A Memoir Of Courage: The Day The Internet Went Down

October 31, 2011

Humor

8:12 am.  Wake up.  Get some breakfast.  Check email.  Hm.  Internet appears to be down. Odd. Maybe the wireless modem got knocked over.

8:14am.  Modem is simply not working.  Why isn’t the modem working?  Will call tech support.

8:17 am.   “Mary” says the modem is broken and they have to ship another one.  It’ll be here in a couple days.  Until… I have no Internet.  But… if I have no Internet… I can’t get on the Internet.  Does “Mary” understand this?  She does.  She says she is very sorry.  Well then, perhaps she could read me film reviews and the latest articles on The Onion to me, if she’s so “sorry.”  Didn’t think so.  I apologize.  It was not my intention to snap at her.  Will simply make do.

9:14am.  Realization hits that my planned blog post about Jim Jarmusch’s best films probably won’t happen.  Disappointment.  Half of it written already.  Could post it later, but what’s the point if it’s not his birthday anymore?  Well, that was a big, fat waste of time, wasn’t it?  I wonder how many people read my blog yesterday?  Don’t know.  What if it’s a lot?  What if it’s none?  What if I got Freshly Pressed and right now hundreds of people are interested in my blog but I’m not responding to their comments?!  It could be happening RIGHT NOW.

All work and no Internet makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no Internet makes Jack a dull boy.  All work and no Internet makes Jack a dull boy.

10:26am.  Spouse suggests we do a little fall canoeing up at the lake.  It’s sunny, but there’s some heavy clouds on the horizon.  I wonder what the forecast is for today? Well, I have NO WAY OF KNOWING, DO I?  WE COULD DIE IN A SQUALL!  HOW, EXACTLY, ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GO CANOEING WITHOUT KNOWING THE WEATHER?  OH, CHECK THE NEWSPAPER?  HA!  HA HA!  DON’T MAKE ME LAUGH.  WHY DON’T I JUST READ TEA LEAVES OR SCATTER CHICKEN BONES?  I’m sorry.  It’ll probably be fine. I don’t know what came over me.

2:30pm.  Call tech support just to make sure they remembered to send out a new modem.   They say I can track its shipping online.  Do they think that’s funny?

5:04pm.  Getting edgy.  Wondering if people are trying to email me.  Wonder how blog is doing.

5:20pm.  Decide to go out for dinner.  Try that new restaurant I’ve heard so much about.  Don’t know address of restaurant.  Fine.  Lacking the will to go anywhere now, and uninspired to cook, so will eat mustard and almonds for dinner, apparently.

8:34pm.  Computer is laughing at me.

Happier times. Before… before the red light came.

1:45am.  Awoken by strange sensation.  Something watching me?  Red eyes glowing in the darkness?  Just one.  One red eye, unblinking in the blackness.  Sauron?  Close.  It is the wireless modem, mocking me.  It is telling me that this is my wife’s fault.  She’s always hated the Internet.  Been jealous of what the Internet and I have together.  Could she have sabotaged the modem?  Preposterous, I tell the glowing eye.  She would never.  Wouldn’t she, it asks?  Wouldn’t she?

9:51am.  Awoken from terrible dreams.  Overslept. Lost a sense of time. Wonder what’s happening in the world.  Check computer, just in case.  Wait.  Wait.  AirPort says there’s another account in reach.  ‘Debbie’s House 375.’  Password protected.  Think.  Think. “1234.” No.  “Password.”  No.  “12345.”  No.  “Debbie.”  No.  DAMN YOU, DEBBIE!  WHERE ARE YOU??  Maybe I’ll go door to door.  Find Debbie.  Teach her lesson about being neighborly and hoarding Internet.

10:20am.  Someone suggests finding other things to do.  Says that, as “they” say, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  Wonder who originally said this phrase.  Have no way of looking it up to find out.  Instead find lemons and crush them with fists.

Get it? Get it? Because a ‘Girl Scout Research Institute’ sounds funny, right? So I’m doing, like, a parody… whatever. Like everything you write is so perfect.

2:47pm.  Have taken to reading blog entries to pets. Cats uninterested. Dogs seem to enjoy it, though.  Will have to remember to “like” dogs’ blogs if they decide to start one.  Say “dogs’ blogs” several times and giggle.

4:35pm.  Hope is fading.  See no point.  Have a feeling others are laughing at me.  Emailing each other.  Starting facebook threads.  Leaving blog comments.  All laughing at me.  Plot revenge.  Must get everyone.  No!  Hang in there!  Will relax and get my mind on happier things by watching a little Breaking Bad online.  Oh.

