Unbelievable sorrow and outright botheration recently befell the Carter house. Our ultra-fast internet slowed down to dial-up speed. (You hear about stuff  like this happening to other people but you never think it’ll happen to you.)

No, really. An internet speed test showed I was connecting slower than I did the first years I was on the internet: The horrendous Dial-Up Age.

“What’s dial-up?” The younger folks ask. Well, our first internet computer  had a modem that connected it to the internet at 28.8 kilobytes per second. The guy who sold it to me said, “Let me tell you, Craig, it’s a screamer. Hook it up to your phone, and you can download a song in 15-30 minutes, or a short video in an hour.”

Yes, that’s right children. We once connected to the internet through, (you might want to sit down for this,) a landline.

“What’s a landline?” younger folks ask. Well, check with your grandparents. They might still have one. It’s a telephone that’s permanently attached to the wall. You can’t play games on it, (unless you want to call a random stranger and ask if their refrigerator is running,) there are no apps, and you look really silly trying to take a selfie with it.

Yep, our computers were hooked into a phone that was hooked into the wall, hence, if you were online you couldn’t place a call and vice versa, and it took minutes to download stuff (like a danged animal,)  instead of seconds. (as God intended.)

So, there I was, researching a column, (or watching cat videos like everyone else on the internet) when I realized sites weren’t loading at their usual fast pace. I tried unplugging my router and modem and plugging them back in, but the connection was still snail slow. So I did it again, and nope.

“Why don’t you just call tech support?” Lovely Wife suggested.

“We’re not troglodytes in this house,” I scolded. And I did what any sentient being would do in the situation. I shook my fists at the sky and cursed my cruel, cruel fate.

 “Such inhumanity!” I cried. “Such atrocity! Such ignobility! I have to wait for websites to load. (Like a danged animal!)”

Now, I’m quite certain many of you think this is no biggie, but I assure you, ultra-fast internet slowing down to sub dial-up speed is the sort of thing that can cause insanity. Why, Rumor has it that when Joseph Conrad wrote, “Heart of Darkness,” he was relating, through Colonel Kurtz, the time when his, (Conrad’s) ultra fast internet connection slowed down to sub dial-up speed.

(The horror.)

(Note: I can’t believe I have to do this, but it’s important you know, “Heart of Darkness” is in no way about internet access. I was taking liberties for effect. And I have to say I nailed it.)

So where were we? Oh, yeah. My internet slowed to the point where I got lots of buffering when I tried to watch Netflix. (Like a danged animal.)

I tried to soldier through, telling myself it was only a matter of time before the internet gods would graciously restore my fast internet and the way of life I’d come to know and love, but there’s only so much torture a man can take. I was left with no choice but to take my wife’s advice, (the horror,) and call tech support. (Like a danged animal.)

A recording told me they were aware of the situation (ordeal) and they’d fix it ASAP, and true to their word, it was fixed by the next afternoon.

But let me tell you, friends, you learn a lot about yourself in times like that. I learned that when your life sinks into an abyss of pain and misery (Or slow internet access. Same thing,) it’s important to put on your big boy pants and be strong.

Good thing I’m a man of such uncommon fortitude, huh?

(Yeah, Craig. You’re a danged animal.)

Craig Carter is an Ontario resident and can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Argus Observer.

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