My summer essay

The summer's not over, but up here in New England, a lot of us are asking: "When's it gonna start?" It was warmer in May than August; dryer in March than July.

There's been so much down-time inside because of rain that if I were in grammar school, I would be able to hand in - at the beginning of class before it was assigned - the obligatory essay, "What I did on my summer vacation."

It would begin: This summer, rather than building an ark like Noah, I cut the cord - the cable TV cord, that is. I bought a satellite dish with more channels than grounded airplanes at Boston's Logan Airport. (Truth be known, it was for the NFL package.)

My essay would include the confession that if some engineer builds a better electronic gadget, I will eventually buy it, later if not sooner. Satellite TV makes me more cosmopolitan. I need to watch Italian soccer and see Florence beat Rome 1-0.

I would go on to share the realization that there is a difference between being on the cutting edge and the bleeding edge of technology. It's not critical to be the first on the block with TiVo or RePlayTV, a new way to digitally record television. They are so hopelessly complex (and expensive) that I have yet to find a salesperson who can work one.

In conclusion, I would write about my encounter at the local cable TV office with meekness. Rather than walking in with cable box and remote in hand, plopping them down and saying, "In your face, you billionaire cable mogul with ranches in Montana," I backed off. The woman behind the desk was just doing her job.

So when she asked, "Are you moving?" I just muttered: "I'm not watching much TV anymore."

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