For unlawful cable knowledge

—Mother Ducker

A: Well, Mother Ducker, first and foremost: Comcast cable? Excuse Ace’s ignorance, but Ace thought Adelphia was King Cable in Charlottesville. Confused, Ace poked around the business listings in the phone book and the “coms” went as follows: Comair, Comberg, Combs, Comdial.

 Ace then made some inquiries at Adelphia. No Comcast competition ‘round here, said they. This leads Ace to believe that you, Mother, were misled and that the friendly local cable provider to which you mean to refer is Adelphia. Ace will henceforth operate under that assumption.

 Aside from the Comcast confusion, Adelphia’s Nancy Murphy, vice president of law and public policy for the central regional office (including Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky), did anything but poo-poo Ace’s question about where to complain about dirty language on basic cable.

 If someone has a problem with the content on basic cable, Murphy suggests he writes to his local cable office to the attention of the general manager. In the case of Charlottesville, that would be Lon Carruth. But frankly, since the cable offices have no editorial control over the content of the channels to which they contract out, it’s unlikely that anything would come of such a lodged complaint.

 “I would think,” however, qualifies Murphy, “that the more direct route would be to lodge a complaint with the programmer.” In other words, if you don’t like the nonsense spewing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s pretty little mouth, mail or phone in your complaints directly to FX.

 But may Ace digress, get sentimental for a moment and offer a suggestion based on experience? You see Ace, too, has a mother. Mama Atkins also worried about keeping Baby Ace’s vocabulary as innocent as possible for as long as possible. Hence, rules were instituted in the Atkins’ household—like PBS ONLY, BITCH—and Baby Ace was forced to break for the love of Bill Cosby.

 So lay down the law, Mother Ducker, and see if that keeps the kiddies away from those bad, bad channels. Until your babies are old enough to know how to break them, rules work splendidly. And once they reach that rebellion age, your kids will be cursing anyway—learning it in school, no less—and you’ll just have to get used to it.