The past few days, we got a small taste of what the end of the world will be like. Several weeks ago, our telephone line went dead. We remain among a few Neanderthals who still have a land line for the obvious conveniences that such a line provides. We called the phone company, waiting about an hour and a half on a torturous robot automated phone answering system, listening to static and raucous music and continuous sales pitches, and finally got to talk to some one. The phone people finally showed up a couple of days later and laid a new cable about 20 yards or so to the phone terminal box. The cable lay on top of the ground for several weeks waiting for another crew to come bury it. When the phone co. came to bury the cable, the first thing they did was slice the TV and broadband cable. Calling the cable people, we learned it would take at least two days for them to come and fix it.
Thus, we were left in a state of limbo in the dark days of no TV, no internet, and previously we had no phone for a couple of days. Having no phone isn't so bad, since there aren't many people we want to talk to. We do not want to talk to people trying to get us to give them money to get rid of our time shares, we have been down that road before. We do not want to talk to interminable numbers of credit card companies who want to lower our rate (usually for six months, after which the rate goes up to 26% of some such). We sympathize with fund raisers, but we simply can no longer afford to contribute to each and every worthy cause. We do not want robo political calls.
But having no TV and no internet was a different matter. These losses meant the end of life as we knew it and had become accustomed to. No news. No political bloviators. No Discovery Channel. No Matlock reruns. No mind-numbing ten o'clock news of car crashes, fires, shootings, and then, patiently waiting, exactly 90 seconds of in-depth sports. Just a blank screen to stare at, hour after hour after hour, wondering what people did in the 1850s for entertainment. Mostly, they did not live as long as we have lived and, therefore, needed no entertainment where they ended up.
But worse than no TV was no internet. No blogging. No checking page views. No checking emails and deleting about 100 garbage emails daily, 200 or so for two days. No posting new inspiring content and photos. No checking to see what mischief my sisters were up to. No asking Google how to cut a ham or turn on the microwave. No using my Kindle to check with Pulse, AP, MSNBC, USA Today. No checking with Amazon.com to see what new chick lit Kindle freebies were hot on the giveaway list today. No checking with FedEx to see where in the world my overdue package is. No Facebook, which I usually can't much stand and don't check that often anyway, but not being able to check was an indignity and a violation of my Constitutional rights. No Twitter. No 140 character rants about economic insanity and gross ignorance. Not mine, of course. No checking the markets to see what the Kuwait stock market has done to the Dow. No political rants, which was indeed a blessing.
In other words, now I know what the dark ages were like. No TV. No internet. We sat in a stupor until we remembered we had two Netflix movies we had received months ago and hadn't watched. So we watched them. First, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the baby born old and who grew up and got younger and younger. For some reason, won 3 Oscars. Strange, indeed. Second movie was Brideshead Revisited, a movie with wonderful acting talent, but with a plot dealing with the British upper-upper crust that was somewhat over our heads. Apparently not overly popular either on the Rotten Tomatoes movie rating site with only 62% of viewers registering positive comments.
Now, however, our lives have been restored. We have TV. There is nothing to watch, except my wife is now watching All My Children, which I loathe. But it is the idea of NOT being able to watch that causes consternation. But at least I am on the internet, my lifeline to the world. But the TV company has got to come out and lay another new cable in a day or so, so how long that will be off no one knows. What did John Adams do? My telephone repairman recommended that I read a book. What a novel idea! Have a nice day.