Yesterday, the computer doohickey attached to the pfisteris that makes pictures and words come up on the screen went down, or "went down," in technical parlance. WiFi became NoFi! Or maybe WiNo! And I couldn't see email or any videos in which wide-eyed kids and skateboarding dogs and cats amuse an entire nation, so I called the good folks at Comcast, or "Xfinity," in technical parlance.
It's always a good idea for a large company to go by two names. Is it still Comcast, or is it Xfinity, or what, huh? It's so confusing that one friend of mine, who uses them for phone, cable and internet service, says he has "Verizon Fios," which sounds like a great Greek dessert. But I assume my friend's check gets to the right place every month, or I wouldn't be getting emails from him.
I wasn't getting emails from anyone, the reason I called Comcast. By means of answering 27 questions, I got to the lightning round, where I got to sit and listen to Muzak for seven minutes. It was almost a relief when the problem-solver picked up my call, uttered a sigh heard round the world, and promptly disconnected me. Within seconds, I was being entertained by that "If you'd like to make a call..." lady, who sounds for all the world like a grade school librarian hollering at the kids for picking up books and not shelving them properly, or at all.
Second call, waiting time was much faster, and as a free bonus, I got to talk to someone and also help him learn a new language: English. I had to repeat and define something in just about every sentence, but I considered it my "hands across the sea" gesture. Reading from his script, he told me not to worry, and that he was sure we could get me back on line. Then he said something that sounded like tech talk when he told me what he was going to do and suddenly, we were like Abbott and Costello:
Him: Fine, sir, at this time I am going to flapper the noddistrand, so please look at your obfuscator and tell me what you see.
Me: What does that mean?
Him: What does that mean, "what does that mean?"
Me: I don't understand what you are going to do.
Me: (two minutes later) Are you still there?
Him: Yes, do you see the lights going off?
Me: On the modem, you mean? Yes they're off, and now here they come, one at a time...
Him: How can that be happening?
Me: I dunno, but here comes my email!
Him: What does that mean, "here comes my email"?
Me: It means my email inbox is filling up with important emails. I must go at once and reply to the widow of a Nigerian prince.
And then, just like when you go to look at a video, I got a commercial. The guy asked me - and I am not making this up - if I planned to put an addition on my house. I thought at first he wanted to move in and be my tech team, but he said he was asking in case I wanted to add more cable outlets or anything.
Some people just live to torment me.