The Plastic Hippo

July 8, 2014


Filed under: Health,Media,Music,Society — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
Hello? What? Yes I`ve tried that.

Hello? What? Yes I`ve tried that.

As a family, we are experts at dealing with unexpected calamity and the occasional crisis but Sunday proved to be cataclysmic as the full horror of the collapse of internet network connection visited our humble home.

The first horseman of the apocalypse crashed through the roof when an anguished scream was heard coming from an upper storey of the east wing of our small to medium mansion at about lunchtime. Engaged in “blowing away” cyborgs to reach the next level of some surrogate game designed to replace a more sensible passage to manhood, the son and heir issued a loud frustrated expletive when the internet crashed just before he had achieved enough kills to entitle him to deploy cluster bombs. On a previous occasion when male bonding was deemed necessary, I ventured the proposition that if it were a cyborg, then the screen should not be covered with just blood, brains and gore, but that the gloop should also contain the occasional microchip, PCB and possibly a resistor or two. He shrugged, saying that “it`s not real” and then quoted Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and even Descartes. I managed to resist the temptation to slap him round the back of the head.

The second horseman of the apocalypse came charging up the tree lined avenue of the palatial estate accompanied by a virago teen-aged daughter. The world was at an end, her Facebook wasn`t working. Deprived of liking or not liking the fact that Shaz had broken up with Daz because Baz had told Daz that Shaz had seen Gaz, the apple of my eye instructed me to immediately fix the internet. I managed to resist the temptation to slap her round the back of the head.

Horseman number three arrived needing to send an email prior to an important meeting the following day. I was forced into reminding her that the marriage vows did not include a clause that required me to over-ride and correct the achievements of Tim Berners-Lee. I resisted the temptation to sweep her up in my arms, drive to the airport and bugger off to Corfu.

Retreating to my kitchen, I seared the large lump of dead cow in preparation for a slow roast and painless death and decided that the beef was better off in my oven rather than wandering around a field infecting badgers with TB. I was momentarily tempted to take a photograph of Sunday dinner and share it with an adoring public but then realised that the internet thingy was down. The fourth horseman came galloping up the garden with the news that I was now unable to be not amused by pictures of sodding cats on Twitter. Infinitely more horrific was the dreadful realisation that we, as a nuclear family, would be forced into talking to each other using more than 140 characters. OMG.

After a couple of hours of splendid isolation, I was bullied into calling the help line. Negotiating four different levels of automated keypad options left me on hold for 10 minutes waiting for a human being to talk to. With postcode, house number and account checked, another 10 minutes on hold ended with news that the network was experiencing “problems”. Goodness me, that took me by surprise. However, the good news was that the network might be back to normal by about 10-30 that evening, a piffling 10 hours after it had crashed.

The children looked on in stunned silence when I told them of a time long ago when not one but both available TV stations shut down for an hour on Sunday evenings to allow people to go to church. I also told them of a time long gone when I did not actually dislike Richard Branson. Those of us of a certain age will remember full page ads in the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds that listed hundreds of rare and hard to get vinyl LPs available from a company called Virgin. After explaining what an LP was, I described how I would save up my paper round money to buy Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly from the aforementioned Mr Branson.

A look of bafflement crossed the cherubic, innocent faces of the offspring and they shyly asked WTF was I talking about. I explained about Richard Branson`s bloody awful railway and his bloody awful airline that needs to be avoided like the plague. I went on to describe in some detail what I thought of his bloody awful ISP and how this greedy, parasitic maggot is buying up the profitable bits of the NHS so he can continue to roll around naked in piles and piles and piles of lovely cash. The children turned to their mother and one said: “Was Dad like this before the internet was invented?”

Just after nine o`clock the world order was restored and connected normality had returned. In the intervening hours, Shaz was back together with Daz and Gaz has unfriended Baz. Someone had asked me to sign a meaningless online petition and someone else wanted me to RT a statement of the bleeding obvious. On Monday morning I resolved to research alternative Internet Service Providers other than the bloody awful Richard Branson.

Sadly, the network was again experiencing problems.


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