I’ve become accustom to the laptop sounding like a 747 at take off when I power it up, but the internet beastie just sits there quietly doing whatever it does.  What possible reason could it have to electronically implode?  No stress, no strain.  It’s never been dropped on its head.  It’s never been sprayed with soda or showered with food crumbs.  It’s never been on any of the seven hour road trips bouncing around the back of the Kia shoved between boxes of vintage treasures.  Nobody ever fell asleep on it drooling into the keyboard.  Nobody ever stepped on it or kicked it across the room.  Nobody ever sent it a virus.  It just sits in the corner and works.  It is also by far the newest piece of technology I own. 

“Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.”  Okay, push the Diagnose Connection Problems and wait.  Contact your Internet service provider . . . have they ever tried to contact my ISP or any ISP for that matter?  After 30 minutes of patiently explaining to some moron with a script that I cannot connect to the internet, I am finally transferred to an idiot that wants to remote access my computer.  Okay, I’m no freakin’ computer genius, but doesn’t my current problem prohibit that?  After 30 additional minutes of escalating frustration, the ISP monkey figures out that he can’t remote access my computer.  They are sorry, but it must be a hardware problem.  “Please hold while we transfer you to hardware support.”

Ten minutes of promotions telling me about the plethora of amazing products and services offered by my ISP and 20 minutes of explaining the problem only to degenerate to pitiful begging not to be transferred back to the moron with the script, I’m told, “Please turn the unit off and back on.”  Right, just crawl under the end table after moving the coffee table to shove the heavy-ass, over-sized, oak-framed chair-and-half out of the way.  It is, of course, now necessary to continue my troubleshooting efforts under the table as the connecting cables and cords are too short to pull the beastie out to comfortably examine it.  I soon determine there is NO on/off switch.  I am smart enough to locate an on/off switch should one exist, but convincing the yahoo on the phone of this is a monumental undertaking.  “Please unplug the unit from the power source, wait 5 minutes and plug it back in.  That will resolve the problem.  If it doesn’t, call back.”

Do I have to tell you?  After 30 minutes of not-so patiently explaining to a second moron with a script that the hardware yahoo was wrong and the plug/unplug operation failed to result in a satisfactory resolution and the idiots that want to remote access my system will be of no help, I am finally transferred to a hardware baboon.  Baboons have a greater level of expertise than the monkeys, morons, yahoos and idiots combined.  This baboon requests I locate a long, slender “poking device.”  Now “poking device” turns out to be a technical term for paperclip.  Locate the small hole in the back of the “unit” and insert the “poking device.”  This should result in resetting the “unit.” 

Hurray!  Success!  With the assistance of the ISP baboon, I have now erased the program set up I paid the Geek Squad to perform.  Why did I pay the Geeks for this service?  I paid so I would not have to fight my way through confusing instructions and hours spent on the phone with my ISP to get the beastie to perform in the manner it was advertised to.  ISP baboon assured me it is a quick, simple process I can perform myself.  No problem, just locate the now-long-gone instructions I received at the time of purchase or simply go online to get a copy.  Did I mention I had no Internet connection?

Thanks be to those kind souls that are the friends of the friends of the friends that donate their time and energy to the benefit of penniless strangers in electronic distress.  My savior is only twelve, but due to the genetic manipulation of your species by the master computer planning to take over the earth, this child was born with a knowledge of technology that four years of college and 20 years of working with the beasties has still eluded me.  I don’t know how this wonderkid did it, but I’m back and hope it will be a long, long time before I experience my next foray into the world of computer troubleshooting.   All I can say is . . . Bless the beasties and the children.