Larry Elder

Accusing his cable company of "addicting" him, his wife and his kids to TV, a Wisconsin man threatened to sue Charter Communications. Tim Dumouchel of Fond du Lac said his family's viewing habits -- forced on him by cable TV -- caused his wife to become overweight and his children to grow lazy.
But wait, Mr. Dumouchel later said that, no, he finds his cable company liable because the company continued providing service when the man requested its cancellation. How long did the company continue providing service? For four years after the request for service termination.

 Why not simply disconnect the box or cut the cord? Well, said Dumouchel, he thought such an act illegal and did not wish to face prosecution. Why not simply refuse to watch? He said that his remote control exerted a power so irresistible that he could not force himself to stop watching.

 There's more. Dumouchel claims he previously gave up drinking and smoking, habits he resumed after the installation and pernicious influence of cable TV.

 Also, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter, Dumouchel threatened the cable TV company when, apparently, a supervisor did not promptly talk to him. According to the police report, Dumouchel said that if a supervisor failed to quickly speak with him, someone would be "swimming in the ocean with the sharks." Dumouchel later said that by "sharks," he referred to the media.

 Dumouchel also retreated a bit on his kids and wife. He now says he never accused his kids of laziness (although the police report says so). He also says that his wife became angry when he called her "fat."

 Good news, though. The cable company discontinued his service last December. But Dumouchel bought an antenna allowing him to watch the Green Bay Packers.

 But why stop here? Surely Dumouchel might wish to consider other possible co-defendants. Take, for instance, the NFL. Dumouchel clearly enjoys his Packers. Following this past weekend's entertaining but losing playoff game to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers might face a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

 And how about those infernal, yet popular reality TV shows? In a new one, "The Apprentice," 16 candidates compete for a high-paying job with none other than Donald Trump as the victor's boss. The Donald gets to fire someone every week, with the last person standing inheriting a $250,000 job running some Trump enterprise. (Has anyone, by the way, informed the current holder of the job?)

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit