Mood: on fire
Topic: "Torah, Torah..."(6)
It was a morning in the Shire very much like it must have been that morning, December 7th, 1941, in Pearl Harbor. The birds were singing and there was a lilt of warmth to the Suns' rise as Frodo staggered down to breakfast. As he passed by the technological center of the Shire, he switched on the computer, only to find that there was a discrepancy between who he happens to be, and whom he is perceived to be in pc world. The first salvo was fired at exactly 7:00 AM, on the day marked to celebrate the end to all war.
Frodo's first antagonist was at a call center in Louisville (Frodo was tempted to ask her if she was one of the morons who cast a vote for Ron Paul's kid, but he figured that since he needed her cooperation he'd let it pass). For nearly an hour she stumbled through her checklist of "enter" "delete" "reset" and so on, and eventually seemed to have licked the problem. That lasted until Frodo called up his e-mail and attempted to enter another web world.
Frodo's second call must have gone to Swaziland, but the thing that was sure was that this young lady had major decibel shortages since birth. Time and again Frodo asked her to repeat what she had just said, simply because he not only had trouble understanding what she said, but it was nearly impossible to even hear her. After innumerable frustrations, Frodo realized that his cellphone was dying too, and before he could make arrangements to continue in conversation with "The Dog Whisperer," he was cut off, with no avenue of future access.
Assailant Number Three was from the soft underbelly of the Asian sub-continent, and she had to be new on the job. After repeating, in order, each of the steps taken by her predecessors, she had Frodo reverse the DSL cable from wall-to-modem-to-modem-to-wall, and chuckled while she listened to him grunt and squeal as he moved furniture and cables to no avail. She concluded by telling Frodo that the problem was not with "Ma Bell," and that he would have to proceed with the "fee-based" diagnostic center, to which she could switch him immediately, but that they would waive the fee in this instance.
Number Four (note the similarity to a former inmate on "The Prisoner" starring Patrick McGoohan) was a complete asshole. She proceeded to lecture Frodo on the lack of protocol exhibited by Assailant Number Three, and to "shush" him several times while she explained that to proceed would require an open withdrawal from his credit card not to exceed $129 for less than 60 minutes of "dialogue." There was no guarantee that this would resolve his problem. Frodo also received a negative response when he asked if she would pay him $129 if it came to pass that "Ma Bell" was indeed responsible for the entire mess. She evidently thought Frodo was amused.
Frodo went back to the well of assistance one more time. After all, it was now 12:30, Frodo had no breakfast, no computer, no reason to go to work, and nothing to lose.
The Assistor this time was definitely from the South Side of Chicago, or from any of several other ghetto locations in Urban America, but Hey, he and Frodo sort of shucked and jived as if they were Ludacris and Kid Rock. Frodo was now using Sam's cell phone, and he could hear the ominous intermittent chirping that signals the demise of these instruments. Together, they raced through the protocols, and at last mutually concluded that since their last attempt proved inconclusive, that the problem was probably not "Ma Bell," but one of thousands of other undiagnosed sources of conflagration. They parted friends.
Frodo called "The Geek Squad." These guys would come to the Shire for $99 for an hour, and quickly demonstrated to Frodo that they could reach a satisfactory end to the continuing assault on his freedoms. They made an appointment, and Frodo retreated to his cave in order to ready the scene for his visitor. He turned off the computer, after thinking about it for a bit, and just sat and glared at the black screen for a couple of minutes. It was as if he were plotting the attack on Guadalcanal in 1942.
When he turned on the computer, it lit up as if Heaven-sent.
It is nice to be a veteran of armed conflict on this day. Everybody appreciates what you have been through.