Hello, my intended...
It's your old buddy Bobo again with some especially bad news. It would seem that the apartment complex where I currently reside has signed some sort of deal with a local cable provider that basically says - in exchange for a cut of the profits - they are the exclusive provider of non-air programming. The 'catch' being that they're not gonna pony up this kickback unless they have 100% participation. In short, if there's anyone in the development that has non-air TV channels that the approved vendor isn't providing, management gets no tribute money.
Ordinarily, not a problem. I'd long since gotten permission for my dish in full compliance with the lease terms from the previous manager, and so had no worries. But the previous manager retired, and the new one refuses to acknowledge any grandfather deals - especially when they're blocking the bonanza.
I'm told this is actually pretty common practice amongst many multi-resident developments, and I can understand the whole thing from a business perspective. They've gone so far as to say that without 'prior permission' from management, I can't even have a regular antenna - and that proceeding without this permission is a lease violation. Care to guess the likelihood of my getting this permission? Go ahead, it's easy.
So, in order to avoid lease termination and being put on the street by the sheriff, I had to take the dish down Friday. I did.
As a consumer, being told that I can have either 'this' or 'nothing' totally fucking rankles me. I've had my satellite dish up for five years and nobody's complained - quite the opposite, even. Others in the complex have followed my example and got the best TV for their money as is standard in this commercial society. Then the new manager cuts a side deal for some kickback, and I have to take my dish down? It seems so.
I'm fighting it based on the 'what next' principle. If they can force me to take their 'approved' cable, the logical question is 'what next'? Maybe they'll get an 'approved' long-distance carrier, or an 'approved' ISP, or an 'approved' laundry detergent. As a union member I know that when it comes to negotiations, previous precedents set the agenda for further 'changes' and 'allowances' - or in the vernacular, "You never get back what you give up. And they always want more when you give up anything."
I've been fighting it for a while, really. I mean, the package that the 'approved vendor' provides is absolute shit. Fifty five channels? One HBO? One Showtime? The maximum package they offer is about ten bucks less than I pay for the satellite service, but has one-fourth the channels! The fucking inmates in the prison up the street get better cable than they want me to have! Can you believe it? Rapists, pushers and robbers have better TV than a guy that works for a living!
In the United States of AMERICA, even?
Just in case you're not sure where this is heading, the package provided by the approved vendor doesn't include 'SpikeTV'. They've graciously alluded that if 'sufficient interest' in other channels exists, they'll see about adding them in the future.
Translation: Pay us for what we decide to give you, and maybe someday if you're REALLY good we'll give you what you want.
All is not lost, though. I've examined the website of the 'approved vendor' and noted that they do some 'middleman' action for the two satellite services. As far as I can tell from the orders passed to me from management, I am required only to use the products/services the approved vendor supplies - not specifically the same service that they're pumping to the other residents. As loopholes go, it's the fucking Lincoln Tunnel.
So, I'm gonna contact the approved vendor Monday (12/15) and see if they'll work with me to get my satellite back, which they should since it's bigger money than they'll get with the direct feed thing. (Making money is the point, after all.) Then, I'll go to management and get 'permission' to have the approved vendor install new service in my spot. Written permission. Written permission with a perpetuity clause, in case they switch me a new manager in the future.
No, it won't say precisely WHICH service I'll be having installed - just that the vendor will handle that once the permission is given. Bobo's smart, huh?
If everything goes according to plan, I should be back in the saddle by Smackdown. Which means I won't get to see Raw, and thus won't be able to recap it... I guess that means you'll have to watch it yourselves this week. Sorry.
In other news, I was dragged to the CZW pay-per-view over at Viking Hall last night - either as an early Christmas Present from my littlest brother, or because someone needed to do the driving; we still hadn't ironed out the particulars - and to be honest I was very apprehensive about seeing the show. I hadn't been to Viking Hall since the last ECW show, and didn't feel too 'into' the new guys trying to lay a claim to a spot that's home to many treasured memories.
Moreover, I hadn't seen CZW since back when I used to watch it on the local candle-powered, shoestring UHF channel with my now-ex-girlfriend last year. I knew about three of the guys on the roster - Zandig, Ruckus, and Trent Acid. They were running the same 'control of the company' schtick that was all-too-prevalent back then, but to be honest what works as an angle or story-arc for a 'giant company' simply doesn't work for a 'shitbox indy'. It was ridiculous to me that they were acting like controlling the corporation was such a big deal, when they were still battling each other under fluorescent tube lighting in fucking abandoned warehouses and behind local pubs. So, since ridiculous things annoy me, I basically filed them away as 'something I'd catch live one of these days' and never thought about them again.
We got third row for $25 a head, which wasn't bad. Hell that's what ECW used to charge for ringsiders, so apparently inflation hasn't reached the indies as yet. It was a pretty good crowd, but it always is in Philly. The only thing that bothered me was that there was another wrestling ring set up DIRECTLY behind us, and the staff was using it to run cheesesteaks and beer to each side of the hall. The staff was fucking clueless, too. I had to ask twice where my section was, and got two different answers before one of them said, "Just sit where you can." Riiight. After I paid extra for assigned seats, you tell me to take it festival? Minus points.
