When J and I were in the moving process and told people we didn't have cable at the new place and might not get it, they (the ones searching for some higher good in this world of temptation and material goods, anyway) would smile and make false statements that they actually meant and hoped to be true, like, "That...is....so great. You are going to read so much." The only truly admirable bout of literary activity that has taken place in our cable-less house was my obsessive reading of the newest Harry Potter book last weekend, especially Saturday morning when I laid on the couch for about four hours, unshowered, muttering "just one more chapter," until I finished the book. When the dogs cried to be let out I told them to go to sleep and when I was interrupted because I had to get up to go to the bathroom I got annoyed with the frailty of my body. So really, not admirable at all.
Other than that, the reading's been normal. What hasn't been normal, however, since the disappearance of cable television stations from my life, is the amount of time I spend watching the BBC comedy "The Office."
We only own the first season, although I highly recommend both seasons and "The Office" special. Lately when I've been in the mood for something familiar and cable-ish I put in the DVD and watch the episodes for the 100th or so time. I swear. I've watched them a lot of times.
And now that my friends have all watched them a lot of times, we like to quote "The Office" on a regular basis. Many of us share a favorite episode in which the office characters undergo training with an outside expert in order to better work together as a team. In our favorite of favorite moments in this episode, main character David Brent is doing a role play with the training expert. Brent is a hotel customer, the other a hotel clerk. The point is that the clerk doesn't care about the customer's complaint and that's bad customer service. But as Brent doesn't understand the exercise and only wants to win, he spends his time during the role play attempting with all his might to get the "clerk" to listen to his troubles, at the height of the exercise, shouting, "There's been a rape up there!"
So when we go out to bars, and driving in cars, and walking along streets, we, my friends and I, like to shout in our best English accents, "There's been a rape up there!" and I've just recently realized that maybe that's not the best idea.