Anyone else remember the absolute thrill of these five words:
THE CABLE GUY COMES TODAY.
I do – when we first got cable hooked up to our television back in the
early 80s, it was a huge deal.
I had experienced the wonders of HBO at my grandparents’ and friends’
houses and finally...finally this luxury was coming to my family.
The cable box back in the day (which you had to get up and go manipulate
when you wanted to chance channels) was big and clunky, but it sat on
top of our TV set like a prize trophy. Wood grain, big buttons, and
wires coming out of every corner—it wasn’t pretty, but it was totally
I don’t remember exactly what year our cable was installed but I do know
that THANK GOD we had it by August, 1 1981 as I was planted in front of
the big glowing box to watch the launch of my beloved
MTV. Honestly, as silly as it sounds I will
never forget that day!
Movies on my television, 24/7! And MTV 24/7!
The future was upon us and I was in television heaven.
Some movies I remember playing on a loop on HBO back in the early 80s
- Mommie Dearest
- The Elephant Man
- American Graffiti
- Kramer vs. Kramer
- Salem’s Lot
These movies were watched over and over again by me and my brother Mike –
we could recite (and still do to this day) most of the dialogue from
Mommie Dearest which both amused and confused our parents.
Other movies that were watched (mostly at slumber parties, quietly,
without parental permission) were Porky’s and So Fine
(the one about the jeans with the holes in the butt starring Ryan
O’Neal.) Very risky/raunchy viewing back then.
And what about slipping the cable guy a handful of cash to give you some
free movie channels? Does that still happen today? I don’t think any of
the dads in the early 80s were above palming a 20 dollar bill to the man
in the jumpsuit - with a few quick wire connections you were hooked up
to The Movie Channel and Cinemax too!
With today’s On Demand and Netflix features we can watch movies on our
television sets with the click of the remote – no searching through the
“TV Guide” to see what time The Champ starring Ricky Schroder
and Jon Voight would be on The Movie Channel (another one that was on
continually back in the day...).
It’s easier today, but with all the endless technology we have, it doesn’t
all seem quite as exciting, does it?
And boy...oh boy...I want my MTV.
Lori Ferraro is the author of
the website Drawn to
the 80s where the greatest hits of the 1980’s are illustrated by her
five-year-old son. Her blog
www.onceuponaproduct.com is where you can read about her obsessions
with make up, food, Mick Jagger, big hair, boys and yes...the 80's.