Dang it, TV, you know I can't stay mad at you.
I didn't want to have to do this. I wanted to write a perfectly nice update about kittens (get it? "purr-fectly nice?" I'm a humorist!). But unfortunately, humanity has once again left the Deck Area of Complacency, climbed the Ladder of Idiocy, and taken a running leap off the Diving Board of Frivolity into the murky, muddy Pool of Pointless Litigation. Way to go. A Wisconsin man by the name of Timothy Dumouchel wants to sue his cable company for making his wife fat and his children lazy. Seriously. This happened. To people. Apparently Dumouchel cancelled his cable service four years ago, but the cable company kept providing him with channels. However, they did stop billing him. So the Dumouchel family got free cable for four years, and now Tim is suing about it. Makes sense, right?
“I believe that the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife is overweight is because we watched TV every day for the last four years,” Dumouchel stated in a written complaint against the company, included in a Fond du Lac police report.
The details of this case are mind-boggling in their stupidity. It's almost worth simply reprinting the entire article that I linked to above, rather than trying to explain it any further here, since there's really no way I can make this situation sound any funnier than it already is. The man moved his TV into his basement when he cancelled his cable service, but his wife dragged the sucker back upstairs and plugged it in, and lo and behold, the cable was still flowing. Now, you might be wondering, if the whole family was so addicted to television, and Timothy saw this as a problem, why wouldn't he, as the man of the house, do something about it over those four years, such as send his kids outside to play, or call the cable company again, or turn off the fucking TV? Well, it's because Timothy Dumouchel made a promise to his wife that she could watch for as long as the cable was running. And dammit, he's a man of his word! So I guess his wife hasn't moved in four years or something, because she's put on fifty pounds. I don't know why Timothy smokes and drinks every day, though. Let me rephrase that. I know why Timothy smokes and drinks every day. I just don't see what it has to do with watching TV. Back in high school, I'm sure I watched TV every day for four straight years, and I don't smoke and drink every day. Sure, I might drop the occasional daily tab of acid, but at least I stay off the sauce!
Addiction is a serious thing. Except when it's to TV. Then it's called "being a lardass."
The thing that really blows my mind is that Timothy Dumouchel doesn't even seem like the sort of guy a jury is going to have sympathy for. If you can make enough of a sob story out of your case, you can sure just about anybody for anything in this country. But the jury has to like you more than the greedy megacorporation you're trying to swindle... I mean, bring to justice. But in this one, the cable company really comes out looking like the good guy. They gave this family four year - four year - of free cable. That's the American dream, right there! They goofed, this family profited, and now they're not seeking to collect money for all of those years of entertainment. No, the cable company wants to be left alone! They made their mistake, and they're not about to raise a fuss about it. But Timothy, sweet Timothy, he couldn't leave well enough alone. Not only is he suing for getting something that anyone in their right mind would love to have, not only is he throwing away a good thing, but he's been nothing but a bastard all along the line. After he stormed into the cable company to address them with his small claims suit, he caused such a scene by intimidating and even threatening employees that they had to call the police.
The report states Dumouchel gave an employee five minutes to get a supervisor to talk to him or their next contact would be “in the ocean with the sharks.”
Juries tend to have very little sympathy for drinking, smoking couch potatoes who, when they finally get off their fat asses, make other people's lives miserable. And the best part is just what Mr. Dumouchel wants out of this. He is giving the cable company a choice - a choice they never gave him, dammit! - to either pay him five thousand dollars or provide him and his family with three free computers and a lifetime of free internet access. I'll give you a moment to clean the milk off your monitors. Better? Good. Now, assuming the five thousand dollars would just go toward buying computers (or possibly a really bigass TV), does anyone else see something ironic about these demands? "My family is horribly addicted to watching television. Help us by giving us three computers and unlimited free access to the internet so that we may get outside, exercise, and become healthy and productive individuals!" I don't know what planet this makes sense on, but I hope they have nachos.
"Your honor, my client was forced to watch reruns of The Jeffersons for eight, even ten hours a day, and... you know what? Fuck it."
Frivolous lawsuits like this are the bane of a functioning society. It's just another case of some moron deciding that it's easier and more profitable to blame his problems on some faceless company instead of actually taking some responsibility. I mean, I simply can't believe that he could have actually called the cable company and told them that they accidentally didn't turn off his service and that they then didn't cut off his service in a freaking heartbeat. This is really just a belligerent idiot looking for free stuff. Like that McDonald's suit (shameless plug) where the parents tried to sue for their kids being fat, this is one of those fantastic lawsuits where the plaintiff actually has to admit to being a completely useless human being for the case to have any validity whatsoever.
If you ask me, he shouldn't be suing the cable company. It may be their fault the family had cable access, but it's not their fault they watched. Besides, the company is local. It's not quite big enough to appear totally soulless and thus evil in the eyes of a jury. He should sue a bigger target - the television networks. After all, they're the ones who put such addictive programming on the air. They're the ones who had the brazen effrontery to produce shows that the Dumouchel family couldn't resist. What with their fiendish reality shows and their suspenseful game shows and their trashy talk shows and their heartwarming, yet insipid sitcoms. It's the networks, I tell you! It's not good programming, it's just addictive programming. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. I myself know the pains of being hopelessly addicted to the schlock of cable television. My dealer went by the name of Comedy Central.
Ah, my old nemesis. We meet again.
