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skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Thursday, 15 April
You Can't Spell "Piss" Without I, S or P

Hey hey! Guess who has restored home access on his fossil of a computer? Thanks to the tireless efforts of George Clooney my friend P., the little iMac that decidedly couldn't now barely can. Yay!

Turns out that in the Big Data Catastrophe that occurred when the wife attempted the unheard-of task of emailing a document to someone, the bloody fucking Earthlink configuration went all blooey. (Well, among other things. I myself undertook the Herculean task of resetting the modem . . . uh . . . stuff. At one point, I addressed it as "You whore." I talk to modems.) This whole fucking thing was so incredibly opaque not only to me, but also to friend P., who remarked, "I don't have any idea what happened here." This is to me a total summation of all things broken-computery. Imagine meeting a surgeon after he's operated on your kid: "I don't have any idea what happened here." "But is he okay?" "Oh, yeah, he's fine. It was the coolest thing. He was just about to die, but then I put a walnut in his shoe." "What?" "Yeah, I don't know either, but it worked. He's outside playing soccer; you can go pick him up."

One result of this capacitorial voodoo was me resolving to get rid of the Earthlink account. So I went to their site to cancel my account, reasoning with no small amount of idiocy that they were conversant with the usefulness of the Internet. Not at all! "To cancel your account, call this number." Of course. I knew what was coming: the hard sell to not drop the account. Some companies are just galling as shit. It's like going shopping, and then being met by someone standing in front of the door. "Are you sure you're done? You didn't get any watercress!" "I don't want any watercress." "Wait here. I'll get you some discount watercress."

Sure enough. After an interminable hold period, which, unbelievably, made me nostalgic for the days of soft jazz--now it's "DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THESE NEW FEATURES? I MIGHT COME IN MY PANTS JUST TELLING YOU ABOUT THEM! AND I'M ONLY A RECORDING!"--I got an actual human. "I need to cancel my account." "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that!" "Ah--" "Please hold while I transfer you." Because of course I hadn't picked the right phone menu option. There's a reason for that. There is no menu option for canceling your account. So you just pick the least stupid of options, which is of course wrong. I waited and listened to the automated voices hector me about their fabulous services. To hear Earthlink's annoy-o-bots tell it, they'd come give me rapturous blowjobs for the right price.

Another alleged human eventually came on the line, and I told her I needed to cancel my account. She sounded exactly like the first woman: "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. May I ask why?" I imagined her with puppy eyes, and of course lied. "My computer died rather spectacularly." "Oh, dear," she said. "You know, we can hold your account for a while at no charge . . ." Uh huh. Read: And we will activate the charges again in a few months. "Really, that's okay. I don't even like to talk about the crash. Many lives were lost. I should just cancel, thank you." But she was a pro. "Is there any way that we can help you? We have a big staff, maybe we can help you out with your crash. Let me ask you: do you need some fresh watercress?"

It was time to bring out the big guns. I jovially explained to her that the crash was actually very freeing, as it gave me an opportunity to use the innovative global communications method I had personally invented that involved a sophisticated system of amplified yodels and convulsive dance steps, all relayed by a complicated network of unemployed Bulgarian circus performers that I had cagily deployed all over the globe. She was unfazed.

"Mr. Kurruk," she breathed, "give Earthlink one last chance. I will personally come over to your house and suck the hair right off of your balls." I pointed out to her that I was recently married. "It's no problem," she replied, "she's just old meat. We here at Earthlink have killed for less. Have you visited our 'crush video' archives? Yesterday we filmed Marla Sokoloff getting a Buick dropped on her and streamed it live to our customers."

I thought about that for a while. Then I said, "I sure appreciate it. But I really ought to just cancel." I could almost hear her slump. "Yes, sir," she sighed. "I'll take care of that." I heard her typing, and I felt kind of bad. "I'm sorry," I said lamely. She brightened a bit. "Oh, it's okay. I feel bad too. You're missing out on some fucking stellar watercress."

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Umm, you quit your ISP because you don't know how to work your computer? And don't like watercress?

I suspect that you won't be any happier with another ISP--they all work the same way, at least as far as configuration goes. When it craps out, and it will, you'll have to know how to put it back. Except AOL, which won't let you actually fix your own configuration--there is no fix, only install or uninstall, to paraphrase Pat Morita.

Good luck with your new one, though you may want to work on developing a taste for watercress.

Comment number: 004571   Posted by: bikeboy on April 15, 2004 06:48 AM from IP:

Well, you would be wrong, since I'm already much happier with my new ISP. And while I freely admit to not knowing much about my computer, I'll go ahead and point to the fact that it took someone who knows full well how it works a couple hours to figure out the problem. And by the way, why am I expected to know how to "work" my computer when it gets fucked all to hell? I suppose I should also feel stupid when my brakes go bad and I have to visit a mechanic.

The reason I changed was that Earthlink was about as helpful as a book of carpet samples when it came to helping out (the details of which I didn't write about, because, hey, I didn't feel like it). The new ISP was, on the other hand, totally great about pretty much everything, and never once subjected me to hold music or calloused dick-twisting about my account.

Comment number: 004572   Posted by: Skot on April 15, 2004 08:29 AM from IP:

Instead of commenting, I've been outside yodelling and dancing, with some of those big long ribbons like in the olympics. And I don't think you heard me.

You might need to work out some of the bugs in this new communication method.

At least now the rest of the people in this building are staying the hell away from me, though.

Comment number: 004573   Posted by: i on April 15, 2004 10:16 AM from IP:

You could have just told her you have all the watercress you need in a nice convenient Seattle streetside ditch by your curb.

Yesterday I was out for a walk and I noticed two Vietnamese ladies harvesting the common weed/expensive gourmet salad accessory in the roadside ditch by our neighborhood highschool.

Comment number: 004574   Posted by: rzan on April 15, 2004 10:40 AM from IP:

A salad of mixed greens, romains, and watercress with a chunky bleu cheese dressing is divine. Especially served with Spicy fried chicken. Watercress is so light and black peppery, what's to dislike???

"Oh, yeah, he's fine. It was the coolest thing. He was just about to die, but then I put a walnut in his shoe." "What?" "Yeah, I don't know either, but it worked. He's outside playing soccer; you can go pick him up."
....made me very happy.

Comment number: 004575   Posted by: dayment on April 15, 2004 11:09 AM from IP:

It is when I want to escape from the constant stresses of life that I turn to my book of carpet samples.

Comment number: 004576   Posted by: Frank on April 15, 2004 01:24 PM from IP:

Skot, we share ... geographic proximity... so it's only humane of me to ask whether or not you've tried stealing the free wifi that I seem to be able to get just about anywhere in the neighborhood? 10mbs dood!!!

Comment number: 004577   Posted by: Adam on April 15, 2004 01:37 PM from IP:

You know, I was feeling under the weather the other day, but I tried that 'walnut in the shoe' thing and now feel much, much better. Thanks, man!

Comment number: 004578   Posted by: zhaf on April 20, 2004 12:05 PM from IP:

Oh the walnut was nice, but I think the high point hit with "I will personally come over to your house and suck the hair right off of your balls." Of course, I'm a sucker for teabagging of all dispositions.

Sweet jesus that's a scrot-thumping pun, eh? I'm tempted to remove it but it's just so ridiculous and relevant.

Comment number: 004579   Posted by: ColdForged on April 20, 2004 01:44 PM from IP:

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