Vintage, profanity-laced cable complaint that was hand-to-handed on cassette tape through the Canadian school system [NSFW]

Sixohsix sez, "Via @kellyoxford's tumblr, this profanity-laden rant from an extremely unhappy Canadian cable subscriber went viral via cassette tape and entertained junior-high-schoolers for years. Warning: LOTS of swearing."

Be sure to listen through to the end for the classiest coda imaginable from Mr Anonymous Potty Mouth.

Cable Complaint [NSFW] (Thanks, Sixohsix, via Submitterator!)



  1. I knew men like this growing up. You just know he was clutchin’ a 50 (a stubby of course) the whole time and smokin’ Export A’s.

  2. Heh, funny. Strangely, there actually exists a similar recording from Norway. I first heard it in the late eighties, when a friend of mine brought his cassette tape copy of the recording home from holiday. The recording contains 3-4 minutes of profanities from a father trying to fix a washing machine. At one point the mother of the family comes in and offers her help, to which the father answers “you can go to hell both you and the f***** machine. You’re not worth a washing machine, you should have had a washboard”

    (in norwegian)

    1. Comparing the two is quite interesting. While the canadian one (that sounds to my foreign ears quite similar to someone further south) is all sexually themed, the norwegian one reference the devil and hell.

  3. It’s not “dog-faced” but “dogan-faced”
    Dogan is a derogatory term for someone of the catholic faith. Often used in the 70’s and 80’s against french-speaking Canadians. Because of this and the caller’s accent, I always assumed that the call was from the Eastern part of Ontario. This tape was legendary at my school and the rumour was that it came from an answering machine from the cable company in Kingston.

    1. I used to hear dogan in the 70s in Hamilton too. I think a lot of the old guys who fought in the war used it.

  4. Reminds me of the tapes I used to hear in middle school like the original Jerky Boys tapes and the legendary Red Deutsch and the Tube Bar tapes. Simple pleasure.

    1. Yeah, he probably messed around with the remote and got it back on the right channel. Voila! He thought the company fixed it.

  5. My late Aunt Muriel sounded exactly like that. She was a farmer near Barrie, (north of Toronto) and a WW2 ‘WAC’ vet who outranked my uncle. Tough as nails, mouth like a sewer and usually drunk as a skunk. I miss her.

  6. ah, cassette tapes with dirty jokes secretly shared among boys. I had forgotten about that kind of, as someone said, simple pleasure. There were some legendary tapes here in Chile. I don’t remember something like this call, but there were comedians who made a living off dirty jokes.
    thanks for bringing back some memories.

    1. Forget the overly-polite Canadian stereotype. This is what real Canadians used to sound like. This guy’s a typical, old-school working-class chirper.

  7. The first few calls sounded just like my father-in-law – lord knows that man likes his cable. But when the phrase ‘by the jesus’ came up I knew it had to be someone from east of Manitoba.

  8. Apparently some IVR software (Cisco?) includes a feature that detects swearing. If you swear at it enough, it puts you through to a human. Whenever my partner used to call his cable provider/ISP, he would swear into the phone until he got an operator.

  9. This reminds me of when i was a kid and my dad would try and fix/build something. He would invariably smash his thumb or bang his head and launch into a similar atomic mushroom cloud of profanity.

    My brother and i would have to go into our room and try to muffle our laughter.

  10. Didn’t Kids in the Hall do a similar bit in the early 90s?

    I think the guy was in a wheelchair, and he did more whining than cursing, but this is what I instantly thought of.

  11. it’s kind of funny just because of repetition(only 4-5 bad words?!). for hungarian ears it’s a little boring. i’m proud to tell you that we have a much bigger pool of swear words. maybe because of our fucking history ;)

  12. I did a stint on the phone doing tech support for Directv and I heard someone like this at least every day. And it wasn’t just men it was women that would talk like this too to a complete stranger and vent all their frustrations. “GET A SERVICE GUY OUT HERE NOW!”

    Usually they’d have gotten their old tv off channel 3 or 4 where the Directv box was sending the signal and had a ‘snowy’ screen. It was better never to respond to that, just apologize like “heck” and try to gently coax them to get out of their chair and TRY the channel buttons on the tv.

    I’d have to beg and lie and say I was waiting for the computer system to ‘bring up’ the scheduler and if they wanted to PLEASE try just that step it might fix it. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to get off their couch and try to help themselves. Nine time out of ten having changed the channel on the TV instead of the sat-box was all that was wrong.

