The Cable Police

I was fixing a pre-dinner adult beverage for Bill and myself when I heard snippets of a news story coming from the TV in the living room.  It was something about the cable company and, since Bill and I use cable for our internet connection, I was curious if there was something going on that might affect us.  I poked my head out the doorway just as the story ended and asked Mom what was going on with the cable company.  I was hoping that, since she had heard it 4 seconds earlier, she might remember the important points.

And she seemed confident that she knew what was going on because she answered with assurance and conviction.  “Well, it seems that the cable people are going to be coming to everyone’s house and taking away the cable boxes.  So, if you want to keep getting cable, you have to go to the cable store and buy a new box.”

“Seriously?  The cable police are going to come to everyone’s house?” I asked, somewhat incredulously.  “That’s crazy.  Are you sure that’s what you heard?  Why would they do that?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” she said with an emphatic nod.  “Because the government’s making them,” she replied.  “If the cable company doesn’t pick up the boxes, then the government’s going to scramble all of their signals and then no one will be able to get cable, even if they want to,” she informed me.  “Everyone will have to start using antennas on their roofs again.”

I returned to the kitchen, shaking my head and found Bill leaning against the counter with a towel pressed against his mouth as his entire body shook with unrestrained laughter.  I finished making our rum and Cokes and waited patiently for Bill to get himself under control before asking the familiar question… “Okay, what’s the real story?”

“The feds are going to let cable companies scramble local stations, so if people want the local news, they have to get a different box or use antennas.  Plus they’ll probably have to pay for it now instead of having it as part of basic cable.”

“So, no cable police?” I asked.

“Not even close.  The only thing she got right were the words cable, government, scrambled and antenna.”



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