We officially became cord cutters – people who cut their cable television service. There are two types of cord cutters: those who are young and cool and hip and would rather live stream everything and those who are looking to save a buck.
Go ahead, guess which category we fall into. We figure that with the savings, we can take a nice three-day weekend trip somewhere. Or fund our retirement.
The truth is, our most recent cable service never worked. The television constantly froze and dropped the signal. It took the cable provider only a year and a half, three different modems and five line techs to our house to determine that the company never should have sold us cable, as we are 600 feet beyond their service range.
Being fairly easygoing, we grew used to the cable signal intermittently dropping. It gave us time to do other things, like tidy up the kitchen, put in a small vegetable garden and read “War and Peace.” But the final straw was when the cable went out during the finale of “Downton Abbey.” We were left hanging. We’ll never know whether Lady Mary was ever able to dress herself.
The only other itty-bitty drawback to being cord cutters is that we may be getting a visit from Homeland Security. I wanted to watch the presidential candidates debate the other night (a glutton for punishment), and I found someone live streaming them on YouTube.
When I eventually started paying close attention, I noticed a small inset screen at the top left of the big screen. It was the guy live streaming the debates. He was crouched behind an open laptop, chain-smoking and glaring. On the wall behind him were framed certificates that I couldn’t quite make out, a flag of unknown origin and a large gun.
Suddenly, the man made the debate go small screen, and he became large screen and began cursing a blue streak at the debaters.
“What’s going on in there?” the husband asked me from the next room.
“It’s not me,” I yelled. “I swear. No, I don’t swear. It’s not me swearing; it’s the man who used to be in the little picture, but is now in the big picture.”
“He sounds like an anarchist,” the husband yelled.
“I think he is. You should see his wall!”
Quickly, I tried to close down the live stream. I closed out the screen, but I could still hear the man ranting. I went from screen to screen, reopened and reclosed screens, but he was still yelling. (The man on YouTube, not the husband.)
“Shut that down,” the husband said.
Frantically, I clicked on screens. Closed them, opened them, closed them again.
“Override him with those old movies you’ve been watching,” he said. “Do something.”
More clicking, more ranting. Eventually I disconnected from the site, but probably not before cyberintelligence took note of our ISP and labeled us as followers of the anarchist.
We’re going to put off the three-day weekend. We may need the cable savings for legal fees instead.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.