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Former Modes of Aunting

"Walter," said she, "get down this moment. You are extremely troublesome. I am very angry with you."

"Walter," cried Charles Hayter, "why do you not do as you are bid? Do you not hear your aunt speak? Come to me, Walter, come to cousin Charles."

But not a bit did Walter stir.

-Jane Austen, Persuasion

Well, clearly the child's first problem is that he is named "Walter." But aunting would be so much easier if I just had a Charles Hayter backing up my "You are extremely troublesome" with "Do you not hear your aunt speak?"  That would have both nephews hopping right to.

bonnet at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Welcome, Freelance Switch Readers

It's the world's first essay which invokes the Titanic, Eight Belles, and jazz hands--all in 800 words or less. We do party, here at Blonde Champagne.

recovering at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


UPDATE to Connectivity UPDATE

DAY 16: "Hi. We went over two weeks without Internet or phone, and now the coverage is intermittent. "

"Okay, we'll have a tech confirm an appointment with a phone call."

"Don't call the landline. Because it's often out."

"Of course."

DAY 17: Voicemail check:

"This is an automatic reminder from Comcast. We are calling your home phone to confirm an appointment,but you have not answered the line. If you do not answer the phone when your tech attempts to contact you, your appointment will be canceled."

DAY 18: "Hi, this is Comcast. I was out working on your line the other day, and now the service center is telling me that you still have a problem?"

"Yes, the coverage comes and goes."

"Well, I've fixed it. You shouldn't be having any more problems, but I'll check back next week to make sure, okay? I'm canceling the appointment the national center has set for tomorrow."

I do not argue, for I am well and truly beaten, and do not care anymore.

DAY 19: "Hi, I'm here to fix the phone line?"


Connectivity UPDATE

No Phone Or Internet, DAY 1: It seems that a rival tech company has cut the cable outside the house while laying lines of its own. This takes place, of course, just as I'm looking up the directions to a day job interview. When I pick up the phone to call Josh The Pilot for directory assistance, the line is dead. It's coming from inside the house.

DAY 2: Customer Service sends out a tech, who connects a bright orange cord from the outside line to a hole in the ground in order to provide us with cable access. The TV signal, incidentally, is the only thing working.

DAY 3: "Oh, your internet is still out? You need a different tech for that."

DAY 4: The McDonald's down the road offers free Wi-Fi, which, judging by the speed of it, is powered by Mayor McCheese running on a treadmill out by the Play Place.

DAY 5: Daily phone calls to Customer Service now begin with a running count of the number of days we've gone without service, for this is indeed a hostage crisis.

DAY 6: "Well, ma'am, the problem is, the signal? From the cable? Isn't reaching your house."

DAY 7: "The tech will be there tomorrow. Your case is prioritized, and he will be there tomorrow. Here's the phone number of the local contractor. Call them if no one shows up. Ma'am, I cannot understand you when you're screeching. Ma'am?"

DAY 8: "Why did the national call center give you this number? We're in Maryland."

DAY 9: "You still don't have service? Well, the tech was there two days ago to repair the TV line."

DAY 10: "Thank you for calling your local Comcast."

"Hi. We've gone ten days without Internet or a landline. The national call center told me to contact you about this issue. Can I please speak to someone about a pending appointment?"

"Sure, one moment."

(Line clicks over to national call center.)

DAY 10: "Hi, I'm here to repair the television signal?"

DAY 11: Accounting update: Comcast currently owes us $90.25 in cell phone overages, $400 in Panera coffee and Big Macs, and $17,800 in antidepressants.

DAY 12: "We have several accounts on our priority list. Lots of customers are waiting for service."

DAY 13: "Josh, what's that?"

"What's what?"

"Look at the phone modem, or whatever. It's blinking."

"It's always blinking."

"But it usually doesn't blink like that! Look... see?"

"It's just mocking us, honey."

DAY 14: I leave the state. There is better wireless access at... my parents' house. I repeat: I must repair to the home of my 67-year-old parents for more reliable technology.

DAY 15: My cell rings: "Guess what! The phone is back! The sig-"


no refund at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


I Really Do Appreciate It

It's bedtime, and I'm listening to "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw" by Jimmy Buffett. On an album designed for putting small children to sleep.

Somebody who either has absolutely no access to Lyrics Depot or an amazing sense of the twisted has created instrumental versions of "Margaritaville" and the aforementioned paean to drinking and screwing and packaged it as Sleepytime Tunes: Jimmy Buffett Lullaby. It's very relaxing, as long as you don't sing softly along as Baby gently slumbers to the strains of "I just bought a waterbed, it's filled up for me and you."

I mean, I've heard of The Parakeet Album, which features children singing sanitized lyrics (everybody wants a cold root beer rather than a cold draft beer, don't they?), but that one reaches way, way back into the catalog for such mild offerings as "Christmas in the Caribbean" and "Off to See the Lizard." The lullaby one? Man, you want Buffett, you've got him.

Night-night, little one likely produced by drinking and screwing at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com