Maybe I Should Get Cable Now

As many people already know, we cut cable several years age. We haven’t always eschewed television. Once, we had digital cable with over 300 channels. Shut up. I know that’s like a basic package these days, but back then, it was a big deal. For the record, though, it was still 300 channels of nothing to watch. Eventually, we cancelled service completely and never looked back. Until now.

We have the converter box thingy that makes everything all digital-like, but we don’t pay for extra channels. Our television cost us $10 at a garage sale. Four years ago. No need to gild that particular lily. So the regular programming we now have available consists of three different PBS stations, CBS, Fox, and NBC, which really is three stations too many, since network television now seems to boast nothing but B-list celebrities in reality shows. And PBS has Sherlock. I’m covered. And then came the Olympics.

I get NBC. I figured we were all set. We brought our Olympic-sized snacks down to the family room to get our game on. The Padawan is the only one in the house who knows how to actually turn the television on (don’t get me started. Apparently the cables have to be just-so if you have been playing the Super Nintendo or the VCR.), so he worked his magic, and we were good to go. And what did we get? Women’s volleyball.

Before all the athletic supporters of the world tie me in a net and spike coconuts at my head, let me say I used to like volleyball. I did. I even played. In gym class and stuff, but whatevs. I was good.

I distinctly remember the day my gym teacher approached me and my friend on the court. He said “We’ve got a spot on the team. Are you interested?” I said I’d think about it. Turns out, he wasn’t actually talking to me. He was recruiting my friend.    With all the diplomacy he could muster, the coach said “We’ve got a spot for you, too. We need a statistician.” Yeah. A score keeper. That’s like your best pal getting asked out on a date by the cutest guy in school and being invited to go along. As the driver. I watched my Olympic dreams go up in smoke that day. I’m not bitter. Nor apparently am I good at volleyball.

I tried to watch the game. These are Olympic athletes, after all. God bless the whole world, and all that. But, and  this is strictly off the record, I did not enjoy it. In high school volleyball, the best teams are the ones that actually get a volley going and keep it going. If you’re good, the ball stays in the air for longer than a serve. Olympic level volleyball goes something like this:

Ball is served.

Ball is hit.

Ball is hit again.

Ball hits ground.

Everyone hugs each other and holds hands. 

Maybe that last is just the women’s teams. I didn’t stick around for the guys’. In tennis, the score would be love-15. In volleyball, it’s love everybody. I wouldn’t enjoy playing at the Olympics. Too much hugging.

The ball was touched about three times before it hit the ground, leaving the impression that both teams stink. Score one for the Olympics. Or don’t score. I’m not sure.  After forty-five minutes, I went upstairs to gouge my eyeballs out make popcorn, and when I came downstairs again, the score was the same. I think. My TV is kind of small.

While I was making popcorn, I made the mistake of checking Twitter. There, someone in my feed was discussing Dressage. I followed the conversation, and it was then I discovered that everyone else in the country could watch Dressage, or swimming, or even archery. Oooh, there’s a sport! Who doesn’t dream of shooting holes in things with arrows and winning a prize for it?! No, really. I would totally watch archery. Especially if my only option was volleyball. And why were my choices so limited while my friends had the world at their fingertips? Because my friends have cable! 

No matter. We’re cool.We would just catch the highlights of all the good stuff after 7:30pm. After dinner, armed with my super-sized box of Junior Mints, we resumed our position on the couch, thanking the Olympic committee that Women’s Volleyball coverage was good and over. And had moved on to Beach Volleyball.

Kill me now. And sign me up for cable.

Wow. This was way bigger on my computer screen.

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55 thoughts on “Maybe I Should Get Cable Now

  1. Can you watch tv on your laptop? There are various ways of doing it in Europe so guess you’ve got that option too. You then plug your laptop into the tv and there’s your bigger picture…

  2. i dont think i could live without sky 🙂 by the way i still think 300 channels is a big deal:) but i couldnt live without my films and comedy and history and ghosty stuff i am sky fan and dont mind admitting it 🙂 hate the olympics though 🙂 have a fab day xx

  3. I am right there with you. Got rid of satellite after paying too much to watch NOTHING! Don’t miss it, but our local line up doesn’t include NBC. I only kind of cared this week cause I would like to check in on the Olympic coverage here and again, only I would probably just catch it when it was something like you described! Oh, well 🙂 Online might just be the way to go…

  4. BC: I think you might be starting a revolution! I have cable but it really isn’t worth it. It definitely might be one of the things that bites the dust in the future, but not until “So You Think You Can Dance” is off. Ha!

