Sandra Tsing Loh still has CompuServe.
My technophile friend BRAD is excited about ALL the new streaming.
“Do you UNDERSTAND?” he says. “Let … me … slow … this … down. Instead of WAITING for your Netflix DVD’s to drop IN through the mail slot-- Waiting for those THREE choices to WORK their way down the QUEUE? Oh hey! You can stream movies any time! A-ny time! Over the Internet! You can START them, STOP them, REPLAY them-- Five times in a ROW if you want--”
“I am NOT getting streaming,” I say, moving away from BRAD, hands up.
“Oh right, because it’s too EASY!” he mocks, springing after me, catlike. “And it’s too CHEAP! Of course! You, Sandra, actually DON’T want movies streaming over the Internet. You don’t LIKE movies. You’re going to BLOCK movies. I forgot that THIS is the woman who … still has CompuServe! CompuServe! WHAT‘S that email address of yours? 71702.353--”
“You listen to me,” I say suddenly, grabbing my Internet BULLY friend’s collar.
“You listen to me. I already pay Charter Cable $160/month to have
A) A landline people cannot call IN on. No, it always goes to the high-pitched FAX whine via the wireless PRINTER, which I am afraid to TOUCH because it took 20 hours to get THAT thing working.
B) Spotty Internet SERVICE, which Charter keeps DISCONNECTING because what with TWO little GIRLS typing CHEERFULLY away at their INTERNET games like infected RACCOONS we are SENDING out so much SPAM--? Well, it’s like lice. We have Internet LICE.
C) An overpriced cable BUNDLE where we had to buy nine HUNDRED stations just to get one OBSCURE one called BOOMERANG where the girls get to watch like Gilligan's ISLAND, which was not even good in MY day, and I am 97 years old. I have never enjoyed HBO in this household, or SHOWTIME. SIX FEET UNDER is as remote a CONCEPT to me as Assyrian pottery. Someone gave me the entire first season of MAD MEN. I have never watched ANY of it because I’m too BUSY wiggling on my belly UNDER the couch to plug and unplug blinking Charter CONTROL boxes.
“You see, Brad, my problems are NOT that I don’t have enough MOVIES to see. My problem is not ready ACCESS to first-run movies. No, my problem is that I need to SEND my daughters to BOARDING school for 10 years and then JETTISON myself off into a SPACE capsule to go into ORBIT around the dark side of PLUTO so I can SIMPLY check my FRICKING email. So STREAMING, Brad? I’ve got streaming! I've got your content STREAMING RIGHT DOWN MY LEG!!!!
The solution to my problems, he thinks? Clearly an IPHONE. Oh Lord. Continued next week.