Such a booby!
On the Galapagos Islands there lives a species of marine bird called the Blue-Footed Booby. Truly. Handy about the size of a large gull, the blue-footed booby is — except to its mother, I s’pose — a comical looking fowl considering its bluish-grey head and beak and, especially, its bright blue webbed feet.
Last Friday, for the umpteenth time, I was reading one of my favourite dead writer’s great novels — Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos — in which the blue-footed booby bird appears with some regularity.
In the interest of having an accurate, coloured image of the booby bird in mind as I read, I peeped in through Mr. Google’s window hoping to see any snaps of the blue-footed booby he might have spread on his desktop. No sooner had I focused on an azure pair of webbed booby feet than something horrible happened.
“Harry, my bit of a booby love” says Dearest Duck, “surely you are not going to talk about last weekend and completely embarrass yourself.”
“Embarrass, my Duck?” say I. “Never.”
“We will see,” says Dearest Duck, tapping her foot in call may My Imperfect Slant an approximate imitation of the blue-footed booby’s ritual mating dance. What? Oh, the horrible thing that happened.
As if Mr. Google slammed down his window blind my internet connection failed and I was hove off of the World Wide Web.
Immediately, I felt bluer than a booby bird’s webbed foot.
When I fully realized my plight, I grabbed the nearest peripheral handset of our Aliant landline and frantically commenced jabbing the numbers of Weblink’s technical support call centre.
“Thank you for calling Weblink. Please press… “I pressed 3. “If you are a residential customer, please press…” I pressed 2. “If you are seeking internet support, please press…”
I jabbed 4, expressing more than a modicum of frustration.
“Your be mon- itored,” I was warned. I simmered down. “All our agents are busy serving other customers please hold.”
Pulling at my few remaining locks, I listened to several minutes of Muzak.
“Please continue to hold. Your call is important to us.” Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! “Harry, deep breaths,” came a cautioning voice from our kitchen, “would you like a cup of Tension Tamer?”
After ten or fifteen minutes running the Customer Support gauntlet, an Agent whose voice was as sweet as Shalimar — whatever that is — guided me through a series of tests that proved… … my modem was fried. Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! “Sir, we can have a technician install a new modem on Monday.” Monday! For frig sake! “Okay, fine,” I sobbed, broken, needy man.
“Thank you for using Weblink. Have a nice day.” That was Friday. Can you imagine what Saturday was like without my vital link to all of Mr. Google’s shelves?
I was a pathetic, web-dependent wreck.
“Harry, my unstrung love,” said Dearest Duck, “it is sad a to see you so forlorn, sitting there staring into space, too disturbed to read.”
Never mind too disturbed to read. I was suffering the miseries of internet withdrawal, my fingers — in kind of a spasmodic keying-in manner — clawing at the fabric of my Lay-Z-Boy.
Tension Tamer delivered intravenously was no help.
Imagine my state on Sunday, the third day.
“Harry, my despondent hon,” said Dearest Duck, “You must not lie there moaning and groaning as if a friend has died. Get up! Shake yourself!”
For Dearest’s sake I stood up and, even more for Dearest’s sake, I went outside.
Hoping that prepping my snow blower for winter might distract me, might occupy my troubled mind, I pulled the cover off the machine and pushed the starter. I listened to it cough to life then, when it idle smoothly, I re-commenced to moan and groan, not only for the fact of Google gone but also for the inevitability of snow.
Come Monday morning my spirits lifted. I arose at six and scravelled through breakfast. The Internet Guy would be here at any minute — sometime after 8:30AM.
Nevertheless, I pressed my nose against a windowpane, and waited expectantly. Eight-thirty ticked by. Nine o’clock ticked by. At exactly 10:21AM, the Weblink van zoomed by our house and vanished in the distance. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! As with the Customer Support wait line, house calls would be answered in the order they were received.
“Harry,” said Dearest Duck, squeezing me in an I-understand-your-pain hug.
With glacial haste, the day moved on.
A surge of delight, like adrenaline aflame, raced through my bloodstream when — finally, finally, finally — moments before sunset, the Internet Guy opened our door, a brand fire new modem tucked under his arm.
B’ys, do you think he thought it strange when I hove my arms around him and embraced him chest to chest? Prob’ly. “Harry,” says Dearests Duck, “you are such a booby.” Blue-footed or no, eh b’ys? Thank you for reading.