7:18pm.  Decide to build own modem with toaster, telephone and Christmas lights.

8:33pm.  New modem unsuccessful.  Suspect sabotage by wife, who for some reason has locked herself in the bedroom all evening.  Concerned for her sanity.

9:52pm. Efforts to write my own Internet by hand slow going.  Will not be discouraged by naysayers like wife and know-it-all cats.

Give me second, I’m just finishing up this website about agriculture.

6:18am.  Wife asks if I slept.  She is displeased by the websites I have drawn on the walls.  Asks what I’m doing.  Asks if I am okay.  I burst in to laughter for several minutes continuously to show that my spirits are excellent.  Wife returns to bedroom and locks door.  Very concerned for her.  I decide to create Web MD page about mental illness, which I draw on the ceiling of the living room.  I then consult page, which confirms that wife has gone insane.  Barricade self against crazy wife with furniture, cinderblocks and pillows.

11:00am.  New modem arrives.  Hey, look!  Internet back up!  Yay!  Wonder why wife looks so haggard and exhausted.  A little relieved, though, as I suspect I, too, was starting to get a little edgy.

Photo credits:

  1. Image from The Shining, property of Warner Bros.
  2. “Verizon Wireless Modem.” From eHow.com, “How to Configure A Verizon Wireless Modem.”
  3. “Bored” by Plonq. Flickr.
  4. “Random Client Kid’s Drawing” by Chunker. Flickr.
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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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53 Comments on “A Memoir Of Courage: The Day The Internet Went Down”

  1. truthspew Says:

    Ok, I won’t tell you how I know this but 95% of people wifi setups are WEP and easy to crack with Kismet.

    And these new fangled phones, they have net access now. Get one.

    That said, I had some issues with DNS failures so I called Cox. They said I had an old modem. Yes I know. It still works. Well, that’s your problem. No it isn’t. It’s an RF device. Good for a while.

    Suddenly DNS problem goes away. Uh huh. Blame it on customer equipment.

    The biggest failure point in most electronics btw is the power supply. I’ve had two pieces of Netgear gear go tits up because the power supply went south.

    Reply

  2. BrainRants Says:

    Dude, this was truly inspired.

    Reply

  3. BrainRants Says:

    And you shouldn’t have worried about the Freshly Pressed. I was holding that gem down, probably on my 12th consecutive day…

    Reply

  4. k8edid Says:

    Truly horrifying. I’m afraid I would have to talk to my husband (shudder)…and he, lacking access to his feed his 24 hour sports addiction, would probably wither away.

    Reply

  5. philosophermouseofthehedge Says:

    This is insanely funny…uh, sorry about the use of “insanely”….I’ll just back away slowly now…..

    Reply

    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Why would I care about “insanely”? I’m the most sane person anywhere! Would a sane person be able to hold their palm over an open flame for a full minute? NO! So watch this…!

      Reply

  6. becomingcliche Says:

    I got a call from a telemarketer with AT&T the other day. I SWEAR she said “This is Sarah Johnson.” Because there are so MANY Sarah Johnsons running about in New Delhi.

    Reply

  7. joehoover Says:

    The call centre operatives have training sessions on how to speak to different nationalities with various phrases to use. In England we always get a line about the weather being nice when I’m sure it’s monsoon season over there. I imagine they are hanging off the telephone pole as the street is washed away below them.

    Reply

  8. She's a Maineiac Says:

    This was hysterical and frightening. But I can laugh about it now.You basically described my entire weekend. I wish I had thought of using a toaster and Christmas lights to MacGyver a modem! We were without cable TV, internet and a phone for 48 hours. It felt like we were camping. No Patriots game. I came so close to becoming delirious. My blog was my main concern. Finally, I got back on and realized, my blog is still there…and nothing had happened, it didn’t blow up.

    Reply

  9. Gow Says:

    This is one of my all time favorite posts of yours, and believe me when I tell you that’s saying something! Actual laugh out loud moments. Well done.

    (And, because I just can’t stop my inner editor . . . the highlight of the piece is:
    “Call tech support just to make sure they remembered to send out a new modem. They say I can track its shipping online. Do they think that’s funny?”)

    I’m a little surprised you didn’t think to call Al Gore. I’m sure he could have walked you though whipping up an alternate internet.

