A Suburban Day

Dear Mr. Rogers;

No, not you with the cardigan and the movie with Tom Hanks. I’m talking to the telco Mr. Rogers, who I believe has unfortunately left his mortal coil, but whose name is on the eponymous telco.

I vaguely remember that we may have had a relationship in the past, although if we ever went out for dinner or met for drinks in downtown Toronto it was probably at Bemelmans’, which no longer exists.  And if we did meet then, why am I even calling you Mr. Rogers, because at the time I would be guessing we must have been on a first name basis, because I was living in a bachelor apartment and your services were available in both in my living room and my bedroom. At the same time.

But I am not going to rehash an old relationship and why it didn’t work and whose fault was whose and whether or not the acorn fireplace in my living/bedroom was actually safe to use and why I still had bookshelves made from bricks and boards and so on, and so on, and whatnot. I think we are past that now, or I thought we were.

So let’s cut to the chase, shall we? It has come to my attention that you have been stalking me. There. I have said that out loud.

I got back from the cottage Monday night to discover a cable-ish thing attached to the Rogers cable box (that I didn’t know I had) on the side of my house, running jauntily up my downspout and airily across the sidewalk that runs beside my house, and after it does a reverse slink down the downspout of my neighbor’s eaves, snakes into a box on the side of his house.

Let me spell something out here very clearly: I am not a Rogers customer. Nobody was at my house when these things took place because I have been at the cottage for the past month.

So, of course I called your company, however, I could not easily get a real person on the phone because I am not a Rogers customer. I am without a phone number or account number that the automated customer service phone line would dearly wish I had. Fortunately, I was not born yesterday. I know that if you press ‘0’ you can usually get out of automated phone jail. At which point I got to talk to Mark. 

I told Mark that it seemed a little odd that somebody could come onto my property and make modifications to the exterior of my house without any input from me. Mark took down the details about my name and address and situation. “Oh,” Mark said, “Let me transfer you to technical.”

Dave picked up the call, and I repeated my story about the situation. “Hmm,” said Dave. “I can’t seem to schedule a tech visit because you aren’t a customer.”  Mr. Rogers, I now see how you paved your path to world domination. Too bad you are dead. I wish I was.

I managed to coax Dave to keep trying to work his magic, and after a mere twenty minutes of listening to Kenny G, magic did indeed ensue. Someone would be at my house by six o’clock this very day.  And indeed, the hapless installer person showed up within the appointed window. “Well,” he said, “When someone wants service, we have to give it to them. The box for the Rogers cable is way over there, and we’d have to bury a longer cable so we just hooked into your service and then we’ll bury it some time later. Maybe in the spring.” May I reiterate, I am not a Rogers customer. So, in a nutshell, Rogers has been getting paid for cable delivery to my neighbor, while using my infrastructure as their reliable “last mile.”

In conclusion, Mr. Rogers, what are you planning to do about this? And do not think you can claim your deadness as an excuse. I have a Phillips screwdriver and some pretty hefty garden shears. Either the contraption on my house goes, or you go. Right, you’re still already dead. Never mind. But, when you least expect it, expect it, Mr. Rogers. You have been warned.

Best regards (and I so do not mean that),


P.S. Dave’s minions did not show up today, but my garden shears did. Goodbye Mr, Rogers. Don’t even think about ever contacting me again.

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