shitty shows because CTV has most the good ones but they're never on when I want to watch them) then I have to get up, walk ALL THE WAY to my TV, and move the bunny ears around until the wiggly lines go mostly away. There's no more time-shifting so I can watch 'Big Bang Theory' at the same time that people in British Columbia do. I cannot "pause and rewind!" live TV. My DVR is a VCR and the one VHS tape I could find in a box in my basement that wasn't warped beyond recognition or full of bug skin. If a thunderstorm breaks out at 9:45, I will not see Jack McCoy win the big case despite the illegal search warrant those damn cops carried out. (WE might know that the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders are separate yet equally important groups, but that crusty yet lovable bastard McCoy doesn't always seem to get it.) If I need to pee, I have to wait for the commercials or turn the volume all the way up and pee with the bathroom door open so I can hear bullets blasting through spines on 'CSI.' If (when) the stupid bus is late after work, I'm not going to see the beginning of 'Jeopardy,' which sucks because the answers at the beginning are usually the only ones I know the questions to.
(Sidebar: that whole "we give you the answer, you give us the question" thing on 'Jeopardy' is bullshit. If it actually worked that way, you'd say "I'll take 'Oz' for $500, Alex," and Alex would say "Silver," and you would say "What the fuck? There are EIGHT MILLION QUESTIONS that could be answered with the word 'silver.' This game is retarded, Alex, and you're an uppity bitch." When that so-called answer was given on 'Jeopardy,' the wording was this: 'In the original Wizard of Oz book and in the musical 'Wicked,' the slippers aren't ruby, but this metallic color.' The so-called question was 'silver.' No, 'Jeopardy.' You cannot say something is an 'answer' just because you word it oddly and don't put a question mark at the end of it. "How you are today." "Fine." "Oh -- I wasn't asking. You can tell, because I mixed the words around and didn't say 'question mark' at the end." The whole premise of 'Jeopardy' is a LIE.)
Right. So, I don't have cable. Well, I have a bunch of cables, but they don't do anything but trip me because I've apparently decided to leave them on the living room floor for pretty much ever. I don't have cable, and as of the 10th of September, I also won't have an Internet connection. That, I will be getting eventually, but not right away, and not from Rot-gers. They can eat bum-squirt for all I care, but they won't be sucking it up with straws bought using my money.
Me -- the queen of watching TV, the person who can remember obscure guest-starring roles on an episode of Cheers that I saw once when I was drunk and half-asleep, the girl who has actually turned down invitations to go out with friends because ARE YOU HIGH??? I CAN'T MISS 'HOUSE'!!! WHAT IF THIS TIME IT IS LUPUS????? (It's never lupus.) Me. ME. I get five TV channels broadcast in a language I actually understand. Five. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD -- I WATCHED THE SIMPSONS IN FRENCH THIS WEEK. I only knew what they were saying because I've seen that episode more times than years I've been toilet-trained.
And you know what's happened? I haven't fucking died. I have lived five days now without cable, and I'm not dead. I'm not even really all that unhappy about it. Yesterday was Thursday and I missed a re-run of 'Supernatural' and it didn't cause me to vomit up my spleen. I took my dog for a walk Tuesday night and missed 'Family Guy' and my head didn't fall off on the sidewalk. Today I came home from work and it was almost three hours before I realized I hadn't turned my TV on at all since I got home. (I immediately turned it on and found 'CSI: New York' even though not even Gary Sinise can make that monstrosity watchable, but, hey -- I'm not going cold-turkey here. I need a little bit of basking in the light of the Blessed Box before bed.)
One time, I came home from work in a wicked-sad mood, switched on the TV, and watched for many many MANY hours before I realized that my stomach didn't hurt from crying -- it hurt because I was watching TV while I cried and had FORGOTTEN to EAT. When I came home feeling bad after work this past Monday, I cried for a few minutes, felt better, and made a sandwich. All these years I thought TV was making me happy. No. TV was letting me ignore real life. I had become better friends with the characters on 'Desperate Housewives' than I was with my actual friends. I had turned TV into my friend, psychiatrist, and in one hilarious instance, my doctor (tip: you know how sometimes on medical dramas they pull knives or tree branches or stuff out REALLY FAST and then quickly stop the blood and everything's fine and then if the patient is a hot chick she boinks Dr. George Clooney? Yeah, that doesn't work so well on ingrown toenails while sitting on the bathroom floor with no George Clooneys anywhere.)
I'm not giving up TV. I like shows. I will watch them with my bunny ears when I can, and online when I can't. But I'm not scheduling my life around the next episode of 'Law & Order: Criminals Are Bad So Let's Catch Them But Now We'll Catch Them in L.A. Because It's SEXY and Screw You, Dick Wolf - We at NBC Don't CARE That You Were on Your Way to Breaking TV Records with Your Awesome Show." I'm not going to be pissed off if I don't get home from dinner with friends in time to see Dr. McBoner remove a puppy from a guy's stomach cavity and save them both heroically and without regard for his own well-being while still being hot on 'Grey's Anatomy.' It makes me feel silly and weak to realize I've spent all this time caring so much about TV characters because they can't hurt me or make me mad, because they're always there for me each week at the same time, right on schedule. Real people don't do that. But I've realized I like the real people I know better than the tiny people who live in my TV. For one thing, they are bigger and don't sometimes cut out if stupid construction guys dig in the wrong spot. Mostly, I think I would rather miss a TV show than miss my life.
But not if it's 'True Blood.' I don't give a shit about ANY OF YOU if 'True Blood' is on. This might be the episode where I finally get to see Eric's wiener.