    Reply

  10. Wazeau Says:

    This is exactly why I keep a backup modem in my desk drawer along with the extra keyboards, mice, and batteries. You know, the desk my backup computer occupies.

    Reply

  11. madtante Says:

    I lived without internet at my home since…oh, forever til a few months ago. That wouldn’t have been so bad if the nearest internet cafe had been closer than 30 miles from home. I’m in no way exaggerating.

    Now, that I pay for capped-broadband for $120/ month, I can’t say I’m happy but it is nice to pretend I’m a real person.

    Reply

  12. Shannon Pruitt from 'Mynewfavoriteday' Says:

    I burst out laughing when you said, “what if we die in a squall,” a valid concern while canoeing on a lake…how did the Web MD webpage on the ceiling go over? The visual is amazing…ok, fine, I will subscribe.

    Reply

    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Web MD page is fantastic, as long as you don’t need it for more than one thing. I may have to make a second page for “neck aches” if I’m going to put it all on the ceiling.

      Thanks for subscribing!

      Reply

  13. anonymously Says:

    I don’t know how you’re this funny, seriously.

    Reply

  14. JM Randolph Says:

    I could have used you at my place this weekend to teach my kids how to draw websites.

    Reply

  15. pithypants Says:

    All work and no play makes Byron a dull boy. And good call regarding concerned bloggers… I mean, skip a few days of posting and a concerned fan will comment. Skip a few days of work and they just shut down your database access without even calling your emergency contact. What’s this world coming to?

    Reply

  16. The Good Greatsby Says:

    These technology breakdown days are the worst. What did we caevemen do before the Internet?

    Reply

  17. thesinglecell Says:

    Horrors. Came across you via, like, half the bloggers I read and immediately identified with your nightmare in stop-animation. By 6:18pm the Day After, you were turning into a modern-day Mozart, just madly scribbling misunderstood brilliance all over the place. No one understands you. I know.

    Reply

  18. S. Trevor Swenson Says:

    I am the last man on earth without a cell phone. As we speak there are young, heavily armed men in Somalia who have not eaten a square meal in weeks, but have a cell phone. I find cell phone and texting ettiquette absolutely horrifying. Yet somehow I know, this is exactly how I will act when I eventually cave and get a cell and it wont work for me. I will almost certainly yell into a dead cell phone “Can you hear me now?”

    Reply

  19. Blogdramedy Says:

    Buying a back-up modem has just moved up to number one on my to-do list. Yes, you scared me that much. :-)

    Reply

  20. gojulesgo Says:

    Oh, am I ever feeling this after my power-less week! The internet! Isn’t she beautiful?

    “You can track your package online.” GRRR!! I’ll tell you what they can track… (I don’t have the rest of that threat figured out yet.)

    I missed my Byronic Man laughs. Dogs’ blogs. Heh heh heh…

    Reply

  21. Simon Says:

    This was great, reminded me of a time that we lost the remote to our TV and had to change channels with our smartphones with no control of the volume like we were pioneers or something.

    Reply

  22. Maggie O'C Says:

    Thank you for sharing this story of survival. This just happened at my office, it was like the tragedy of the Donner party but without actually eating people.

    http://somethingfathappened.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/that-was-scary/

    Love yer blog!

    Reply

  23. Food Stories Says:

    I’ve been enjoying your site so I’m nominating you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because it’s a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you’re interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ … Either way, hope you’re having a great day!

    Reply

  24. Christine. Says:

    I’m glad you have the internet now. Was beginning to worry that you were going mad…:)

    Reply

  25. funnyphuppo Says:

    Ok, ok. You convinced me to start following you. You didn’t have to try so hard.

    By the way, you know when it is great to have no internet? When you have clients or a boss. It is especially great when you work in an office, and the internet goes down and you can blame it all on your IT team or the cable company. Then you can finally have a break for a day or two from clients who insist that their emails get answered immediately, or that the design changes they have just sent by email today should be incorporated into the shipment that is going out to them tonight.

    Reply

  26. Polysyllabic Profundities Says:

    The joy of going back through people’s posts is finding gems like this. I was just receiving some strange stares in the office when I burst into gales of laughter over you creating your own modem with a toaster, telephone and Christmas lights. Brilliant!!

    Reply

  27. arabian roses Says:

    I loved and enjoyed reading this piece of your heart it’s hilarious and genuine Im sure everyone read or is going to read this will identify with it =) I did =)

    Reply

  28. Arman Says:

    You are freaking hilarious! I love your humor !!!! :D

    Reply

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