You’ll recall last spring I alerted the citizenry of Oak Bluffs to the invasion of aliens operating out of the legion of Comcast trucks rolling over our roads. It seems the extraterrestrials were on to me because, a couple of months later, when I requested cable hookup for my tiny apartment over the bookstore, the mother ship sent an alien to take care of me.
I didn’t let the Comcast uniform fool me: The guy was young, thin, bland-looking (which in and of itself is a dead giveaway considering the latex-like mask they use to make themselves appear human). His voice was monotoned and his expression stayed the same (think Catherine Deneuve in her old movies when her range of emotions all resembled the look of a person deep in coma). The alien Comcast worker’s disguise was compromised by the fact that he knew absolutely nothing about cable hookup.
The first hour he spent trolling the basement. Periodically he wandered upstairs to ask me questions like, “Do you think I should connect the [tech term, tech term] to the [tech term, tech term]?” to which I’d remind him that if I knew the answer to that question, I could probably do the hookup myself. In the next hour he roamed outdoors. At one point he came in and asked me where the telephone pole was located. When I indicated the Camp Ground cottage behind the building, he said, “Oh, I don’t want to trespass in anyone’s backyard.” I gently pointed out that telephone and cable guys enjoyed executive access to poles, but he appeared, in a Catherine Deneuvish sort of way, reluctant to enter anyone’s yard (perhaps he feared alien-sniffing dogs).
After a second, unproductive hour, he ambled back into the bookstore and said my landlord would need to write a letter granting me permission to have cable hookup. Stop it! Did I also need a note from my mom that I could drink soda? I told the cable guy that I’d been ambivalent about getting television, but his final assessment tipped me over the edge: Fuhgetaboudit.
For the first time the cable guy expressed a bit of emotion. No television? How could this be? Clearly he’d never come across anyone unecstatic about tube-time or, more accurately, his alien trainers must have impressed him with the fact that, for earthlings, sitting still and staring at a screen of flickering images was our global religion.
So that’s my story. Let me know if there’s anyone else out there who resisted last year’s Comcast blitzkrieg to rewire every last cable connection in our town. We may be the only Oak Bluffers not being fed nightly subliminal messages from another galaxy.
The Oak Bluffs School would like you to enter into your calendar the following date, time and place: May 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Performing Arts Center at the high school, where grades one through eight will play Suzuki pieces with both the junior high and elementary school orchestras.
And here’s the storytime line-up at the Oak Bluffs library: Wednesday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m., favorite book theme; and on Thursday, April 24 from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., teen games, guitar hero and Dance Dance Revolution for ages 10-18.