Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to experience what it was like to live in the olden days, back when times were hard. No, I didn’t visit Jamestown, Virginia or Ellis Island. I didn’t even spend an afternoon at the Atlanta History Center.
In truth, my trip into the past began when something truly terrible happened. My cable went out.
First I re-booted my computer, and then I checked my TV. Nothing viable on either one. My computer kept telling me it couldn't access any of my addresses and my television just offered a screen version of a raspberry. I could feel myself getting agitated and my ends were coming loose. I couldn’t call Comcast because, to call Comcast, I either have to find the number online or wait for a commercial on TV and then look at the fine print. In addition, I couldn't even check to see if I'd paid my cable bill.
OH NO! What to do? What to do? After sitting around for a few minutes, looking at my fingernails and trying to decide whether to vacuum or not, I decided, instead, to call my friend Susan who lives downstairs. Thank goodness my cell phone still worked. Perhaps this wasn’t Armageddon after all.
Susan answered after just a couple of rings. “Hello.”
“Hey Susan, is your cable working?”
“I’ve already called,” she answered. I wasn't surprised as Susan is much more organized and proactive than I am. “They said cable is out all over Midtown, and it may be late afternoon before it’s back up. Isn't that just great? What am I supposed to do? I was all ready to turn on The Food Network and take a nap.”
At least Susan could still take a nap with no cable, which I pointed out to her. “Well, at least you can still take a nap.”
“No I can’t," she asserted. "I can’t take a nap without The Food Network or HGTV on in the background. This has completely ruined my Saturday.” Then remembering what an internet addict I am, she thought of my pain and asked, “So what are you going to do?”
“I don't know. I guess I’ll go to the library. Isn’t that what people used to do before cable?”
“I guess. Do you know where it is?”
“Not really. I’ll just have to drive around Atlanta until I find it since I can’t do a MapQuest.”
I would like to say that my visit to the library was great, and, because of it, I recalled the simple pleasures of life after finding a book on organic windowsill farming. But it turns out that the damned elevator wasn’t working and I would have actually had to climb stairs to get to the stacks, so I decided to head back home.
As I got into my car, I wondered if maybe my cable was back on, or if, at the very least, the drive-through call thingy was working at Wendy's. It would've been just too much to ask of myself to have to go inside to place my order.
It was really a very hard day, but the good news is that I have new respect for the pioneers.