Direct TV, Indirectly

Bill and I just got back from Sam’s and we were in the kitchen putting away our loot when Mom called out for Bill.  He wandered into the living room, where she was perusing the TV magazine that comes with the Sunday paper.

“Is there any way you can change the times on some of these programs?” she asked.

“Change the times?” he asked, obviously confused.

“On the satellite TV,” she stated, smiling sweetly as she looked up at him.  She worships Bill as a techno god and believes he can do anything with electronic devices and all the new fangled technology, like the Internet, email and cell phones.

He stammered, “What?  Direct TV?  Do you mean when they show up on the Guide or when the programs come on?”

“Either one.  Just so it matches the times in my TV magazine.  It’s three hours different.  Except for local channels and the news channels, like Fox and CNN.  Those you could leave the way they are.”

“Mom, he sighed.  “It isn’t Direct TV, it’s the publishers of the TV guide.  They’re listing cable programming with east coast times.  And, to make it worse, they’re doing it in Day Light Savings time.”

“Well this comes with the Phoenix paper,” she argued, “so the shows should come on when it says they will in the magazine.”

Bill took a deep breath, then patiently explained it once more.  “Wherever this TV guide thingy is getting printed, they’re printing the wrong times for the satellite channels.  I don’t know why because the local channels are listed correctly.  I can’t change the times the shows are broadcast and I can’t change the times the programs are listed on the Direct TV Guide – which is always right, by the way, so maybe you should use it instead of the stupid magazine.”

“Or maybe you could call Direct TV and have them change when the shows come on?” she asked hopefully.

“Right!  And maybe they’ll stop charging us every month and throw in all the movie channels and all the sports channels while they’re at it,” he said as he fled to the garage to continue unloading groceries and probably to bang his head against a wall.

“I guess that’s a no,” she pouted.  There was a brief pause, followed by “Patty!”

“Mom,” I yelled back from the kitchen, “I can’t change Direct TV either.”

I heard a soft little “Oh, okay,” followed by the fluttering of cheap paper as she continued flipping through the TV guide, doing her time zone arithmetic as she searched through the 2:00 listings for an 11:00 showing of Law and Order.

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