Michael Macrone
Articles & Essays
The NewPaper, September 8, 1982

Cable and Suds

by Michael Macrone and The Mad Peck

Video Week story

The big news this week is that cable TV has finally come to Providence. Well, it’s about time. Considering that a viewer in this fair city can live a few blocks away from where they get a dozen channels and not be able to pull in more than two or three of ’em, the magic of cable is long overdue. Thanks a lot, Providence Journal Company. If we weren’t such decent Christian sorts here at Video Deluxe we’d hope that some demented youth, his brain twisted beyond repair by being forced to grow up on a steady diet of Channel 6, steals into the bedchambers of your board of directors and brutally dismembers one and all with a chainsaw as they sleep.

Look, guys, we’re into greed as much as the next fella (maybe even a little more), but for you to have condemned the half of the local populace that lives on the wrong side of your respective hills to truly rotten TV reception for over 15 years while your lawyers waged a dog-in-the-manger battle to block anyone else from getting the local cable franchise is a really astounding display of avarice. Oh well, what can we expect from a newspaper that once took a wild and crazy photo which had been staged for an advertising campaign and ran it (without the models’ consent) on Mother’s Day under the headline, “What Must Their Mothers Think of Them?” Nice guys!

Anyway, cable is finally here, and we’ll be writing about it a lot. That is, as soon as it gets to our street (hint, hint). Meanwhile, we’ll just keep watching the same old same old and fearlessly expose perfidy and mendacity wherever we find it. Like, for example, the latest phony TV propagated menace: dehydrated sudsy residue in your laundry.

Perhaps you have seen the recent Dash commercials in which a Mrs. Burns has the tranquility of her fictional existence shattered by the announcer’s voice alerting her to the fact that her kids’ togs are loaded with latent suds. Of course, if this were the case in real life Mrs. Burns would probably call the repairman to straighten out her washing machine’s rinse cycle.

But in this little drama a simpler solution is proposed. If she switches from the laundry product she is now using to Dash, nobody will tumble to the fact that her wash is loaded with detergent residue. Since Dash doesn’t produce a lot of bubbles like soap or detergents with frothing additives, her family can sweat away to their heart’s content and even get caught in a monsoon without the embarrassing suds ruining their sartorial splendor. Of course, Mrs. Burns can take that money she would have spent fixing her washer and blow it at a health spa or wherever.

Fortunately, there are still a few organizations left who believe that good old-fashioned straight talk is the way to snag a viewer’s attention. We were overjoyed to see that our favorite PSA radio characters, Sgt. Braxton of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Ret.) and his lead dog Zing (also Ret.) have made the transition to the tube. Thanx and a VidLux tip of the hat to The American Land Title Association for bringing us the good sergeant.

That’s it. See ya at The Miss America Pageant on Saturday!

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First published in the Providence, RI alternative weekly The NewPaper (September 8, 1982)

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