If that wasn't bad enough, the seating was folding chairs set DIRECTLY front to back to allow about three feet of walking room for the staff to do their grub-runs. I guess that's fine, until you have people SITTING in these chairs. To top it off, we had this one fat pig of a matrat talk some shit about how the aisle 'keeps getting thinner and thinner every trip' and thus more difficult for her to run the food around. "Too bad you can't say the same, huh?" I quipped to get a dirty look. If I was stupid enough to buy food there, I'm sure that little one-liner guaran-damn-teed I'd get some 'special sauce', but since I was smart enough to eat BEFORE the show, she'd have no vengeance tonight.
It was a pretty good show, all things considered. The guys worked their hearts out in the ring, and didn't really get too much in the way of poppage from the crowd. I counted about eighteen 'holy-shit' chants throughout the night. They were all deserved. Then the 'boss' Zandig comes out and explains that they were gonna have a tag-match with a couple guys from NWA (Azriel and something), but they (his exact words were 'those pussies') were supposedly stuck somewhere working a show in Jersey and couldn't make the PPV. So to compensate, they brought out Kid Kash (I think it's what he said it was, and it looked like him from the third row)to battle this ICP-looking dude called 'Joker', and the two of them fucking tore the house down. You should buy the replay JUST for that match, I'm not fucking joking about it.
In other results, Sonjay (whomever he is) defeated Ruckus (who is a heel now, to my surprise) for the Cruiserweight Belt. It was a fucking CLINIC in there, and was a close second behind that ladder match for the best of the night. Trent Acid retained his Ironman Championship to a time-limit draw at one fall each, and then graciously deigned to allow his challenger five more minutes after the gentle urging of the crowd - and during that add-on fiver he loses that strap. Kinda wish I knew who the fuck the new champ is, but suffice to say it's not Acid.
Then we have an intermission to set up the Cage of Death, and it seems that my section has to be moved now. I can only guess what the people watching the PPV live got to see during that haphazard mess, but I wind up sitting near the ring with the thumbtacks - and looking across the gathered throng to the cage. In short, it was piss-poor planning all around as many of us took umbrage at being assimilated into the standing room section - especially when we were no longer sitting with the good view we'd fucking paid extra for. The people in the bleachers had better seats for the main event than I did - since they could at least fucking SEE it. Minus points.
We're back on, and the Rockin' Rebel seems to be the promotor for CZW (which just about explains everything to me) and he addresses the crowd about how they're getting complaints about CZW (can't imagine why) and he's tired of it. So, if anyone has any complaints, they can see him personally and he'll hear them out and work with the plaintiffs to make sure that he doesn't have to hear any calls from his lawyers about shit that happened at CZW that's really just the efforts of rival promotors that want them shut down. Goody. Conspiracy angles! It couldn't POSSIBLY be that customers sometimes get hurt from the unsecured iron railing slamming into where they're sitting in the front row when someone whips a guy into it. It couldn't POSSIBLY be that people don't get what they PAY FOR - for example, good seats. Noooo, then it would be THEIR fault, and we just can't have that. Right.
So, we finally go to the whole Cage of Death deal, and Zandig's getting worked over four on one by the 'corporate sponsored' Hi-V (High Five, not H.I.V, as I'd thought previously) when they send out the next guy to hopefully save Zandig.
The place goes bananas with love for the old ECW alumnus. Jack comes out, and the HIV look to be pissing themselves at this turn of events... This is what I call a tipoff, but the other folks were pretty into it as Jack comes out to the cage and LAYS WASTE to Zandig Orndorff style. Ooo, a swerve. Jack's a heel. The match continues, and there's some pretty interesting spots during the match - like when the catwalk fence gives way and a guy almost falls on us, and another guy getting sidewalk slammed off said catwalk onto the aforementioned million thumbtacks. Acid and his manager are both on some guy's shoulders, and get Death Valley Driven from the top of the cage through a table on the floor. It goes on for a while more, and the heels of HIV have a 2 on 1 advantage when Zandig gets a mic and yells 'NATE! NOW!!!" Nate Hatred then turns on his HIV buddies, and wins the match for Zandig's team. I didn't stay for the standard 'post match' whatever, since I wanted to go home (it was about midnight). Shit, I wanted to go home an hour earlier, when they started moving my section to someplace where I could no longer see the show.
If you're curious about what this CZW thing is, allow me to recommend you buy the Cage of Death V PPV. The action is flat-out astounding for the price. As for CZW itself, as far as I'm concerned the place pretty much should have a banner that says 'We Will ALWAYS Be Small Time'.
But maybe that's just because the evil rival promotors got to me... Heh.
You're welcome. See you SOON.