???????????????????????????????????????I give up. The cable company wins. I can’t fight them anymore. I’m right, but I’d rather be happy.

I’m a whole lot poorer each month ($116 for basic cable and internet,) but I am happy. Happy with my On Demand. Happy with my DVR. Happy pausing live TV, especially during commercials that are never long enough for my epic bathroom breaks. (Being disabled means spending an inordinately long time in the loo.)

It all started when I fell victim to a recent popular addiction, Downton Abbey. The good news: it’s on PBS — Masterpiece Theater (no expensive cable required.) The bad news: I didn’t clue in as to what all the fuss was about until Season 3. This meant I had a good deal of catching up to do.

No problem, right? You can get anything delivered to your door these days, including DVDs of movies and TV shows.

Let me tell you, it’s easier to get approved for a mortgage than it is to join Netflix. If you’re already a lucky member, don’t ever leave them. First, my credit, then my mother’s, was denied. (And she just bought a house last year.) I snuck around this problem a while ago, when I used the name and credit of a friend at my address (I guess the mailman figured I had a roommate.) Then, after awhile, I lost my mind and canceled.

So now, I have Blockbuster At Home. I’ll run the risk of a slander suit and just tell you. They suck.

Their entire fulfillment department is out back on cigarette break and they seem to be the only company around still using the Pony Express. With Netflix, I’d return one movie and get another two days later. With Blockbuster, I returned the first disc of Downton Abbey – Season 1 on a Friday. It’s almost a week later, and still no disc 2. Oh, but I did get disc 3 yesterday. It lies waiting, taunting me from a bookshelf. I’d watch it, if I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. And, I might be confused. Though I bet, like any good soap opera, you can pick it up anywhere.

The only explanation for this sequence mishap is that the Blockbuster worker bee looked at the screen (or however they do it) at the exact moment I was shuffling movies in my queue, trying to get Downton Abbey to the front of the line! Disc 3 was only ahead of disc 2 for a nano-second. I didn’t leave it that way! See what I mean? They suck.

I thought I had the solution when I noticed the Red Box machine at the grocery store. I was so happy, feeling so confident and independent, that I checked out a movie before ever wondering how I was going to get back to return it. The next day, Frankie and I spent half the morning trekking miles on the power chair to the nearest Red Box location.

That’s when I upgraded my cable.

So, I’m playing the handicapped card yet again. When you’re disabled and don’t drive, you can’t be messing around with free-streaming equipment or risking your life driving to Red Box locations in a power chair. I’ve decided sometimes it’s worth it to pay for convenience. And now I can watch the Super Bowl in its entirety plus commercials. Even if I spend an entire quarter visiting the restroom.

As for Downton Abbey, wouldn’t you know it, U-verse On Demand doesn’t have it. So, I’m still waiting…

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