    I do know that when you call you might be talking to an unfeeling idiot, there were plenty of them in my call center, but don’t start with profanity. It doesn’t do anything by hurt your blood pressure.

  13. As a cable company employee, I’m sending this to EVERYONE. We get stuff like this all the time, but this one is hilarious.

    It also reminds me of the “Bruce tape,” a tape that high school kids in NJ shared back in the ’90s — and then college kids in VA shared in the ’90s, too. I listened to this thing over and over for HOURS with my friends, and I was rpetty thrilled when WFMU hosted the mp3.

    Here’s a link:

  14. In 1990, we got a copy of this tape, allegedly “off the board” or straight off the original answering machine tape, I forget which, and we sampled it for our industrial noise music project Brainhammer. At the time we believed it was from Toronto, though there was no evidence to support this claim. The version we had was actually of vastly superior clarity than any subsequent copies I’ve listened to. We played it about a hundred times while selecting gems for our tape. I still say “cock suckin’ fuckn’ bastards” to this day as a result of my exposure to this recording.

  15. The “Previously” list mentions the Winnebago Man (the link in that post is no longer valid, but here it is on YouTube), about 4.5 uncomfortable minutes of watching a guy later to be called “the angriest man in the world.”

    I watched clips of it in a documentary about the Winnebago Man (Jack Rebney) last night, and while I didn’t think much of the documentary itself or the guy who made it, Rebney was really interesting to watch.

  16. There’s a persistent rumor in customer service tape swapping circles that this recording was slowed down by as much as 20% to make the caller sound more Canadian.

  17. Hello 1990!!

    This was one those old recordings passed around back in the day on cassette among the prank phone call / phone phreak crowd.

  18. Guy’s got a little bit of a William S. Burroughs thing going on — and it’s fun to imagine old Bull Lee delivering these heart-felt messages to the mugwumps at Nova Cable.

  19. An industrial musician friend of mine who records under Landscape Body Machine released a track built around this tape called “No Cable” way back when. It remains a dancefloor staple at industrial nights here in Vancouver.

  20. I’d like to hire this guy, send him a transcript and have him call Microsoft for me right about now. Those cock sucking slut motherfuckers.

      1. Dude, you make sucking cock sound like a bad thing. Was that really your intention?

        correction: … Those cock tease slut motherfuckers.

  21. My sister had a copy of this on cassette when we were teenagers in the 90’s. We lived in Simi Valley, CA at the time. She got it from a friend. So funny to see it here!

  22. This was hilarious. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. Glad he got his cable back. He deserves it for putting on such a good show.

  23. That’s just a chap from our East Coast,Nova Scotia by the sounds but could be Cape Breton. Nicest folks on our continent but you don’t want to piss em off!

  24. This played on CBC’s Brave New Waves sometime in the mid ’90s… the archives may still be in a torrent somewhere.

  25. When my wife worked for a large travel company, she was told that if she got a difficult caller, she was to try and get the customer to swear at her. Once the customer swore, she could tell him/her that she didn’t have to deal with them any more, and could hang up or pass them on to a superior.

  26. Huh. Know what I usually hear on a cassette tape? Especially one that’s passed around a lot? Hiss!

    Know what I don’t hear here? Hiss!

    Must be God’s own sound board, is all I’m sayin.

  27. Was sitting around board waiting for the Wikileaks cables and thought of this dude. Wow, it still has a fan base! I had a copy (without the background music). The story I heard was that the tape came from Cablenet (now Cogeco) in Kingston, Ontario. I got it from a friend who got it from a friend of his dad, who was Toronto police brass.

    “Automag Magazine” was a car review show (think MotorWeek) hosted by Don McGown from Montreal that used to air on CJOH (which is much better on cable in Kingston, hence why this dude is so pissed off for not having service).

    I also love Landscape Body Machine’s sample of it in their song. Here’s what they had to say about the tape:

    Television, originally developed by the Nazis and later perfected by the Americans, has evolved in to the most powerful propaganda tool the world has seen since the advent of the printing press. What could have been used as an educational tool now just spits out stupid crap for the most part, manufacturing opinions for the better part of the populous. Every religion has its faithful followers and television certainly has a lot of those. Unfortunately our friend featured in this song seems to be the rule rather than the exception, dedicating his life to innate things like “Auto Mag Magazine”.

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