I defy you to try to completely rid yourself of cable. It can’t be done. I’ve tried in the past. I tried again last week. A month ago they let me keep some movie channels for free. Great, right? Wrong. I have no willpower. I end up watching The Italian Job for the billionth time and eating a pint of Pralines ‘n Cream.

And why? Because it’s there. And I want to get on the couch and out of the wheelchair for awhile. I could be reading on that couch. If I didn’t have television, I would be.

I’ve determined that TV is the source of all my problems. Problem losing weight? Sitting in front of the TV is a known trigger for me. I eat even when I’m not hungry. Who watches TV without snacks? Problem  #2: I haven’t finished my book. It weighs heavily on me. I’m so close! What if I get hit by a Mack truck before my masterpiece is out in the world? So much time would be freed up for writing if I didn’t get sucked in to two hour movies on cable. And money. Money’s always an issue. Particularly, when you don’t make any. I’ve already whittled my monthly bill, with Internet, from $150 down to $65. I gave up everything but local channels. And movies. Last week, I decided to axe it all.

Yeah, right.

The negotiations started with a seemingly harmless question from the representative. “And may I ask why?”

“Well, the cost partly. But, I really need to do other things,” I said. She’ll never get it, I thought.

“You are on the cheapest package…”

“I know. I really just need to cancel.” Inside, I was already screaming. I just want out!

“If you’ll let me check, there might be…” Help! Lemme out!!

When I interrupted with my final (and futile) plea she asked, “But, what will you do for television?”

“I’m not going to watch television.”

The silence was deafening. In that one bold statement, I had defied her whole reason for existence as a cable company representative.

In the end, the cable company won. But I feel pretty good about things, too. The movies are gone. I get local channels only — at no cost. She gave me a $100 credit to be used over five months. “What can I do to keep your business?” she’d asked me, obviously authorized to do anything.

There’s a lot the cable company gets wrong (starting with those half-day appointment windows,) but this they got right. “What can I do to keep your business?” Can you imagine your bank or doctor asking you such a thing?

So, in five months, I’ll try again. For now, I’m getting more writing done. I don’t lose two hours on the couch. Just a half-hour watching Jeopardy. And it’s too short for much noshing. So, who needs willpower?