Switched on the sockets yesterday and dammit, no internet. Looked at the router. The ADSL light was not on. It must, therefore, be a fault on the line. Because after all I’d only replaced the router a few months ago.
After a series of conversations with a series of representatives of a series of companies which shamefully ranged from overly patient to curt to downright rude on my part and actually taking the damn router and plugging it into F’s ADSL line I finally grasped the dreadful truth. There was nothing wrong with my line. The router was well and truly, utterly, totally fritzed.
Immediate descent into catastrophe mode. I don’t have any money. I can’t afford a new router. How much do routers cost anyway? I can’t find out because I don’t have the internet. I haven’t kept the receipt. I won’t be able to get it mended/replaced. Oh fuck-shit-bollocks disaster. Woe, alas, alack. Wail. Moan.
By the time the children came home from school I’d calmed down a bit and was able to point out, when they realised the full horror of not having all episodes of The Simpsons and South Park permanently available for immediate viewing, that I was being quite brave about the situation myself. However after series of helpful suggestions from the Spawn – “is it plugged in?” “is it switched on?” “have you checked the cables?” – I did advise them with some asperity to believe me when I said I’d tried absolutely everything possible to rectify the situation. At this point the suggestion was made by a-Spawn-who-shall-remain-numberless that I sell my one and only family treasure, a small clock, in order to buy a new router.
By this morning I was regarding lack of internet access as a form of spiritual discipline. Like a hair shirt or self flagellation. I was considering various schemes to raise money for a router and viewing the time taken to do so as a therapeutic online fast. I even began wondering whether I should cancel my broadband altogether (clear saving) and sustain online life through the free wifi at the café round the corner. But of course just as there’s no such thing as a free lunch there’s no such thing as free café wifi. There’s a password on the network now and the cheapest drink is £1.65. So that would be 12 or so trips to the café a month during its opening hours for the length of time it takes to consume, however slowly, an espresso, versus 24-hour unlimited access at home. Not such a clear saving after all, then.
Whilst sipping one of the aforementioned espresso extremely slowly and downloading e-mails for later off-line consumption I bemoaned my routeless fate to A. But far from troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries I was in fact addressing someone who had, tucked away in a drawer, a fully-working but surplus-to-requirements router. Now what are the chances of that? I mean really. With the utter crapulous fragility of your average router how many people have a spare one that actually works? And how many of them live around the corner from me?
Thus it is, dear reader, that after a vicious but expected and mercifully brief struggle with the configuring business here I am, floating along the strands of the interwebbing like a butterfly in a hothouse full of sugar bottles. But I’m a butterfly that knows how lucky it is. Unless of course I’m wrong in assuming that butterflies don’t have that level of consciousness.