Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

The Cable Guy

When I got to the apartment, Pete was outside, talking to the landlord.  They both stopped and watched me as I pulled in the driveway, with curious looks on their faces.  As I tried to ignore them both, I couldn’t help but wonder if Pete had filled Don in on our recent falling out.

A cable truck was parked outside, and an overweight gangster-looking man was meandering about behind the house.  I hurried past him and into the house to take Taco out before heading back to work for the department meeting.

The apartment was silent upon entering, save for the sounds of one happy dog who was about to start performing her very own “I gotta go” dance.  Something wasn’t right – but at first I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I looked around until my gaze fell on the television (which is generally left on as if Taco was stupid enough to believe she wasn’t alone), which was no longer displaying an image.

Narrowly avoiding personal injury I thundered down the stairs to find the random cable guy, hoping he was still there.

“Hey!” I yelled over to him.  “What the hell’s going on?”

The fat man approached me slowly, explaining that he had been sent to disconnect my service for failure to pay the bill.  I could feel the anger rising in me as I argued with him.

“No, you see,” I interjected angrily, “I have recurring payments online…there’s no way I haven’t paid my bill.  I’ll prove it.”

I stormed back in the house with the fat man at my heels and began to rifle through the mass of paperwork on my desk, furiously looking for my bank statements to prove my point.  The cable company had indeed been kind enough to process the months’ worth of checks which my bank had sent to them (for three dollars above the bill, no less), and I was not going to go down without a fight.

“See!” I yelled, waving the statements in the air.  “You bastards have cashed my checks!”

“Look, that’s none of my business,” the fat man reasoned.  “I’m just a contractor and this account was on my list of disconnects today.”

“I know, I know,” I said, annoyed but calmed slightly.  “You’re just doing you’re job.  But you shouldn’t have even been sent here.”

“Well, you know, there is a way around this,” the fat man said slyly. I stared at him blankly, too fired up to be suspicious.  “Let’s just say you do me a little favor.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked, slightly bewildered by the statement.  The fat man proceeded to reason that if I were, to say, perform various sexual acts for him, then not only was he never here to disconnect me, but he’d also make sure I got all the latest and greatest equipment for free.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I asked, trying to decide if I was shocked more by the proposal or the apparent fact that at some point, with some one, this had worked in the past for him.  “Dude, I’ll just take it up with the cable company.  I’m all set.”

The fat man kept trying to reason with me, touting the benefits of the free cable services that would come as a reward for my compliance.

“Listen, pal…” I argued. “I’m not sure what kind of customers you are used to, but just because I live in the neighborhood I do doesn’t mean I can’t afford to pay for my own cable, just as I have done for years.”  I tried to be rational with the fat man, as he was a good four times my size and growing increasingly sketchier and threatening with each second.  Before I could act, I realized that the fat man had me in a corner – he stood between me and the only way out.

Suddenly there was a sound that I had never heard before.  Between the fat man and me was Taco, who, reacting to my own mood, had suddenly become a rabid pit bull.  Teeth bared, ears back, Taco growled at the fat man with such intensity that he stopped in his tracks and put his hands up.

“I thought you said this dog was friendly,” the fat man said, frozen with fear.

“She is…” I explained.  “Unless you give her a reason not to be.  And right now? I’d say she’s got plenty of reason..” As if on cue, Taco took two slow and determined steps toward the fat man.

Bring it on, pickles, her eyes said, never breaking from the fat man’s stare.  I will chew your nut sack off and feed it to the squirrels.

The fat man suddenly turned, running for the door.  Taco kept growling until the sound of his retreating footsteps was no longer audible on the stairway.  I watched him from the window, waiting until he was out of sight before taking Taco outside to do what I had come home to do in the first place.

“Steak for Taco tonight,” I said, scratching behind her ear.  The reality of what had just transpired still had not fully hit me, but I did know that without Taco, things would have gotten hairy.

I came back upstairs to let Taco back in to find that the cable was back on.  Well, at least that’s something, I said to myself before heading out the door to go back to work.


“Elaine,” I said as she answered her office phone.

“Abby, what’s up? What’s taking you so long?”

“I think I just narrowly avoided a sexual assault,” I said in disbelief as I drove back to the office.  I gave her the run down of what had just happened.

“You need to call the cable company,” Elaine said in disbelief.  “I’ll tell everyone you’ll be late for the meeting, so don’t worry.  You just need to get back here and call.”

I got back to the office and found an empty conference room, unsure how I would handle myself telling the story to the non-contractual staff at the cable company.

“Thank you for calling ComTech, how can I help you?” A friendly, upbeat voice answered.  Before I could get my explanation out, I burst into tears.  Somehow, I managed to explain what had happened to a horrified customer service representative, who openly struggled with how to proceed on the information he was just given.

“Ok ma’am, um, I’m gonna be in touch with our contact provider but in the meantime, you might want to call your local police,” the rep instructed me.  I told him I would and hung up the phone, with the agreement that he would be back in touch as soon as possible.  I quickly ran to my meeting, for which I was now thirty minutes late, to be met with shocked faces and whispers.  Word travels quickly in these parts.


October 11, 2008 - Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Awesome, Ang. That’s the great thing about writing. You can take the worst personal experiences and put them in a story.

    Comment by Mike | October 23, 2008 | Reply

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