    This was a fun read and it actually started a discussion between WW and me about how much we’d save if we eliminated something we rarely use because we’re not home that much. Thanks for the input. ET

  5. We don’t have cable, and we also live at the bottom of a hill, so here are the channels we get: PBS, Qubo (kids) and Ion (weird channel that shows a bunch of Canadian shows plus Cold Case reruns). I’ll give it to you that I love my PBS like crazy, but right about now I’d love some crappy women’s volleyball.

  6. I’ll do with the Olympics like I do with any other “live” thing on TV. I’ll watch the highlights on YouTube. I don’t miss cable either. Or TV for that matter.

    PS — Love Sherlock though. Found the 1st three of the series streaming on Netflix. Looking forward to more of THAT!

  7. Stay strong mama! We’ve been tv-free for a few years too, and when our willpower wanes and we need to watch something, we use the good ol’ internet.

  8. Isn’t that the time to remember you have friends in the neighbourhood? We were too cheap to subscribe to anything above the basic Sky package here in the UK but when South Africa plays anyone but England (i.e. no coverage by the BBC) in rugby, cricket, soccer, hockey or whatnot my husband is off to his brother (they are both South Africans as you might have guessed) and his Sky Sports package. Good for the brotherly bonding, and I don’t have to watch sports, double result!

  9. Don’t do it! We have a satellite dish with lots of channels plus streaming netflix, plus we rent stuff from Vudu sometimes. We have way too many options and there isn’t much of anything on. Also, my children’s eyes actually hurt them when we drag them away from the screen.

    • That’s what I hate. Nothing is on. I was so excited when we had Animal Planet. Little did I realize that in the wee hours when I was nursing babies (the reason we go cable in the first place), there was nothing but Animal Cops and infomercials.

  10. We don’t have cable either. Never have.
    I’ll have to write sometime about buying a new digital TV only to have to string it to the old boxy non-digital TV to get the channel that aired the Academy Awards. It was like watching TV in an electronics store.

  11. Even from here the complaints about NBC are loud. The only thing I’ve gotten to see is a long drawn out dialogue on tv (in Arabic) about men’s gymnastics after the competition but with not noticeable scores or other info. I’m dying without women’s gymnastics.

    Remember the good old days (Nadia!) when we’d park ourselves in front of the tv for a month and watch every bit of the Olympics we could? This cable thing, and country-specific thing is crap. Definitely not an IOC fan here.

      • Watch the Olga Korbet bar routine from 1972. I actually preferred the bars closer together. I don’t think any of todays gymnasts could do that routine. How did she not crack her head open 10 times!?

      • yeah, i researched it yesterday (and probably 4 and 8 years ago – forgotten). I kept remembering how they’d wrap their bodies around the opposite bar and bounce off and “hmm, I haven’t seen that in ages”. I think they should make it a 3 bar system, adding another high bar on the other side of the low bar, and closer together. Make them master old and new style. Ha! I’m calling the IOC now! 🙂

  12. It is an amazing thing…that cable, when you have it you don’t think you need it, and when you get rid of it then something good about it magically appears.

  13. I don’t have cable or even a TV, so I was shut out of the Olympics completely. Then I got a VPN and now the Internet thinks I’m in Canada! I can watch any and every sport from beginning to end. The best part is that the only commentary is the announcer who is on-site, not those dumb TV commentators who blab stupidity nonstop.

  14. Glad I found you…we have watched women’s gymnastics with our fingers over our eyes….what did I get out of it? I’m convinced they’ll be making a reality show called “cheer up Mom and Dad, they can always get a job with the circus.”

    • Oh, my gosh. I could not be the parent of an athlete. I would be hiding under the stands.

      It’s good to have an alternative career, of course. I have oft considered selling Squish to the circus. He’s three, which explains everything!

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