Compose a 500-word (minimum) persuasive essay that responds to the Larry Elder reading provided
below in this assignment. After reading the Larry Elder article, your paper must specifically address
the yellow highlighted passages in the reading to support your opinion about the topic on which the
source focuses. Agree or disagree with the author but take a firm stand in your underlined thesis in
the introductory paragraph of your essay. Remember, no one can be in the thesis, not even you.
Two sources are required, the Elder source and one secondary source of your choice. Read Section II
below for further guidance on the secondary source. Include in-text citations for both sources and
both full citations on your Works Cited page.
Use one short direct quotation (at least two complete lines of text but no more than four lines) from
the two readings in the final exam essay. You may only use the Bible or other sacred document as a
tertiary source. The accumulated quotations from all sources may not exceed ten lines of text.
POINT OF VIEW: Compose the essay (in every paragraph) in the third person point of view of the
neighbor of Tim Dumouchel in the reading. Do not create any other third persons in the essay.
Construct a Works Cited page that correctly cites the Elder source and at least one additional online
source as explained above. Your additional source must support your thesis, and the source must have
an author (first and last name) and be dated. The Works Cited page does not count in the word count
of the essay assignment. Place the Works Cited page on the page following the end of the essay.
Man with ‘TV addiction’ threatens to sue cable company
Posted: January 15, 2004
1:00 am Eastern
By Larry Elder
© 2010 Laurence A. Elder
Accusing his cable company of “addicting” him, his wife and his kids to television, 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 television – caused his wife to become overweight and his children to grow lazy. (Highlighted Paragraph)
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. (Highlighted Paragraph)
There’s more. Dumouchel claims he previously gave up drinking and smoking, habits he resumed after the
installation and pernicious influence of cable television.
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. (Highlighted Paragraph)
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. (Highlighted Paragraph)
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?)
How many viewers avoid their nightly push-ups and sit-ups to watch Trump berate and behead the applicants?
Given Trump’s deep pockets, a lawsuit against him for participating in this exercise-avoidance scheme could
And what about Stephen King, a man who sells book after book? Surely this prolific scoundrel fattens America
up with each blockbuster, forcing the unwitting reader into an unhealthful choice between a book, a couch and a
bag of chips vs. the closest fitness center. And what about manufacturers of couches and comfort chairs? Some
stores sell lounge chairs that actually massage the back and feet, while the sitter avoids exercise. Stop the
madness! (Highlighted Paragraph)
But Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., seems afflicted with the same syndrome that overtook Dumouchel. As a
response to the nation’s “crisis” of obesity, Lieberman wants the Federal Trade Commission to require parental
advisory labels on “junk food,” and to mandate that restaurateurs provide nutritional information on their
Can the I-can’t-help-myself-someone-made-me-eat approach rescue our fat-plagued nation? Never mind studies
showing that exercise significantly reduces the possibility of heart disease or other obesity-related illnesses. An
overweight person who gets regular exercise reduces his health risks to the level of a thin sedentary person. But
the victicrat mentality requires us to blame somebody – anybody. (Highlighted Paragraph)
As for Lieberman’s requirement that restaurateurs provide nutritional information, fight back! Put the weight-
challenged on notice by providing them a separate eating section, thus insulating yourself from a lawsuit from
someone claiming your delicious offerings forced him into your restaurant and literally made him overeat. Train
your hostess to say, “Obese or non? Regular or morbid?” Or, insist that the customers first stand on a scale, and
tabulate the degree to which the customer exceeds his or her ideal weight. Refuse service if necessary.
Post a sign on the door – next to the one that says, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who enters
without shoes” – with this admonition: “Warning. We retain the right to refuse service to anyone who exceeds
his or her ideal weight as established by Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Federal Trade Commission, our Board of
Directors, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s plaintiff’s bar.”
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