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Latin Divas of Comedy/AT&T vs. Comcast

Latin Divas of Comedy airs on Showtime through the end of May.

Christopher Hitchens would appreciate some of these women — especially the deadpan and fearless Marilyn Martinez.Decked in glittering scarlet, the hefty Marilyn Martinez riffs about Lane Bryant nightgows, Big Gulps and phone sex.

Martinez, sadly, has been very ill recently. Hopefully, this Showtime appearance won’t be her last.

Comcast vs. AT&T

While one forlorn Comcast truck sat under a shade tree near the 7-11, a half-dozen white AT&T pick-ups and cherry pickers invaded my Marin County neighborhood yesterday.

Two blocks from my house, a battery of construction guys were digging up chunks of pavement and opening deep pits in the street.Fat grey, flexible pipes about ten inches in diameter were already curling underground when I stopped to chat with the crew who said the installation of two refrigerator-sized boxes would be complete in a few days.

Pricey work.A preliminary survey of other areas report no such activity — so maybe my neighborhood is one of the first in Marin where AT&T will spend a chip of that $6.8 billion by 2008 (and $1.4 billion more than anticipated)to roll out U-Verse.

However, a quick check of my address on the U-Verse siteindicates the service isn’t ready to launch here.

Comcast is popular in this area of Marin County.If AT&T wants to capture customers here, they will have to work tirelessly to restore consumer confidence.In spite of my needling Comcast the other day on these pages, AT&T (the old SBC, once the old PacBell, once the old Pacific Telephone which was once Ma Bell) customer service makes Comcast look like the Nordstrom of providers.

I’m skittish about any dealings with AT&T after an ill-fated switch to SBC several years ago led to a four-hundred dollar per month phone bill, canceled service, 14 phone calls, and countless hours on hold.The three month-long skirmish was only resolved by the intervention of the Office of the President.Chastened, we hobbled back to AT&T, where bad plans, excessive charges, and sullen customer service seemed heavenly by comparison.

We’re soon scheduled to make the big leap to the Comcast triple play by adding VoIP.

Our Cingular contract expired two months ago.We’re thinking ahead to the quadruple play. Comcast, we’re talkin’ to you.

Gakked yesterday from Leah Garchik’s column in the San FranciscoChronicle.

A young woman overheard on her cellphone at a Brannan Street tech company, “I have to hang-up now.I’m in a business meeting for Second Life, and my avatar is speaking.”