October 10, 2005

Retardcapades, or, Luddites on Ice!

My housemates and I are possibly the three most technologically benighted people I've ever met. (This is part of why I haven't changed my template or made my *@%&?! font bigger, in case you're wondering.) Consequently, we did a lot of hand-wringing about how to set up our internet connection after we moved into the new place. "Is DSL always wireless? Do you have to have a phone?" the leader of the blind would say. One of the others, following right along, would come back with a panicked look and ask, "Does a cable modem mean there has to be a cable stuck to your modem? Or a modem stuck to your cable?"

So by the time we drew straws and made the loser call SBC to get the DSL set up, we'd already been in the house for a couple of weeks with basically no internet. Turns out, too, that you're supposed to get on this sort of thing ahead of time, because after talking my Delightful Housemate into some strange Friends & Family Call Pascagoula Between 9:05 And 9:10 PM And Get A 25 Cent Rebate On Your First Three Days Of DSL plan, the nice woman at SBC stopped laughing at him long enough to mention that all this would take two weeks to set up, at which point they would send us a hardware kit in the mail and when we'd screwed everything up we could call and they'd send out a nice professional to fix things for us.

Point is, the two weeks aren't up and nothing works. We got a cardboard box from SBC with some very strange-looking equipment in it, but I only opened it long enough to say "eep" and hide it behind the couch.

So we're pirating off the DSL from the old house, since we did only move next door and our old landlord hasn't really gotten on changing the encryption code yet. We're just close enough to be able to get online occasionally, with a signal weak enough to reliably kick me offline in the middle of composing a frantic email to my advisor.

Of course, that happened again this morning, and I'd kind of had it. So instead of doing my usual dance around the living room or out onto the balcony holding my computer up in the air trying to get a signal, I decided to go outside and get closer to the old house and see if I could get in range that way. My old landlord's home office looks out onto the garden, so I was trying to be subtle, crouching in the driveway typing and swearing. But the driveway wasn't good enough, so I snuck inside the garden gate: better.

Of course, as I was crouching in the middle of their garden trying to check my email, I realized that there was a enormous - fucking enormous! - spider hanging from the tree immediately above my head. What follows is utterly predictable: Katie screams, loses her balance, and sits backward right into the fountain.

On the plus side, (a) I didn't get spidered, (b) I didn't get the computer wet, and (c) my landlord was not actually in his office at the moment, so I didn't get caught. And I've got enough mastery over old forms of technology, like my car, that I am now at the cafe in dry pants, sipping a cup of coffee and preparing to go to school like a normal, dignified person.

Posted by katie at October 10, 2005 11:28 AM

Your technologically benighted housemates are delightful, but you are hilarious.

I certainly hope that you now affect a complete lack of knowledge of any affairs involving fountains, computers, or spiders, to say nothing of the highly improbable combination of all three.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 02:48 PM

Also I beg to point out that you could probably acquire some tech support for the very reasonable fee of a few hours' hospitality and a Saturn Cafe hot fudge sundae, if you were to become so desperate. I'm not authorized to offer, of course, merely suggesting an approach with fair odds of success.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 02:51 PM

It is also true that there are some members of the tech support team who have not tried the skinny fries. Interesting.

Posted by: katie at October 10, 2005 04:48 PM

At least besides sneaking some over their girlfriends' shoulders, which isn't any good scientific way to test fries. Science is important to this team.

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 04:49 PM

(I swear that I am not checking comments on your page every minute, and merely happened to check exactly when this one was posted. I swear.)

Posted by: Dianna at October 10, 2005 04:50 PM

Hey! You have internet now. Your audience demands more tales of ineptitude.

Posted by: Dianna at October 20, 2005 02:22 PM