Hartley: The hell I face when the Internet goes down | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: The hell I face when the Internet goes down

Todd Hartley
I’m With Stupid

This morning, as I sit down and write this column, my worst fears have come true. The Internet is down and I am left with naught but my own imagination for inspiration. There will be no stories of morons doing their moronity, scientists passing off speculation as truth or college crybabies whining that their feelings got hurt. This morning, I'm all alone, and it's terrifying.

By the way, when I say that this constitutes "my worst fears," I'm speaking, um — damn it, I need to look up a word — but anyway, I don't really mean it. Obviously, I have much worse fears, but it might give you an idea of how outrageously First World my problems are that I can even count the Internet being down as something I worry about.

Here's the dilemma I face: Either the company that supplies me with access to the Internet has a problem, or else the Wi-Fi network in my four-bedroom house isn't functioning correctly. In either event, I no longer have magic, wireless access to all the information in the world through my computer, iPad or phone. As a result, I actually have to use my brain to think up a subject for a column.

If and when I complete that column — and right now that outcome is still very much in doubt — I won't be able to send it to my editor from my bedroom while dressed in my pajamas due to the fact that I have no email. That means I will have to get up, put on clothes and drive 5 miles to Whole Foods to use its wireless network to submit my column over some breakfast pizza and an iced tea.

Oh, God! Won't the hell ever cease? (I really want to look that up right now to see where that saying comes from.)

So, OK, it's not really much of a problem or a fear in the grand scheme of things. I imagine if I lived in, say, Burundi, and no Internet access were the biggest concern I had today, I'd count myself pretty lucky. (I used Burundi because I think there's a civil war starting up there right now. I'd look it up for you, but what are you gonna do?)

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With that in mind, I suppose I could use this column to write about the plight of the poor Syrian refugees and how they need somewhere to go and how everyone should take them in and blah, blah, politically correct blah. I have opinions on that subject, naturally, but I have no desire to wade into that mess, so I'll have to think of something else.

Oh, I just thought of something! Speaking of First World problems, I have one that really bugs the crap out of me. Why is it that when I decide I like a particular food product, it immediately disappears from store shelves, never to be seen again? It happened with Razcal soda, O'Boisies potato crisps, Tombstone rising-crust pizzas, Dreyer's Dreamery tiramisu ice cream — the list goes on and on.

The latest culprit is my aforementioned local Whole Foods, which used to have a great roast-beef sandwich with portabello mushrooms for $7. They took it away and replaced it with an inferior roast-beef sandwich that costs $10. They used to have really good house-brand iced teas that used real sugar but weren't too sweet and had about 40 calories each. Gone. Vitamin waters made without some nasty Stevia-type crap? Not anymore.

The worst part is that there used to be a young lady working there who made the best breakfast pizzas ever. I mean, her huevos rancheros pizza with shredded pork was a masterpiece. So was her country-gravy-potato-egg-cheese pizza with three types of pig. Heavenly.

Alas, the young lady left last spring, and the current pizza makers are merely adequate. I mean, no offense to them, as they're as good as anyone else, but that one gal had pizzazz. She had that "it" quality that makes a great pizza artist. And best of all, she never used onions.

So there's one more First World fear I have to worry about today. Not only do I have to go to Whole Foods to send this column that it appears I will finish, but when I get there, not only will the breakfast pizza be just so-so, it also might have onions on it.

What have I done to deserve such a wretched fate?

Oh, woe is Todd Hartley! To read more or leave a comment, visit http://zerobudget.net.