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A Hammer Special Report: CPAC Watched

78-year-old CPAC victim Lou Fenwick with the remains of his beloved television set

For the first time in its nine-year history, Canada's Cable Public Affairs Channel, better known as CPAC, has been watched.

When the news reached staff at the channel that quenches Canadians' thirst for programming such as live feeds from the House of Commons, even when in recess, and unmediated coverage of scintillating Parliamentary Committee hearings, programming was immediately interrupted.

On-air host Vince Bejezus, who was in the midst of moderating a panel discussion on Private Senator Public Bill S-39, An Act to Justify Our Existence, made a dramatic on-air announcement on Thursday, July 19, 2001, at 11:34:27, EDT.

After receiving the news in his earpiece, a suddenly animated Bejezus revealed the following: "Our viewer activity monitoring unit has just informed me that we are presently being watched."

The broadcaster continued, to the astonishment of the assembled panel: "While we have yet to receive indication as to exactly who this viewer is, we would like to take this opportunity to say, welcome to CPAC. We hope you enjoy your viewing experience."

Bejezus also made mention of the fact that he was wearing a very expensive tie and alluded to his availability for work and his "impeccably coiffed hair."

It was later the same afternoon that CPAC's state-of the-art V.L.A. (Viewer Locator Anywhere) Unit was able to pinpoint the specific location of said viewer. The V.L.A. Unit pointed to the Ottawa apartment of 78-year-old retired drywaller Lou Fenwick.

To the dismay of CPAC staff, Fenwick is not a network executive, nor is he a political junkie.

"I think it's (politics and politicians) all bullshit," said Fenwick. "I got no time for them guys."

Fenwick explained that his extended viewing session of CPAC was purely accidental:

"I just got back from hanging out at the mall for a few hours, and I was gonna sit down and kill some time in front of the T.V. before I went back to the mall to ogle the girls on the evening shift at New York Fries."

Staff from CPAC's viewer activity monitoring unit respond to the shocking revelation that someone is actually watching (documentary soon to be seen on CPAC)

"So anyway, I'm flipping through the channels, tryin' to remember what station Judge Mills Lane is on, when the Goddamn remote quits workin' on me and I'm stuck on Channel 24! There's all these eggheads sittin' around a table yammerin' on about electoral reform and whether or not those bums deserve raises and all this crap," said a visibly agitated Fenwick.

"I got a good idea for electoral reform, fire the whole lot of 'em!"

Fenwick, who suffers from severe arthritis in his knees, was unable to get off his couch to manually turn the channel away from CPAC. Despite countless tinkering with the remote and repeated attempts to roll or crawl to his television set 10 feet away, he was forced to view the Cable Public Affairs Channel for a full four minutes, until he finally threw his walker through his television screen, ending his CPAC ordeal.

Said Fenwick: "Thank God I still got my aim. Sure, I broke the T.V., but it was worth it. I tell ya something, let this be a lesson-forgetting to get new batteries for the remote almost cost me my life. I think my head was going to explode from boredom if I had to suffer through another 30 seconds of that."

"I thought I was back in Dieppe. Four minutes of hell, I tell ya."

At a special commemorative ceremony to be held next week at his apartment in front of his couch, Fenwick is scheduled to be presented with the Order of Canada "for bravery and courage in the face of adversity." The Canadian cable industry is also planning to buy him a new television set as compensation for his pain and suffering.

Posted on July 27th, 2001

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