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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

It's time for an embarrassing confession: I don't have cable TV or, for that matter, a microwave oven. I'd like to think I compensate by being the proud owner of one laptop and 2 PCs. But that's small comfort when I'm faced with frozen pizza.

"How can you live without cable?" horrified acquaintances often ask. My usual answer is the "I'm too busy to watch TV" defense -- the one nobody believes.

The truth is that whenever a flyer touting the joys of cable invades my mailbox, I'm tempted to get with the program. But my temptation is quickly squelched by a terrifying image -- my husband Mark wielding a remote control, zapping across a gazillion stations. I rip up the flyer the very minute my dizzy spell subsides.

What does this have to do with the Internet, you're probably asking by now, getting ready to do some zapping yourself.

My answer in two words is "net radio." Right after we bought a souped-up computer equipped with sound card and serious speakers, I discovered the one thing even worse than a man brandishing a remote control -- an attention-span-of-a-gnat husband logged on to net radio with speakers boosted to a volume favored by boomers who attended one rock concert too many.

Lest you think I'm exaggerating, here's a snippet of Mark's net radio surfing, which I secretly recorded while hiding under the bed:

"This is Larry King Live, and you're on the . . ." (Zap)

"Feelings, wo-o-o . . ." (Zap)

". . . don't kill people, people kill..." (Zap)

"Our estate planning seminars . . ." (Zap)

"But doctor, don't you think it's hypocritical to treat online addiction online?" (Zap)

"You are listening to C-Span 2 on AudioNet being broadcast . . ." (Zap)

"And now a word from our . . ." (Zap)

"The Honorable Senator is trying to obfuscate . . ." (Zap)

"Wo-o-o" (Zap)

"I respectfully promulgate legislation that would require that all laws in futura be drafted in simple language comprehendible by . . ." (Zap)

"Incense and crystals . . ." (Zap)

"Do you think I have a big butt?"

"I wouldn't dare comment on your butt, but . . ." (Zap)

"This year, from the Director of Naked Gun . . ." (Zap)

"The program you are trying to access is currently being archived. Please come back . . ." (Zap)

"Let it be, let it be . . ." (Zap)

"This is 'The Gaming and Gambling Show.' The odds . . ." (Zap)

By this point, the odds of my doing something rash were 100 to 1. But I resisted the impulse to scream "Let it be!" and I remained hidden for another hour of Mark's romp through new age, old age, rock, doc, and jock net radio shows. After all, I'll need evidence if I'm ever indicted for some unspeakable act involving a mouse cord and speaker wire.

Only kidding -- Mark's a terrific husband! And I'm sure he'll eventually forgive me for crashing the sound card and selling our speakers.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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