A Humorous Anecdote, Plus A Short and Hopefully Not too Preachy Observation About Television, Or, How to Be Counter-Cultural and Completely Baffle People at the Same Time

At work this afternoon, I received the following in an email from Jess:

An AT&T salesman just came to our door:
Salesman: Are you currently with AT&T, ma’am?
Jess: Yes.
Salesman: Phone, TV, Internet?
Jess: Yes. Well, phone and internet. We don’t have TV.
Salesman: Oh. So who do you have your TV service with?
Jess: No one. We don’t have TV at all.
Salesman: You don’t…no TV? No Basic? Did you get the converter box? *looks of bewilderment, astonishment, what-century-are-you-living-in*
Jess: Nope, we don’t watch TV.
Salesman: Well, I’m gonna get you TV.
Jess: I don’t want TV.
Salesman: You don’t wa…?! *shakes head, leaves*

Way to go, my love! The only thing I would have done differently is hand him a copy of Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman.

This brought to mind another experience/observation I had/made the other day. I saw an advertisement for a Lexus with televisions built into the back of the driver’s seat and passenger’s seat. I have also noticed as of late the near ubiquity of televisions in supermarkets. So now we can watch television at home (usually in almost every room in the house), watch television in the car, and watch television at the supermarket while we shop. Even if we need to stop for gas, there are more and more televisions at the pump.

There is a word for this, I think. It is called addiction.


7 comments so far

  1. Katie on


  2. RCochran on


    I had a similar experience with a Shaw cable guy who told me I could get basic cable for $9 a month for the first 3 months. I told him I didn’t want cable. He said, not even for $9? I said, you’ll have to pay me a lot more than that.

    He was confused. It was awesome.

    Well done, Jessica!

  3. Ryan Cordell on

    This made me laugh. Especially, as I am currently living in an area where I only get three channels on my television, one being PBS. It is amazing how much one can learn when the choice is some “reality” show or PBS.

    • jeffreimer on

      You are living the dream, my friend.

  4. timothycairns on

    so books are your idol/addiction not TV!!

    its easy to be sniffy about the opiate of the masses. I am proud to say I have full Rogers HD, every single stinkin channel. With PVR to catch what I miss. Its great!!

    • jeffreimer on

      Ah, Tim. Ever the populist.

  5. Richie Sullivan on

    I’ve been living off white trash TV for nearly two years. Reruns of Reno 911, King of the Hill, South Park, or Rangers and Mavericks games are all well and good. The really troubling times are those in which I resort to watching Jail or Everybody Loves Raymond. I am absolutely addicted. My TV blips off on June something or other–no converter box–and I’m looking forward to it.

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