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Behind the Plate

Maddening musings

Sometimes it's hard for me to think straight when I'm mad. And for some reason, I seem to get mad a lot.

It's not that I have a short fuse or am a violent person or anything like that, it's just that I wonder sometimes if anyone else in the world has any common sense besides yours truly.

You might be wondering what got me upset enough to write about it.

Fair enough.

I've been more than a little annoyed with my cable TV service this week. This is the first time I've had anything more from the cable company than the 70-plus channels you get without a box. Now that I have digital cable and a box, what a headache.

First, my lower channels go out.

And before I go any further, you have to understand one thing: I love TV.

Three calls to customer service and 25 minutes on the phone later, and I was able to fix the problem on my own.

Great customer service.

Then my remote control dies; and it's not one that can be replaced by a universal remote.

After another call to customer service I find out that Grandview has an office that can exchange hardware. So, I drove to Grandview Thursday on my lunch break.

It just so happens that the Grandview office isn't open on Thursdays.

At that point the problems I've gone through are so maddening they almost become funny. I decided not to rip my hair out in handfuls, which you can be sure I wanted to do.

And if my cable problems weren't enough, the Lower Valley has other things that could drive a person mad. The Lower Valley in general is full of good examples of people who seem to lack common sense. You know the people. Heck, you might be one of them.

I'm talking about the kind of people who don't know how to drive; people who don't have any common sense when they're behind the wheel of a 2,000-pound guided missile.

Every time I get in my car in the Valley it seems like I'm taking my life in my own hands. I have to watch out for people who don't understand what a red, octagonal sign means - or what a red light means, for that matter.

I can't count on both hands how many times I've almost been involved in car accidents with people who don't look around, or are oblivious to the fact that there are other cars on the road.

Oh, and one last thing.

Does anybody know, short of driving to Yakima or the Tri-Cities, where I can get a slurpee?

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