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Opinion

There must be 50 ways to channel my emotions

5/8/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

On the Mark — By Craig Marks

You’re leaving me? I gotta say, I didn’t see that coming.

For so long I thought it would be me leaving you. I had my reasons: You weren’t dependable. You took so much of my money. I’d wait for you, and wait and wait.

There were many times I envisioned saying the words that would have ended our relationship:

“Hello, Time Warner Cable? I’d like to cancel my service.”

But instead, it’s you dumping me. You, Time Warner, are selling your Northeast Ohio customers to another cable company, Charter Communications. It’s to improve the chances your merger with Comcast will go through.

Well, at least I know where I stand. I’m the extra weight thrown overboard so the getaway plane can get off the ground. I’m the 13th item you leave on the Pop Tarts display so you can use the Marc’s express lane. Thank you very much.

And the worst part is I had to read about it in the paper. You couldn’t call? (Or maybe you tried and the phone modem was down. It happens.) You could have done what you do with weather alerts, interrupt everything with a loud buzzing sound and then give us the news: “Sorry, honey, but you’re just a pawn in a billion-dollar corporate chess game.”

It hurts, because we go way back. I found this love letter I wrote to Warner Cable in a 1994 column:

I now have The Box, the much-discussed home terminal. This means that instead of having only 36 channels on which to watch the upcoming O.J. Simpson trial, I now have about 50.

Wow, 50 whole channels. Now I have that many that run continuous repeats of “The Big Bang Theory.”

I supported you back then, even when it appeared you had no clue what you were doing. Remember how, when I was taping a show, you would make me keep the volume up and wouldn’t allow me to change the channel? Fun times.

Still, there was an innocence about you that was endearing. You’d post children’s drawings on your public-access channel as if you were a communal refrigerator door. And even now, your technicians won’t enter the house without putting those little plastic bags on their feet.

But I wonder if you know me anymore. You chose for your commercial spokesman the former head coach of the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. Really? Wasn’t John Elway available?

I guess I’m conflicted, because as much as I sometimes hate you, I’ve grown dependent on you. And I don’t like change, which you may have guessed by the way I scream bloody murder every time you switch around the channels.

I know nothing about Charter Communications. (From its name, I’m wondering if it’s owned by the guy in the big white cowboy hat. Probably not.) But I’m willing to give Charter a chance, because that’s the kind of person I am, and also because AT&T U-Verse is not available in my area.

Not that you’re going anywhere for a while, not until the Comcast merger is approved. Will it be awkward being with you now that you’ve made your intentions known? Yes, but not as awkward as your “Enjoy Better” slogan.

And besides, the worst part was hearing the news. At that moment, I felt like a cartoon coyote falling off a high cliff, and you were — well, I don’t know what you were, but I’m sure it will come to me.

Good-bye, Time Warner. Hope you find what you’re looking for, and hope they don’t change its location after you do. And please, don’t let the door hit you on the “beep beep” as you’re leavin’.

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