There is no greater catastrophe for humans at the beginning of the 21st century than to be disconnected from the Internet. They become like lost little puppies taking refuge from a storm in an abandoned shed. They know important things are happening out there, and their friends need them, but they have no way of contacting anyone. They sit and tremble until the problem is solved.
Daddy received an email last week from our Internet provider saying that we needed to upgrade our modem. A modem is a device created by dog scientists who were angry that they were not getting quality lap time when their moms were on the Internet. The modem allows our parents to be online while we are on a lap. It began as a luxury but quickly became essential. People have to be able to access the Internet all the time like it is air.
When Daddy got the email, Mommy and I exchanged nervous glances. Daddy learned how to fix things from his dad, who never met a tool or instructions he could not blame, and throw about when the problem was not solved. Mommy told me he had to do this. It was part of his process. Unfortunately, the process causes unrest and tummy upset.
First attempt: The modem arrived. Daddy attempted to connect it while Mommy made dinner. Here is what occurred. He reads the instructions. He downloads the app. It is the wrong app. He curses! Downloads another wrong app. Cursing accompanied by hitting the floor. Download the right app. Enter the serial number on the modem. The app doesn't recognize it. Enter again. Doesn't recognize it. More colorful cruising. Enters number correctly — hooks up modem. Hits button to see if it connects. It doesn't. Rips up the blasted directions, making them pay for being useless. Give up. Sit in the chair. Feels foolish — first attempt: Unsuccessful.
Second attempt: Several days passed as Daddy rested up for the rematch. Everything.was fine until he tried to enter the serial number on the app and got a response that he had to call the provider. Call one: got a long menu. Put in that he needed help installing modem. A computer-generated voice said they had an app for that. Sent it. The provider ended the call. Call two: Took a different path before punching in he needed installation help. Voice sent him a link for the app and hung up. Call three: After spending three minutes screaming into the phone that he needed to talk to customer service and frantically pushing zero, he finally reached a person. He said he was having trouble installing the modem. 'We have an app for that.". She sent him the link and hung up. He made a noise like a mama bear when she came.home to find that some entitled white girl had made a mess, ate their supper, and was sleeping in her bed.
Attempt two: failure
Attempt Three: At a certain point, navigating a phone menu is like defeating a level on Donkey Kong. Yes, yes, no, hit zero, yes, one, zero, one, yes, and we're in. The representative who answered had an unidentifiable accent, which may have been Thebian. Daddy immediately began a long diatribe about not wanting to get the app, and if he did, someone would be "messed up bad." Despite his only being able to understand every third word she said and she contemplating calling the authorities because she had a crazy person on the line, they did make some progress. It bogged down when the rep mentioned the cursed app and that it probably didn't work because he didn't have the Internet.
She began telling him how the app would work if he just turned the mobile data on his phone. Daddy growled like a frustrated Wookie that the mobile data was on, and if she mentioned the app again, he would burn down an orphanage, and it would be her fault. She did not mention the app again. They began the long task of reading the serial numbers and model numbers off of the modem. The modem is on the floor, and Daddy had to twist himself into a pretzel to read them. There were long pauses during the installation, and Daddy was checking out other apps. While doing so, he turned the speaker feature off. When the woman asked him to turn it back on, he accidentally hung up the phone and then let out an anguished scream like a wallaby who just saw a dingo steal her baby. Attempt Three. Failure.
Attempt Four: He called again, forgot how to save the princess, and ended up getting the app once more. He hit the floor ten times as I cuddled on Mommy's lap to protect her. Daddy got through on the next call and quickly explained to the woman who answered what hell his life had become. She worked with him and finally got everything set on her end. Daddy saw the network on his phone but could not sign in. In a rare moment of clarity, Daddy remembered he had to repeat the network password several times to the previous representative. He asked the new rep to re-enter the password.
When Daddy tried, the password worked. The angels sang, and there was jubilation in the land. Daddy thanked the woman profusely, hung up on purpose, and then told Mommy they were back online. Daddy wanted to begin the equally long process of entering the network passwords to every device in the house that was connected to the internet when Mommy checked the landline and told him it was not connected.
Daddy told Mommy it was not a problem. Getting the phone online was easy. He called the number again. He then hit the necessary numbers. They sent him an app. He silently screamed and fell to the floor, not moving.
Daddy is now on a nice vacation in a quiet hospital upstate for awhile. I do miss him. But, at least we have the Internet.