On being strangled by The Cable
By GORDON ATCHESON
IT'S TOUGH being stuck in the middle of a feud
between two of Ann Arbor's corporate enterprises.
It's left me winded, frustrated, and without a func-
tional television in the midst of the Republicans' equiv-
alent of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.
The tale is that of the television in my apartment,
which nowv features 23 channels of snow. It's cable-
TV snow, by the way, for which I shell out $15 a
But lo, the crystal clear images hit a mammoth
blizzard last Friday, larger than any since the Donner
party tried to cross the Rockies a hundred years
ago - and got stock for the entire winter.
Well, I called Ann Arbor Cablevision, Inc. - here
after known as the party of the first part - to solicit
the services of a repairman to fix what had somehow
He arrived and duly informed me the entire apart-
ment building had been intentionally disconnected from
the cable, and if I desired an explanation of this rather
unusual state of affairs I should call the office.
THAT PHONE CONVERSATION yielded the infor-
mation that one of my fellow tenants had refused
to pay the party of the first part for cable services
rendered As a result, the party of the first part con-
tacted the apartment's managers: McKinley Asso-
ciates - here after known as the party of the second
Party of the first part asked party of the second
part for the right to enter the apartment of the de-
linquent tenant and remove the magic box that makes
the cable work. Upon which, for some season, party
of the second part told party of the first part to ro-'
tate on it.
In retaliation, party of the first part turned off the
cable - which unfortunately hooks into all the apart-
ments and cannot be disconnected from any one with-
out unhooking the rest.
That's all she wrote, at least with regard to my
But party of the first part politely suggested I call
party of the second part to voice my discontent with
paying for a service I was not receiving.
Somehow, I didn't figure that would move party of
the second part too much since I had been paying them
all year for what I considered substandard service. Ah,
the joys of student living.
A MIIlDDLE LEVEL, DROOG answered the phone for
party of the second part and offered to call back
the next day with further information about the prob-
lem. Of course, that was pure fertilizer - I had just
finished explaining to the droog what the difficulty
When I asked for a more affirmative response, the
droog (who was obviously well-trained) waited until
I patsed for a breath and hastily said "goodbye" and
Now, that cut it.
I called back and demanded an upper level pencil
pusher. The only upper level pencil pusher in party of
the second part's -office refused to take my call, ac-
cording to another droog who answered my second
Seething, -I spit out my name and number. And
threatened to call back the next day and tie up their
lines for another 15 minutes.
Then, I leaned back in my chair. I exhaled. And
asked myself where I could buy a snow shovel in the
middle of August.
Gordon Afcheson is a former . Daily co-editor-in
The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, August 18, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552
A Ford-Armstrong ticket?
AS GERALD FORD sat listening to Senator Howard
Baker of Tennessee deliver classic Republican doc-
trine in pretty fair rhetorical fashion Monday night he
may have thought: "That's the guy for me." If Ford is
nominated, Baker would offend few and would be a stir-
ring campaigner where Ford fails.
If not Baker, some other vigorous young Republican
will undoubtedly catch Ford's eye, provided he is neither
too far left nor too far right.
The "he" of that statement is unfortunate; Ford will
almost certainly choose a male running mate, and will
ignore the opportunity to catch the imaginations of many
by naming Anne Armstrong, U. S. ambassador to Great
While there seems little chance that Ford would ask
a woman to run with him, there is no doubt that a man
possessing Armstrong's position and reputation would
figure strongly in Ford's considerations. The reception
for Barbara Jordan at the Democratic convention was
evidence that the nation is ready to accept a woman as
president, and Ford could draw much of the campaign
attention to himself by taking the initiative in this area.
The move would be partially pragrmatic and par-
tially symbolic. It would probably draw the votes of many
women, while putting to an end forever the anti-woman
stigma of big-time American politics.
It could be the smartest move of the year.
C>E.4-r14 Of ASALU"mAW-
.r ' h
, .' u,. ,_.
What stays these
couriers from the
of their rounds?
By BARBARA ZAHS
TMAYBE IT ALL STARTED when I mailed a letter
to Brighton without a zip code. Mr. Zip has prob-
ably never forgiven me for the sin. Or maybe the tip
we gave our mail carrier at Christmas - we all thought
it was pretty generous - wasn't quite generous enough.
But there is one thing of which I am certain: the
United States Postal Service hates me.
Every week I'm forced to piece together the re-
mains of my Time in order to find out who's on the
cover. When I'm lucky enough to get my copy at all,
There's a kind of Bermuda Triangle between my
mailbox and the post office branches - letters snatch-
ed from their routes, packages disappearing without a
trace, leaving despairing senders and receivers without
The original copy of my June phone bill is still float-
ing in some unknown cosmos. I had to call the phone
company to get a duplicate copy of the bill so my
phone service wouldn't be disconnected; was there a
conspiracy by the great communications empires? Now
that I mention it, it occurs to me that my television has
been on the blink lately, too.
Much to my amazement, two letters actually man-
aged to make their way to my mailbox last week.
But there was a catch: the letters - properly ad-
dressed - were mailed in June. The people at the post
office could offer no explanation for the six week delay.
In early July, 1 sent a letter to a friend in Arizona
with whom I'd been corresponding regularly for sev-
eral months. My friend had received at least ten let-
ters from me; why, then, did this letter return to my
mailbox stamped "Return to sender - addressee un-
known"? I certainly knew who my friend was. I sent
the letter again, but haven't heard from my friend
since. Perhaps the post office spirited her away along
with my letter to her.
A FTER ALL PHIS, there is little doubt in my mind
that the Post Office 'bears me a genuine grudge.
Simple human error could not nossibly account for the
incredibly poor service. T"" -""tered up the courage
to complain a few times. "'s foiled in the act
by constantly busy phone li- Either this is another
branch of the conspiracy, planned by Bell Telephone,
or the lines are plugged up by other irate patrons grip-
ing about their own problems. Of course, I could mail
in a complaint
Barbara Zahs is a Daily assisAsn night editor.