Monday, March 17, 2014

Confession time: I like watching ads

With cable costs up and the money tree refusing to produce on command, Arizona and I are taking a serious look at firing Comcast and using one or more of the streaming services--Netflix, Prime, etc. He thinks it's a great idea, because he hates ads, most of what he watches can be found on, and he dislikes monopolistic companies.

Me, on the other hand? While I agree that it's an expense that rivals our electrical bill (and our whole house is electric), I'm not such a big fan of the switchover idea, for three reasons:

1. I don't want to have to think about what I want to watch all the time. That's why I got rid of Netflix a few years back, when they were still doing the mail-in program. I didn't like having to think about what Arizona and I might want to watch next weekend, or even that same evening. I like being given a handful of choices that are going to be on at set times, and I can either take 'em or leave 'em. Also, I rarely "watch" TV unless it's a new movie or favorite show--most of the time it's background noise while Arizona snoozes and I write. So the last thing I want to do is have to think about the programming!

2. I like being trapped into watching stuff I wouldn't normally bother with. You know the routine--you're tired, brain dead, and/or need to kill an hour, and sit there clicking through the guide, only to find that none of your usual favorites are available. So you pick something that you figure you might not hate ... and it's awesome. Or awesomely horrible, which is sometimes better. Or maybe it's just okay, but hey, you learned a couple of fun facts you didn't know before--about the history of bratwurst, maybe, or the Spanish-American War. See? That's another thing I like about not being tasked with complete control over my TV programming. Sometimes I like just sitting back and saying, "Okay, picture box. Show me something!"

3. I like commercials. There, I said it. Not all of them, mind you. Flo, Maxwell and the gecko could all die in a fiery car crash and I'd be okay with it, especially if Geico paid out promptly on the claim. And most car commercials look the same to me, with the exception of the giant hamsters, which I find baffling. Okay, so in reality, I only like maybe one in twenty commercials, and then only the first few times I see them ... but I really do like seeing them, and knowing what folks are talking about when a new ad comes up in conversation. And I like sniping at the TV when a particularly annoying one comes on. And ... well, I just like commercials. I don't like when they interrupt movies, or when there are fourteen of them in a row, but I do like them as little mini-snippets of stuff. And I would miss them.

So where do we stand on the getting-rid-of-cable debate? I'd say we're in the fact-finding stage. If we could find a service that would stream normal programming but allow us to pick and pay for the channels we actually want, we'd be all over it. Since that doesn't seem to be an option, we'll probably try for a month pretending that we don't have cable, and see what happens. (I predict I won't last long.) Or maybe we'll just keep talking about it and not actually change anything. It happens! 

If you've got any suggestions about your favorite (or least favorite) streaming services, I'd love to hear them! Do you Hulu? Roku? Or ... ? Do you hate cable, love it, or fall somewhere in-between?

Finally, I would like to leave you with two thoughts. 

One, dear Burger King: I like the bass line of your new ad (especially since Arizona just set up his old sound bar and subwoofer, and now the floor shakes), but it's 40% less fat and 30% ****FEWER**** calories. You can count them, so it's fewer, not less. Kthnxbye. 

And two, herding cats:


  1. Lol! I have the most basic of cable so I am actually on "normal" programming. Since only watch tv about three times a week for at most 7 or 8 hours, it doesn't matter to me. I'm not sure about ditching cable though. You would miss so much. I think I would get bored. I like the commercials too, especially since they are prime markers for bathroom breaks.

    I miss you, my friend.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  2. I am a major fan of streaming services. I have a Roku box and between us, my sister and I have subscriptions to streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. We hardly ever watch straight up TV--it's mostly revisiting old favorites.

  3. Hi Jesse,

    Are you the same Jesse Hayworth who wrote the wonderful story "WriterChick seeks soul mate" from a recently published book for the Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Dating Game? The story, however, touched my heart and soothed my soul in a very positive way.

    Best wishes,
    Hamza Hassan
    Saudi Arabia

    1. Hi Hamza! Yes, that's me. Thank you so much for the note, and for enjoying our story! Happy reading :) Jesse