A Cinecle View – Revenge is a DISH Best Served Cold, Part 1

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

I haven’t had a phone bill in more than 10 years.

One of the perks at my most recent job was my phone being paid for by the company. It was free phone, free beer and all the kittens I could pet.


No more job means no more phone and no more beer. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of feline companionship at home.


It’s the look that says, “Less picture taking, more dish filling.”

But you can’t set up job interviews on a cat, at least not without moderate to severe blood loss, so Mrs. Marion and I made a journey that I dreaded more than almost any other: a trip the AT&T store to add me to her phone plan.

I’ve never had good luck at the AT&T store. Every visit has taken hours tanks to technical glitches, forgotten passwords, the overall general incompetence of the staff and a complete lack of Lily.


But this day was destined to be different. Though no Lily, Michael was excellent and breezed through adding me to my wife’s plan despite our nearly complete lack of preparation. Forgotten account password? Michael coached her through the retrieval process quickly and efficiently without even a hint of Jimmy Fallon’s IT Guy from Saturday Night Live.

Forgotten PIN number? Michael helped her reset it and gave us a handy blue folder preprinted with slots for us to write down our passwords, pin numbers and blood types so that we’d never lose them again.


Applying a 17 percent discount to our account because my wife is government employee? His fingers danced on his iPad like Harry Connick’s on a baby grand, and it was done in seconds. Michael was no Lily, but he was for sure the next best thing.


That is, until we were wrapping up our account alterations and he asked two questions that would nearly change my life.

“So, Tony, if you don’t mind me asking … who is your television provider?”

My head snapped away from our pretty blue folder and toward him.

“Comcast …”

I could see peripherally my wife silently signaling with her hands for Michael to stop.

“Are you happy with them and their service?”

My wife rolled her eyes, slipped silently from the table and slinked away toward the iPhone cases.

“Happy with them? I loathe them.”


“Once I made one of their phone techs cry.


“Yes. Another time I dropped more F-bombs on a phone tech than McNulty and Bunk in episode four of season one of The Wire.

“Been there,” he replied, nodding as he removed a paper from a drawer beneath the table.

“Almost got another to hang up on me by telling him that his company was evil and greedy.

“Well, you weren’t lying,” he said as he pulled a pen from his shirt pocket and began scribbling on the paper.

“I once threatened to commit a hate crime targeting only people wearing Xfinity logos on their shirts.”

“Wow,” he finished his scribbling and replaced his pen in his pocket.

“I write a weekly column for a pop culture website in LA and six editions of it have been about how much I hate Comcast and why.”

“Sounds like excellent reading, I’ll have to check that out. In the mean time, you should check this out,” he smirked, sliding the paper across the table to me.

“Tony, these, are our DirectTV packages.”

I swallowed hard and grabbed the paper from the table top.

“Other than their customer service, which, I agree is very hit and miss, what do you dislike most about Comcast?”

“They took away SpikeTV, IFC, CMT and a few other channels that we liked and RAISED our bill; including raising the rental fees on two nonHD boxes that we’ve had for years – it’s not new tech!”

“Yeah … why don’t you take a look at our Choice package, it’s the one in the blue band.”

They were all there. Spike … IFC … CMT.

“We can get you into that package for the price I wrote in the write margin, with no installation fee and … how many boxes do you have now?”

“Two HD and two digital SD converters.”

“We can give you four HD boxes … with no monthly fees; the price in the margins is what you’ll pay.”

“Danielle! Come over here for a minute, please …”

My head was spinning with bloodlust. At last I would vanquish my decade old foe; at last I would have revenge.

It was beginning to look like Milana was no Michael.


Okay, I take it back!

Danielle returned to the table. Michael laid out the offer for her and she smiled. We were so happy at the prospect of ridding ourselves of Comcast that we didn’t think it the whole way through; we didn’t measure our expectations.

“Now, the only thing is, you’ll either have to find a new internet service provider or stick with Comcast for internet …”


Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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