It was the winter of my freshman year in high school when my family first got cable. I was at the beginning of an serious illness that would keep me out of school for the rest of the year (see, humorist!) With my mental faculties so dulled by disease that I couldn't even read, what was I to do but browse through the endless expanse of my newfound cable ocean? And what I found was Comedy Central. Yes, Comedy Central, I've stuck by you since the days of Make Me Laugh. I've seen you through Beat the Geeks, two co-hosts of Win Ben Stein's Money, and that lame game show with Greg Proops. I saw you through The Critic, Duckman, and season after season of South Park. I watched Don't Forget Your Toothbrush or whatever that show was called. I watched Travel Sick and Trigger Happy TV. I've seen every episode of Upright Citizen's Brigade. I watched The Daily Show back when Craig Kilborne was in the chair, and I laughed right along with him as the celebrity guests fumbled the Five Questions. When you made the transition to Jon Stewart, I made it right along with you, and I think we can all agree it worked out for the best. I watched multiple episodes of Strip Mall, although I didn't pay very close attention. I've watched more episodes of the old British Whose Line Is It Anyway than they even made and thanks to you I've seen the Saturday Night Live with Britney Spears at least a dozen times. I've been faithful to you, laughing out of obligation, and in time, I grew addicted to your programming, even when all you were showing were ripoffs of other shows you had already cancelled. And once you got me hooked, what did you give me? The Comedy Central Movie.
I don't get it, Comedy Central. Is your choice of movies your way of saying, "There's more to life than comedy?" Do you think I need a break from laughing, lest I be put in some kind of real medical danger? Because of you, I've seen "Clifford" more times than there are other people in the world who have seen "Clifford." I've seen the first five minutes of "Dutch" at least thirty times, and I've always turned it off. Because of you, I've actually seen "2001: A Space Travesty." And if I ever see "Feds" again, I will personally be forced to burn your station down. That movie was never funny. Not once. Not even a little. You've put me through multiple "Police Academy" disasters, not to mention "Transylvania 6-5000," "My Best Friend Is a Vampire," and the insufferable "Mannequin 2." You've actually shown multiple movies that are kept in the Drama section at my local video store! And when you do occasionally decide to show a genuinely funny movie, you censor it to kingdom come. Look, guys, we all saw the "shit" episode of South Park. We know what you can and can't get away with on your network. Don't waste my time with these hack jobs. When you showed "Dogma," there was roughly four minutes of actual unedited dialogue in the entire thing.
The internet has informed me that this graphic depicts my anti-censorship stance. I'm not sure how, exactly.
I think the worst crime of all is when you show "Blazing Saddles," which you tend to do every so often to fulfill your yearly Mel Brooks quota. It's one thing to edit out the F-bombs, but you guys take all of the sound out of the farting scene! For a minute and forty-five seconds, it's just a bunch of cowboys sitting and eating in total silence. If you know where to look, you can catch one of them lean slightly, and maybe you can guess what they're doing. That's one of the greatest fart scenes of all time, and you ruin it. Who are you protecting from farts? Do you think little kids honestly don't know what a fart is? Guess what? Kids fart too! In fact, I'm willing to bet that for every time you've shown that scene with no sound, some seven year old kid watching has actually farted during the onscreen silence. And the little bastard probably laughed about it, too! Because farts are funny! That is something that we can all agree on. Farts are a great uniter. Across all cultural barriers, at least everyone can enjoy a good stinky fart. And you take that away from us. But that's not all. You also think our children's sensitive ears shouldn't be tainted with the mention of the luscious Lily von Shtupp. Every time she's mentioned, all we hear is "Lily von Sh-." Let me clue you in on something. Anyone who needs to be protected from the word "shtupp" doesn't know what the word "shtupp" means.
And "Blazing Saddles" is a movie that has already been hacked to bits. They say only a third of the original script made it past the censors into the theatrical release. For instance, in the classic scene between Sheriff Bart and Lily von Shtupp, when she turns out the lights and says she wants to see if what they say about black men is really true, we hear the sound of a zipper and then she cries out, "It's twoo, it's twoo" and then the scene ends. In the script, Bart is supposed to have a line there: "Baby, you're holding my arm." Now that's a tragic loss for moviegoers everywhere. As a side note, I never put much faith in that rumor about black men. Then I saw "Any Given Sunday," which is not a particularly funny movie, but it does have this one locker room scene and there are all these white guys walking around, and I thought, "Hey, I measure up pretty nicely." Then one black guy walks by. You only see him from the waist down, so it's hard to identify him, but I could tell that it was clearly Babar, King of the Elephants. I could tell by the leisurely sway of his massive trunk. That, and the fact that I heard Henry Mancini in the background. But I've gotten off topic.
My point is, Timothy Dumouchel, don't sue your local cable provider. Leave those poor people alone. Sue a network! They're the ones who hook you in with their addictive programming, then cram a load of crap so massive that even Entertainment Weekly couldn't pretend to like it down your throat. Besides, no one actually works for a network. They're big, faceless corporations with tons of money. Sue them all you want! You won't be hurting any real people, just executives! The jury will be behind you. You, uh, may want to lay off the shark threats, though.
Weekend Web 10th Aniversery Special
Hello friends, Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez here to kick off our tenth aniversery special here at Weekend Web. What a journey it's been folks. After ten long years we have seen goth role-playing vampire boards, teen sex advice forums, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and my thirty-two month stay in a medium security correctional facility for crimes against dumb internet people who can't take a joke. This week we have an extra long feature for you, a whole sixteen pages of dipshits, retards, and other internet anomolies. Take a gander at what awaits you!
This week we take a look at AWP faggot campers, the hellmouth of the internet, a gaggle of dank castle parchment writing role playing freaks, and a forum whose owner actually expects you to pay ten dollars to enter. It's all here on The Weekend Web!
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
Old mixed signals feeling a little stale? Try some new ones!
day 2: still working on the car
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.