The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Cable Monopoly
by Betty Mermelstein

A new house! Tons to replace and set up. The big one was to arrive today: TV and Wi-Fi setup. So what if it took three visits to install the faucets for the kitchen sink? Big deal if eighty percent of the new dining room furniture was so rustic in style it had to be returned. This would be the one worth waiting for.

The serviceman showed up at the door with the good news that the only cable company available in my community was ready to help me communicate with the world.

He set to work in the office, huddled over wires by the desk like a raccoon sorting through old spaghetti. Within ten minutes, he was ready to give me instructions.

"Get on your computer," he commanded. I was only too willing to comply.

"I need at least eight characters for your password for the Wi-Fi," he said.

What to choose? My mother's maiden name? The name of the boy in first grade who gave me my first kiss? That guy who pretended to be a real estate agent and cleaned us out of our jewelry at the first house showing?

"I'll give you a password," the serviceman stated, taking my computer from me. "Ihaveanewhouse17, there!" he typed.

"Well, I guess that will work."

Another ten minutes went by while he checked the outside box.

"Ok," he said, returning to begin rapid firing the remote that pointed at the TV.

"This is your power button, this is the guide where you select your station, here's your record button, and you can choose one episode like this or the whole series like this, then you go back to live TV."

My mind was a blender of instructions, wondering when I should throw in the almond milk to smooth it all out.

"Ok, that's it for me," he announced heading for the door.

Well, at least it was all done. I went to my computer, eager to send my first email from my new house. No Connection greeted me instead. I ran to the remote and turned on a news channel. This HDMI Not Supported was my second greeting.

I wasn't in this much disbelief since the neighbor two doors down from my old house came around on Halloween in a nude leotard.

My phone still worked. I dialed the number for the cable company that now seemed to be holding me hostage. What a surprise that the next available agent was only thirty minutes away.