Many people spend a substantial amount of time in front of a screen. Today, the screen is often a computer, a tablet, or a phone. However, we still seem to spend quite a bit of time in front of the television. This was certainly true a couple of decades ago and before the rise of smartphones and before the Internet had quite such a hold. It seems that humans have always been drawn to screens, and it is not always good for us. Take the case of Timothy Dumouchel from West Bend, Wisconsin from the early 2000s. He was quite angry with his television.
Threatening the Cable Company
On December 23, 2003, Dumouchel walked into his local cable office, Charter Communications, with a small claims complaint form. When he entered the building, he supposedly made threats against the employees. He told one employee that if he did not have a supervisor out to him within five minutes, then that employee would be “swimming with the sharks”. While this may have been a threat, it is important to remember that they were in Wisconsin and any oceans would have been a very long road trip away.
The Cable that Wouldn’t Quit
The police were called to defuse the situation. While no one was fed to any of those ferocious Wisconsin sharks, Dumouchel did go on and threaten to sue the cable company in 2004. He said the he had asked to have his cable canceled four years earlier, but the cable company never shut it off, even though they were not charging him for the cable. For most people, this would be seen as quite fortuitous.
However, Dumouchel was not happy. He said that the company was being negligent with the free cable, and that it caused his family to become addicted to the content they were seeing.
He went on to claim that he believed that the addiction to cable was the reason that he smoked and drank every day and that is was the reason his wife was overweight by 50lbs. His children, he claimed, were “lazy channel surfers.” He said that he was suing Charter because they did not give him a decision “as to what was best for myself and my family.” He went on to say that he did not have a choice as to whether he would watch cable, but he did have a choice to go to the store and buy cigarettes.
Of course, he never removed the television from his house or unplugged the cable from the television, which were two things that could have easily remedied the situation. As is the case with so many people, it seems that it was easier for Dumouchel to blame his and his family’s problems on outside sources rather than taking personal responsibility for those issues.
The suit never went to trial, even though Dumouchel claimed that he had a good case. He said that he dropped the lawsuit because he did not want to hurt the cable company. How nice of him.