I just got off the phone with my internet provider's technician. She troubleshooted (troubleshot?) with me for twenty minutes, and although it was never proven, she decided I needed a new modem because mine was—holy cow!—five years old. She said it as if I were trying to stuff a cassette tape into my DVD player. Apparently, in Computerville, my modem is Methuselah. Never mind that the modem worked fine just last week. Never mind that I just added a wireless router, which I'm quite certain aliens are already trying to hack from the comfort of their home planet. The router can't be the problem because—ta daaa—my internet provider doesn't sell routers.
This fiasco was softened by the fact that the tech person had a wonderful, soothing voice. Sometimes I didn't hear what she was saying because I was so enjoying not the words but the sound of them. After I hung up I came to my senses.
I poked around my records. It turns out my modem is only a couple of years old, which the equivalent of my age in Peopleville, and although I'm not blazingly fast, I still work all right. And after shutting things down and starting them back up in various combinations, the internet is back at my disposal.
So I called Internet Provider back to cancel that shiny new modem, and this time I got someone who sounded just like Scooby Doo. "Ruh-roh! Rats rincompatible rit your rinternet corrrrrection!" My mind drifted again as I realized Scooby Doo sounds just like Astro from The Jetsons. And they both sound like Tom Brokaw.
I decided I'm lucky that I have the problems I have. Some people's problems go beyond modem compatibility issues. And I suppose dogs are lucky to be talking at all, speech impediment or not. And Mr. Brokaw seems to be getting by just fine as he is.
As I'm literally counting my blessings, eight innocent holiday shoppers were shot dead in a mall less than a mile from my house, randomly picked off by a nineteen-year-old kid who had lost his job at McDonald's. Male, female, young, old—most didn't even know they were being fired upon, because that doesn't happen in the mall in Omaha.
I've lost my speaking voice thanks to a cold. And my e-mail is down again, maybe thanks to my Stone Age modem.
Right now, I can live with that.