This is my monthly cable bill.

For basic cable, including channels that run reruns of series I was never interested in seeing the first time: $7.92.

For reruns of series I’ve never heard of, starring actors who are now doing hair-growth commercials: $8.47.

For the cable box, which I am required to have so that it can sit there on top of my VCR which I bought just as VCRs were going out and DVDs were coming in, although it does offer a digital clock that I don’t have to change for daylight savings time: $4.19.

For broadcast cable, which gives me .39 of one station, but only if I turn the set toward the window and hit it with a rake: $6.88.

For the basic cable Tier 1 list of channels, which includes three stations broadcasting in Serbo-Croat, two wrestling channels where they wrestle in Serbo-Croat, and a channel which only broadcasts movies starring Drew Barrymore: $35.43.

For the cable remote, the one which, I think, is not still under the couch pillow: $1.85.

For the cable remote which remains under the couch pillow: $2.22.

For the universal cable remote that replaces the other cable remotes or maybe just says it does: $6.47.

For the manual that explains how the universal cable remote works and is available in four languages, none of them English: $6.01.

For the universal remote’s mute button, which is actually not identified as such on the universal cable remote and so I keep hitting the color contrast button instead: $.43.

For contributing to a reduction in Medicare payments: $49.63.

For digital cable, which manages to include all the channels I want, but from three different tiers, which means I have to choose either the spring roll channel from Tier 1 or the egg drop soup channel from Tier 2. And although I do get the three I want, I also receive 3,561 channels I don’t want including Disney’s Chicken Teriyaki channel, in HD: $81.14.

For the premium movie channel, including the entire Kung Fu Panda series, in 3-D: $78.47.

For not getting the entire Kung Fu Panda series: $112.93.

For not having to watch a shopping network: $178.22.

For high speed internet, including low-speed pop-up advertisements for mortgage re-financing where two women are dancing awkwardly because they got a rate so low that no one else will ever get: $44.99.

Taxes and government-authorized fees, including for the FCC, the CIA, the NBA and a little something for the ASPCA: $17.60.

For helping out with the problem of the national debt: $89.56.

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