When Life Hands You Lemons…

With a new year and a new decade under way, the whooping and hollering, champagne cork-popping and hilarity having subsided, it is time to take a moment to reflect on the important things in our lives: dear friends and loved ones; good health; prosperity…a working Internet connection!

Lose that last, and you’re back in a sod house on the prairie. Alone. Take something as simple as thinking a 400-word column. Nothing. A mere bagatelle, you might say.

Wrong! Thoughts don’t just pop out of thin air. Or, rather, they do, so when your Internet connection is kaput, you have no access to those trillions and trillions of others’ cyber thoughts, those photon-borne thesauri, dictionaries, citations, and quotes. You can’t even check to see how “bagatelle” is spelled.

Over the past several days, I have become intimately involved with my never-sleeping Internet-provider techies, hanging on their every word (“What? I can’t hear you!), and kneeling submissively at their commands, i.e., kneeling, probing with a toothpick the tiny “reset” pinhole in the modem box.

Most techies will hang in there with you for the duration. In four calls in 24 hours, I had one quitter; one home run (he had me wire the modem directly to the laptop—a solution that worked for 90 minutes before a “Phhhht” brought darkness and silence); and one Midnight champion, who said he’d “write up a ticket,” and “they” would fix the problem “Sometime” from “Afar”—an honorable method of withdrawing from the lists, while saving face.

However, no joy the next morning, even as the printer clamored for my copy. I called again. The phone-bot noted unusually heavy phone traffic, so that I might prefer going online and requesting help—this after my having articulated “no online connection” as my problem.

A ray of hope, however. I was promised a “Real Person”—who would “Come to Your Home,” and see if he or she can fix the problem. I hope so. Otherwise, the community will be privy to more columns about my house and my defective appliances than I fear traffic will bear. I’m waiting as I write—the sun is declining.

In the meantime, I am focusing on those happy new-year thoughts: my friends, our health and well-being during 2010, plus my sober reflections of how big my problems would be without them.

How ever would I cope?

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