Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mud in the DSL Line, and the Necessity of Code Number Identification

I don't quite understand the life of alternate reality, the need to be in a community sorting through a virtual world. I know that such life intrigues children as old as 25-or-30 years of age, especially male, especially male, especially those lured into the halls of World of Warcraft.

And for a reason I cannot explain, the activities of two who play in this house causes our DSL line to be clogged like a bathtub wherein a Golden retriever is regularly scrubbed.

I have no real complaint. There's a simple remedy: unplug all wires leading to the DSL modem; let it sit idle for a minute; return the wires to their proper sockets.

WoW muck flushed!

DSL has spoiled me. More than a decade ago, I clung to an online presence through a 2400 kps telephone modem, fighting dropped connections and slow-loading images.

My wife was even more frustrated. I was besotted with the fledgling Internet, and I kept the line tied up so much she could rarely call home while elsewhere. We soon had a second telephone line installed.

And with that, I soon found the second line, unlisted and known to none of our friends or family, was only one digit different from that of the local pizza restaurant.

I'm a patient sort, but I also am the sort never to pass up a chance to make a little trouble. It took me only about twenty wrong numbers answered before I hatched a plan. Finally, one day as I sat reading, the line rang on the small telephone set I had connected to the computer.

"Identification number, please," I said.

"Is this Pizza Palace?"

"This is a secure line!" I responded. "No code names. Identification number sequence only, please."

"I'm just calling Pizza Palace."

"No names. No names! Identification sequence immediately!"

"What? Who is this? I'm calling Pizza Palace!"

"Identification sequence, please. This is a secure line. This call will be terminated in 10 seconds with your identification sequence!

"All I want is to do is order a ... "


The only bad thing about that sort of practical joke is never being able to see the look on the face of the person, nor to hear how the whole silly affair was explained to friends and family.

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