No phone, no Internet… no life

A few weeks ago, a stint without hot water was like living in the dark ages. If only I’d known.
I was dashing through e-mails late Wednesday night after covering a Town of Delaware Board meeting when a bright yellow triangle appeared in the corner of my screen.
Hmm, message didn’t send. I wrote another and hit send. Same thing.
Before I could yell for my computer guru husband, he was standing behind me in the office.
“TV’s out,” he told me, reaching for the phone to check for a dial tone. “Phone’s out too.”
Taking this as a sign I should just call it a night, I shrugged, shut down the computer and headed for a shower.
By morning when I flipped on the TV so Jillian could take in an episode of Blue’s Clues with her French toast and blueberries, I was ready to write off our little outage as a blip.
Then the e-mails started pouring in. “Tried to get ahold of you, but your phone’s not working.”
I called home. “You’ve reached Jeanne, Jonathan and Jillian’s house . . .”
I hung up, convinced people were trying my house during the outage and everything had been righted.
Until I got home. “Cable’s out,” Jonathan reported.
Sighing, I pulled out the cell phone. Hiding in the one spot of our house that gets some sort of reception – even if it’s limited to odd Thursdays and even Sundays when you’re balancing on one foot – I placed my call.
“Please wait for an operator…”
I listened to hold music and listened to hold music and listened to hold music. I listened until my cell phone died in my hands.
I could have waited until morning, I suppose, but I was feeling helpless. No phone, no Internet, no TV. I have a pile of books to read – it’s true – but what about the pile of work waiting for me on the computer? What about the list of calls I had to make?
I wasn’t waiting. So I went next door and dialed again. “Please wait for an operator . . .”
I listened to hold music and listened to hold music and listened to some more hold music. Until finally an operator came on the line. “So, your phone and Internet are out? Well, we’re going to need you to unplug the modem…”
“OK,” I explained, “but my phone’s out. Which means I can’t call you from my house, remember?”
“Well then I really can’t help you,” he responded. “Can’t you call me from a cell phone?”
I explained the cell phone had died – waiting for him to answer my call. What I should have reminded him is that I live in Sullivan County. Cell phones work here on odd Thursdays and even Sundays.
That’s why I subscribe to regular phone service.
Instead I sighed and sent the neighbor back over to my house. What ensued was a game of telephone with Jonathan running inside to carry out the operator’s instructors, relayed by me to our neighbor and then from the neighbor to him.
No dice. No phone. No Internet. No TV.
No writing e-mails. No making calls. Not until a repairman could arrive the next day. I waited for the cell phone to charge and balanced on one foot. Jillian and I were going to need entertainment after 1,001 readings of “Goodnight Moon,” and I was calling in reinforcements.
Thank goodness it was an odd Thursday.
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