"Three hundred dollars!" Bob Bendix said to his wife, Betty. "How did we run up a $300 cable-TV bill last month?"
"Calm down, dear," she replied. "It's mainly because you got drunk over the holiday weekend and insisted on watching all 10 NFL replays at $5 apiece, in addition to the free game-of-the-week on network TV. Then you fell asleep during 'Deep Throat' and it ran seven times. That was another $21."
"Let me see that," Bob said, grabbing the itemized computer card which he always confused with the phone bill. "What about this, huh? Don't tell me I watched the 'Star Wars' festival, parts One through Four, at $40!"
"That's because the kids watched it three times. Besides, you made a deal, 'Star Wars' instead of that videocassette series they wanted: '25 Years of Rock and Roll' in 25 volumes."
"They've already got hundreds of cassettes they've only watched once!" Bob screamed.
"Yes, but their Betamax is broken," Betty reminded him, "and they couldn't use mine because I just got my new 'Tape of the Month Club' selection, 'Me, Myself and I - How to Triple Your Self-Potential.'"
"Couldn't you wait until that came out in 'Paperback Television?'"
"You mean those cheap video discs? Our Discovision system is always broken. Last week side one of 'Jaws 2' spun off the turntable and almost decapitated the record on videodiscs like you can on the Betamax. And even though the programs are cheaper, all they have is old movies."
"That does it," Bob declared. "This month we're going to just watch free TV. Hand me that TV Guide."
Betty picked up what looked like a small phone book. With all the cable channels, plus super-stations brought in from all over the country, not to mention free TV, TV Guide was an inch thick.
Bob flipped through the pages. "Now let's see. Maybe one of those new sitcoms shot entirely on-location using microcams. Here, how about 'RecVee'? Tonight's episode: Archie and Edith are arrested at the Mexican border when a statue they bought turns out to be filled with marijuana."
"I'd rather watch 'Dinner With Barbara,'" his wife said. "Sadat, Brezhnev, President Brown, and the Prime Minister of Israel are going to discuss a peace settlement over a home-cooked meal of matzoh balls and pork chops on Barbara Walters' patio."
"I say we watch public television," Bob suggested brightly. "Now that that guy Silverman is running it, I like a lot of their shows."
"We should definitely get the kids to watch that new PBS children's show, 'Chromakey Lane,'" Mrs. Bendix added.
"What's that about?"
"It teaches kids how TV is made, so they're not so susceptible to sugar ads and stuff like that. They say Silverman created it because he got scared about what television was doing to his own children. I hear his son had an identity crisis after watching that popular Saturday morning show, 'Bozo The Clone.'"
"Too highbrow for me," Bob said. "I'm going to turn on that independent station. They still have my favorite show."
"What's that?" Betty asked.
"'I love Lucy.'"