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Our internet dates back to the stone age

So the internet went out at our house last week, but we didn't panic. In fact, talk of eating the cats never even came up until 45 minutes in, and that was only because it was too far to walk to Arby's.

Unfortunately, this outage wasn't new. We've had a few issues with our signal over the years. Our connection has always resembled the offensive line of the Minnesota Vikings: slow, intermittent, and unreliable.

Part of it has been our geographic location. The company that provides our internet service (I don't want to name names or point fingers, but it's that pus pile over there, SchmenturyPink) informed us that their Lightning Fast 100 Gazillion megabyte-per-second speed is available everywhere in North America!!!! Except at our house. We get 5. If the wind is blowing in the right direction.

This is an organization that keeps the Air Quotes business in business. Their "customer service" department provides as much "help" as a tall ship provides "entertainment." About a year ago, we were playing yet another round of "Who Wants To Watch TV While Someone's Surfing the Internet?", a game with no discernible winner. Sort of like "Will Bill Gronseth Ever Find Another Job?"

All our devices share the same wireless signal so we thought we'd upgrade to a more-expensive-yet-supposedly-speedier wifi package with our favorite company, LenturyCink. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver. In fact, it made things worse. (Yes, Guy Fieri looks even creepier when his face freezes in mid-sputter about Flavortown.)

When I finally reached a very nice person on the phone, he was of very zero help. He tried speed tests, signal tests, I think he even asked for a paternity test at one point, but none of it provided us with the speed for which we had paid. Turns out they can SAY it's faster, but they can't GUARANTEE it's faster. There are too many variables and that's too bad but you're locked in now so have a nice day and tell everyone to stay off their devices when you wanna watch TV.


So now if we have any hiccup, we immediately call them and make them earn their money. Which brings me to last week's outage.

It didn't take as long to connect with a live person this time, but he still walked me through a dozen experiments to try and restore our signal. It was a testament to my yoga instructor that I was able to reach, bend, plug and unplug so many wires without yanking every back muscle in the tri-state area out of whack. Finally, we discovered the culprit: a shiny cord PROVIDED BY THEM wasn't working properly. (I know, I was shocked, too.) And when I replaced it with an old, crinkly telephone cord we've had around the house since Doty's first inauguration, everything worked perfectly.

So that's where we're at. Heck, our ancient cord even cranked out an extra bit of internet speed for us. We're up to 6!

I might even be able to chat online with CenturyStink next time.

Brian is proud to once again be able to search the internet in his never-ending quest of personal growth and discovery. Plus, there’s a hundred more cat videos to watch, just since yesterday!

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at