IF some villain like the Joker or Count Chocula or Karl Rove really wanted to drive everyone in the world insane, I've recently experienced the one thing that would work flawlessly.
Through an unfortunate series of events my family was recently left without an Internet connection in our home for 38 straight days. The horror mercifully ended this past weekend. Who knows what I would have gotten into if the crisis had gone on any longer? Start a rock fight with a hydrangea bush? Cut off my left arm below the elbow? Watch So You Think You Can Dance? Thankfully it didn't get to that point, but it was harrowing nonetheless. Some day when I'm very old, I'll gather the grandkids out on the porch - assuming we're allowed to have porches in our UVrepellent hydro bubbles - and tell them about the time we lost our Internet. Here's how it went down.
Day 1: This isn't so bad. The sun is setting on a beautiful warm evening, the kids are in bed and the beer is cold. Who needs the Internet? Day 2: Ahhhhhh, I need the Internet! This is the worst ever!
Do we have any poison in the house? What's this, soy butter? Close enough. Scoop, slurp, gulp.
Day 3: I awake from my soy coma alive, barely. The doctor says if it'd been the crunchy soy rather than the smooth I'd be a goner. I make it back home but can't relax without my normal evening routine of reading every new posting on the websites for the New Yorker, The Economist, BBC World and Bieber Fever.
Day 9: In a related but slightly less traumatic occurrence, we've also lost all of our high definition television channels and the use of our DVR. We're left watching basic cable in regular definition, which is a lot like watching HDTV if someone had smeared the screen with deadly soy butter.
Day 14: Sure, The Weather Network television program. I don't mind waiting seven excruciating minutes before you'll tell me what the forecast is for next week. Take your time. Oh, it's muggy in Toronto? What a shocker! Day 15: I write an apology letter to The Weather Network and the little girl who made the smiley sun/rainbow drawing that they showed before getting to the forecast. I shouldn't have said her drawing was "too ugly even for regular definition."
Day 20: I can't take it anymore. I go to a local coffee shop to do some important work on Facebook. At the counter I ask for a decaf blended iced mocha, the WiFi password and a washroom key. I'm gonna be here a while. I come pretty close to going back up to the counter and asking what it would cost to move my bed in here.
Day 29: As you all know I'm a famous and highpowered newspaper columnist, so it's getting a little tiresome carting my column back and forth from home to work on a memory stick like some carrier pigeon or hobo. I bet Mitch Albom never had to carry his own column on a memory stick. Some day I'll write a book called Tuesdays With No Internet. Spoiler alert: it'll suck.
Meanwhile my wife is spending her time doing crossword puzzles from a book instead of spending all our money online. I guess this thing isn't all bad.
Day 33: At my wit's end, I go for a bike ride. Things are getting ugly.
Day 36: It's not just me who is suffering. We can't Skype with the Grandparents and they're getting testy. My mother-in-law is threatening to board a flight to Vancouver, find the person responsible for this mess and beat them senseless with our dusty modem. Also, my son has been out of sorts because we can't play him his favourite time-to-poop YouTube video (it's astronaut Chris Hadfield singing "Space Oddity," if you really must know).
Day 38: With no Internet to distract us, my wife decides to make the most of it and calls a "family meeting." It's just me and her in the kitchen for two hours talking about how we
need to step up our vacuum schedule. Happy Friday! Day 39: Like a haunted jukebox, the YouTubes crackle to life all on their own. "This is ground control to Major Tom, you've really made the grade." What a relief, particularly for my son.
I don't know how I made it. I guess it's a good thing we didn't get a single drop of rain during the troubles. Oh, and I still had access to the Internet all day at work. And I suppose it should be said I had Internet available at all hours of the day through the 3G network on my phone. But the screen is so tiny! How am I supposed to get a good look at Prince George's Royal Onesies so I can buy knockoff versions for my kid? After all this I've decided it would actually be a bad move for a villain to knock out the Internet. Sure communication is easier with the Internet but have you seen how stupid everyone is on Twitter? Best to let dumb communication continue while you conduct your villainous business. Why get everyone super pissed at you by knocking out their Internet while at the same time giving them nothing but free time and the impetus to use their own brains for a change? You hear me Chocula? Leave the Internet alone.
You're doing fine with Plan A: the diabetes.
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