Somewhere in a past life, I must have been very, very bad. It could have been in this life, but I can’t think of anything wicked enough to qualify, and I’m sure I’d remember: either the guilt would be seared into my soul, or the sneaky glee would still be sniggering somewhere in the back of my psychological closet. Either way, I’ve obviously managed to rack up a s***load of bad karma that’s now coming home to roost all over my technology.
I’ve already recounted the drama of the microwave, the printer, the email, the internet and the television. I can only imagine nothing else measured up to karmic standards of horror and frustration, because two days ago, we cycled back round to the internet.I have a mobile broadband connection, so my computer can come too. So far so good – until it decides to stage a sit in. As it did this week. The connection is there – nice blue light, lots of lovely fat chocs, and the occasional glimpse of a homepage… But don’t think you’re going to browse, you stupid old woman. That’s not for the likes of you! (Have you ever noticed how rude computers can be?) So about lunchtime, I ring my ISP.
After much finagling, we get Google.
There we are! he says. All fixed!
But wait! I say. Let me see if I can browse from here… Ah – no.
Oh dear! he says. Then it’s off to the Optus shop for you.
Fair enough. They’ve done their best. I make the hour-long trip, fail to find the shop where it was last time, plod back along the length of the main street and finally run it to earth almost next door to where I started.
Hmm… Aah, they say. Perhaps if you leave it with us…
An hour (and an abortive attempt to buy pyjamas) later, I return.
Hmm…Aah…Well, they say. No luck, I’m afraid. Perhaps something to do with settings…
It’s dark by the time I get home, but by now, my blood is up. I ring the computer company.
Our office is closed, the automated voice says. You may contact our online support service (like you think I can get online? That’s the problem, you idiots!) or call again Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. It’s Wednesday, it’s 6pm. I’m obviously off my rocker.
At this point, I ring my daughter. I need reassurance. I can trust her to tell me if I’ve slipped through a crack into an alternate reality, and her husband can probably tell me if the computer company has somehow exploded, imploded or otherwise left the building. (Or maybe all their tech supporters have galloping gastro, who knows.) But my son-in-law is a scholar and a gentleman, infinitely patient, and a computer whizz. Two hours later, he’s guided me through a marathon of techno-gymnastics that pins the problem to the wall – and into a bitmap we’ve created to prove it: the connection speed is so slow it’s timing out before it comes up with the goods.
Yesterday morning, I approach my computer with weary resignation and a prepared spiel for my ISP. I hit the button on the off chance, and… Bingo! Up pops the homepage, ready to flip happily from site to site as if butter wouldn’t melt in its rotten blue-lit mouth and dribble down between its chocs.
I ring Optus anyway, to make sure the whole saga is documented for future reference if necessary. I no longer trust…anything.
They are mystified. (HO HO!)
I send my son-in-law two lotto tickets ($15mill) and a sign that says MAY YOU LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.
I hope the Jolly Karmic Jester has pissed off into eternity to search for some other poor sod who’s inadvertently…
No wait! I didn’t mean that, truly, no bad thought ever crosses my mind, sweetness and light only, I promise, forever…and ever…