We lost our internet webs1 the other night and for a whole 24 hours.
A freak thunderstorm came up out of nowhere - or, really, it came down from the northwest - and I was just sitting here, minding my own business, when...
A lightning/thunder strike so close it rattled the windows and made me jump out of my chair and exclaim, “Holy schnitzel pretzel crisp!”2 It also scared Vinny so bad he did a Scooby Doo run on the throw rug before taking off like a rocket downstairs.
The next moment, I got a notification pop up in my system tray indicating my “internet connection has been lost”.
And I’m all, like, dammit, Internet Connection! You do not even have my permission to wander off and get lost. Next thing I know you’ll be getting in a white van and taking razor-bladed candy from a stranger.
So I hollered down the stairs at Lex - the Keeper of the Internet Connection - and told him to DO SOMETHING.
But he couldn’t just then. Because he was a little busy cursing loudly at the modem/router and at his computer...all of which had, a split second after the KABLOOEY-BLAM, went sizzlesizzlesizzle poof. And died.
At least it was a quick death. They didn’t suffer. We don’t think.
That is not to say there wasn’t suffering though.
WE suffered. Oh my yes. There was suffering. For, at least, 40 minutes.
Because not even my mahjong game likes to be without an internet tube web connection. And that’s saying something. Mostly because Microsoft Games should just be...standard...in the “accessories” folder...like they always have been...internet web connection not required. Not with Windows 10 though. Alas.
But after 40 minutes I just kinda shrugged and retreated upstairs to read Pride and Prejudice. Again.
Hardback. Hold the candlelight.
Because Mr. Darcy makes even the lack of an internet connection better.
I can’t say Lex fared quite as well. The quality of his life depends on three things. The internet, pot, and good snacks. He had two of the three. But it wasn’t enough.
Regardless, none of this is actually the point of this post except for the part where, once I’d retreated upstairs, I realized that I’ve lived 3/4 of my life without an internet connection and before there was an internet I was certainly able to keep myself easily entertained with something.
I just don’t actually know now what that something was.
Except reading, now that I think of it. And solitaire the old-fashioned way...with shuffling. Both highly satisfying activities still.
Regardless, totally, not the point.
So...the next day, I’m driving to work, toasted modem/router riding shotgun waiting to be delivered to xfinity for exchange. I’m grooving out to SiriusXM’s 1st Wave - Alternative 80’s...because I’m a middle aged white lady driving the 21st century’s equivalent to a minivan and that’s what we listen to3 when we’re in the car (when we’re not listening to NPR) - and drinking my coffee. I set my coffee down as I approached my turn and...that’s when it hit me.
The internet webs aren’t the only thing we lived without in the 20th century. The internet webs aren’t even the most significant thing we lived without. Nay, People.
Would you like to know what else we lived without?
Car cup holders.
Think about that for just a moment.
The modern car was born in 1886.
It would take over a century before the car cup holder became a standard feature in every automobile.
My first three cars - a 1981 Chevrolet Malibu Classic, a 1984 Toyota Corolla, and a 1992 Hyundai Scoupe - had no cup holder. The Chevy had bench seats in both front and back. This meant that I either had to have a navigator to hold my Big Gulp whenever I headed to Blockbuster Video or drive with that 32 oz. cup of delicious, fizzy goodness between my knees. Sounds safe.
At least once bucket seats for the front became standard I found I could wedge said Big Gulp (but only a Big Gulp anything more or less could not be accommodated) between the emergency brake and the passenger seat...which worked pretty well unless I had to start or stop suddenly.
Thankfully I never had an emergency requiring the emergency brake.
I didn’t have a vehicle with a cup holder until 2001. Less than a decade before Blockbuster would become completely irrelevant.
Especially when you consider that the world wide web was launched to the public in 1991...2 years before we could buy a car where a cup holder was standard equipment.
What the actual fuck?
The struggle. Real.
So...when I think about what life was like in 1988 and compare it to now I had no idea that instant access to cat videos no matter where I am would trump a convenient place to hold my beverage of choice in my car in level of importance.
Back then? All I wanted was a [diet] Pepsi. And a place to secure it. In my car. Where I felt safest of all.
I haz some.
- Thank you, Chewbacca Mom.
- I don’t even know.
- Listen to what’s playing on the muzak at the grocery store. Then maybe you’ll believe me.