I got home last night, wandered through the living room and kitchen, shedding attire and acquiring something to drink, sauntered into the bedroom, sat down at my big old rolltop desk, peeled off my glasses, and turned on my computer, all on autopilot. I sipped at my drink while the computer played the Bill Gates song and chuckled itself to life, letting the brain cells idle after a long day of work. My desktop came to life, Sam Gamgee looking fraught on the slopes of Mount Doom through a forest of little icons that probably ought to be collected into folders soon. My hand reached for the mouse. I clicked on the little icon that would connect me to the world...
PAGE NOT FOUND.
Hmmm. I thought. Perhaps the kerfuffle at LJ has finally melted their servers. I'll try checking my e-mail.
PAGE NOT FOUND.
PAGE NOT FOUND.
Visions of disaster flashed through my brain. Somewhere a thousand million monkeys typing all at once had failed to produce Hamlet, and instead had foisted a computer virus of such virulence upon the world that no CDC quarantine could prevent catastrophe.
"Oh, Woe! The Internet Has Gone Toes Up!" I exclaimed, and reached for my phone to call my mother and bid her a fond adieu before the asteroid arrived and turned the planet over to the cockroaches.
NO DIAL TONE.
"That's it, time to run screaming into the streets!" I got to my feet, preparing to spread hysteria and fear, when I noticed that the lights on my modem appeared to be blinking in an unfamiliar pattern.
Putting my glasses back on, I confirmed this, and the brain cells which had gone into *notatwork* mode began to fire again.
CHECK THE WIRES, LUKE, Obi-wan Kenobi advised me from the poster on the wall. (He never does get my name right.)
But the wires were all plugged in, intact, complete.
Instantly, my brain cells divided into opposing camps. "We told you, we told you, the Internet has Gone to Meet Its Maker, and taken the phone system with it!" cried the Happy Panickers.
"Oh, come now," said the Pooh-pooh Few. "How on earth is Al Gore going to get the entire Internet into his house, and manage to squeeze in the phones, too?"
"Miniaturization?" Sarcasm City offered promptly. "First you squish all the ether part down into one little blob about the size of jelly donut, then you take the hardware and load it into a trash compactor..."
"Perhaps it's only this street," said a lonely voice, somewhere under the racket of the ongoing debate. "We lose the lights on a regular basis, why not the phone lines?"
Ah! A glimmer of light in a sea of despair!
"Perhaps it's only this house," Logical Lil went on, relentlessly. "The phone and the DSL are on the same line. Did you pay the phone bill?"
Did I pay the phone bill?
"Yes," I said firmly. "Yes, I paid... I mean I set up automatic payments... I mean, well, unless I screwed something up, yes I paid the phone bill."
So off I hiked to the nearest payphone. (No, I don't have a cellphone. Yet.) Called the nice repair people. Played silly buggers with the voicemail system. Asked for an agent. Got put on hold. Listened to the lovely music. Examined my fingernails. Listened to the lovely music. Went through my wallet. Listened to the lovely music. Investigated the coins in my pocket. (Ooh, look! A fifty-lira piece from Turkey!) Listened to the lovely music. Practiced my yoga breaths. Listened to the lovely music. Tried to wake up my foot. Listened to the lovely... "Yes, hello, er... why did I call? Who is this? Oh, yes, yes! That's it. I am calling because my phone isn't working."
The nice repair person did a test on my line which only lasted for one and a half songs and came back to tell me that there's a break in the outside lines. A repair crew will come to restore me to the arms of the universe.
Up to forty-eight hours.
Forty-eight hours? No problem. I've got the internet at work *pauses in narration to hug keyboard* and it's not like I need to call anyone except my mom and my best friend to let them know that my phone is out in case they try to call me. I can do that before I leave the payphone, if only I can persuade it to accept Turkish lira.
So, I sauntered home, back to my apartment and wandered through the living room and kitchen, shedding attire and acquiring a snack, got to the bedroom, sat down at my desk, peeled off my glasses and fired up the computer, listening to the Bill Gates song as I spread peanut butter over celery sticks to fill in the time. I was crunching happily when I reached for the mouse, clicked on the little icon and ...
PAGE NOT FOUND.
For two days.
I am sooooo addicted.