As you may remember, The Husband and I were exploring options for saving money by doing without unnecessary things, things like food, water, and cable. (Just kidding about the cable.)
I called Direct TV and spoke to their Customer Service Specialist (not Representative, Specialist) about cutting back on some of our service options (come back and read THAT POST later). Anyway, we determined that I could save eleventy gazillion dollars if I got rid of almost all of our channels. I told them we had to keep Cartoon Network and HGTV.
The Husband, of course, freaked out right away. “We MUST have sports,” he said, like someone (normal) might say air to breathe, “sports are a non-negotiable.”
Funny, turns out sports were, in fact, very negotiable, as Zaprana and I had just negotiated sports away. I had to call Direct TV right back and speak with Daniel about reinstating sports.
Crisis averted. Later that evening, I settled in with a nice bowl of popcorn and a glass of white wine, ready to watch the almost-season finale of Top Chef. Imagine my horror (yes, that’s the right word) when I clicked on 273 and the screen was black, except for a little box in the lower right corner that read, “Channel Unavailable.”
Oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no. I started hyperventilating like I was on an airplane that was nose-diving into the Pacific Ocean. Okay, that’s an exaggeration: Atlantic Ocean.
My show was scheduled to start in 15 minutes, how was I going to fix this catastrophe?! I dialed the (by now memorized) number and spoke with Tiffany. She assured me that she could fix the problem and add the Bravo Channel to my existing plan that Zaprana had set up for me, which as you may recall, was The Skeleton. After speaking with Daniel earlier, I was already up to the Bronze Plan, and now this latest chat with Tiffany was pushing me into (most likely) Platinum territory.
“Tiffany, I don’t care what it costs, get me Top Chef.”
“Yes, ma’am, no problem.” I could hear much clicking of keys and much draining of my bank account. “Try the channel now.”
I did as instructed, and felt vaguely illicit, as if Tiffany had just suggested I meet her on a street corner with a briefcase full of unmarked bills. “Yes, yes … I see it … yes, it’s back! They're making pancakes for Pee Wee Herman!” It took every fiber of my self-restraint to not leap up and scream for joy.
I hung up on Tiffany so I could watch my beloved Chef-testants compete for the ultimate title of Top Chef top four.
The thrill of this moment would wear off soon enough. The very next morning, to be precise.
I turned on the TV, innocently enough, to Boomerang so the kids could watch some cartoons (hey, TV police, it was NOT a school day! Okay, so it was actually a school day). Imagine my dismay when I noticed the channel name was in faded light blue (instead of the normal dark blue) on the menu option selection, and black all together when I clicked on it. There was that dreaded message again: “Channel Unavailable.”
Here’s the deal, Direct TV: if I cannot have a channel because I am too cheap to pay for it, I do not want to see any reminder of it! Do not leave a ghost version of the channel behind to mock me (“Oh, if you only had more money, you could have these channels, too! Ha! Too bad you don’t!”).
My sons and I have long chats about a scary issue in school called bullies. Bullies are mean, and bullies taunt people for no reason. That’s right: Direct TV, you are a bully.