Thursday, June 26, 2008


My Internet just stopped working.

The television screen froze and the fax machine stopped mid-fax. The connection service that provides us with our phone, cable and TV service (I think they may even operate my oven and dryer) became instantly inoperative.

Everything was so quiet.

I was looking at my modem-flashy light box next to my computer. It had stopped twinkling happily back and forth like consecutive Christmas lights. There are two green lights “on” and a green light by the word “Cable” that was blipping very slowly…blip…….……blip…….....blip. I’m watching it like an intensive care nurse with a patient hooked up to a heart monitor:

”Come on, Baby, hold on!”I don’t mean to be insensitive. I know there are homeless people out there due to floods, tornadoes, etc. I realize how fortunate I am.....but.....WHY MEEEEE????

I think I have a problem.

I think I am addicted to technology.

Coincidentally, my boss in another state and I were trying to get on the Internet at the same time, and something really strange was happening to her connection too. “This is not a coincidence,” my brain said, “something awful must have happened.” A dreadful, sinking feeling came over me. Before I knew it—multiple possibilities starting flashing like a Power-point presentation-- through my mind:

1. Some superhero-gone-bad was causing mass hysteria by hiring “Rodan,” the giant 1956 pterodactyl to sit on top of the National Security Agency (NSA) building and kick the windows out with its talons.

2. The ant hill we live on is shifting, straining the physical cable wires. The ants have hoisted our house up on their backs and we are being sucked downward into a spiral of quicksand.

3. Some idiot construction company somehow cut the cable lines rendering the entire continent of North America completely without computer service.

It turns out I was partially right.

A construction company did cut the cable lines, rendering the entire city of Green Bay “Communication Deprived.” It was just a coincidence about the computers being screwy in two different states. And no pterodactyl was involved.

My calendar is on the Internet, so are my email contacts, my banking, and my Blog! I work from home, via a virtual-online database—so no work, no livelihood. My SKYPE connection to call my son in China is dead. I felt so vulnerable….so alone. Our service outage lasted 9 full-long-quiet-miserable hours. When it came back my little “Road Runner” in the corner of my computer desktop was running again. I swear I heard it “Mee-beep.”

To counter act my obvious neurosis and to prove to myself I/we can exist without it….I am proposing an UNPLUGGED NIGHT, once a week, just to desensitize us to the blackness that a “Technologically-Vacant” existence would be like…..sort of a “Communication-Goes-Bye-Bye drill.” No cell phones, no cable, no pagers, no television. Just us.

Sounds like hell to me.


Jenie Altruda said...


Allie said...

The Great Blackout of 2002 was (no pun intended) the darkest three days of my life. And you propose "Unplugged Night"?

Just the thought sends a shiver up my spine.

No, no, no! I must have my computer in my lap and my remote by my side!