Life without connectivity, Mr. wOw discovers, is a terrible thing
There is an old anecdote about Tallulah Bankhead, illustrating her utter helplessness in real-life situations. “Tallulah dropped an egg and stood aside.”
Well — Mr. minus the basso voice — Mr. Wow was feeling quite Tallulah-esque for several days, after our Internet service crashed, leaving me and B. cyber-less.
Sure, we’d had our problems before, but always quickly resolved, usually through the nimble tech thinking of B. This time there was no swift salvation, even though B. kept telling them (those terrible “thems” on the other end of the line — who still have their internet service — that the problem was not with us, but with the home office or station or whatever the hell it is.)
So there we were, bereft of our computer lives.
And you what? It was pretty scary, realizing how much we have come to depend on the instant communication/gratification of the Internet. For one thing, I couldn’t log onto wOw and respond to you all. This put me in a bit of a narcissistic panic –“But, but … they’ll be wanting to hear from me on my Elizabeth Taylor story!” B. said: “Calm, down Norma, I think they just want the Rolls.” (B. knows his great movies and a Big Scene when he sees one.)
But then there were all the other news and gossip sites that I don’t necessarily read, but browse compulsively. What, what — has Lindsay strolled off with another tacky necklace … has Charlie Sheen held a knife to some other woman’s throat … have the kids from “Jersey Shore” all contracted STD’s?
I missed the crazy misleading headlines on Huffington and Drudge. I missed e-mailing my few friends. I certainly missed surfing for porn. (Sorry, that’s what men do — we are truly pigs.)
I found myself getting up and going to the computer obsessively, trying to make it work — willing it with the power of my (believe me) very weak mind — to suddenly come to life.
It occurred to me that this is exactly the reason I have resisted a cell phone for so long. Even though I don’t enjoy talking on the landline much, there’s a fear I might become one of those people whom I want to strangle, daily. Nothing but cell phone conversations and communication — texting and sexting and utter drivel. “I’m at the corner, honey!”
But here I was, feeling lost because I couldn’t get online and … basically do nothing online.
I finished two books, and stayed up well past my bedtime to watch PBS specials on Marie Antoinette and Helen of Troy. I’d have done this anyway, but I was especially sleepless and antsy because I couldn’t … send my friend Charles a great new photo of Marilyn Monroe I’d found online, minutes before our service crashed.
To think that only a decade or so ago, we mostly still read the newspapers cover to cover, researched the old-fashioned way (remember the library) and wrote notes and faxed. And faxing was a tremendous innovation. Now it is antique, like VHS tapes.
Back then, we certainly did not log on TMZ, read a boatload of crap and then hypnotically drift to the Comments section so we could see for ourselves just how vile humans can be to other humans.
B. called me a minute ago. We’re up again. I guess that’s cool. He can begin ordering books and jeans and shirts and odd mechanical stuff on Amazon again. (Please look for us on an upcoming episode of “Hoarders.”)
I guess I really missed the porn.
And if the Internet goes down worldwide for some reason, we are all royally screwed. Great movie thriller material here.
But I still don’t have a cell phone. Does this make me a bad person? (Or is it the porn?)