Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Intercom System

Ah, the unique pleasures of owning an old house in the digital age. We are so well equipped! We have two wireless telephones whose base stations and handsets can function as intercoms—but we usually keep the handsets charging on the base stations.

So the phones don’t make great intercoms, since we would have to walk a handset to the person we want to talk to before using it. I mean, what would be the purpose after that? It would turn into a Carol Burnett/Tim Conway Mr. Tudball/Mrs. Ah-Hwiggens” routine.

Then, in addition to our home “land line,” we both have cell phones, which even when we’re home we tend to carry around on our persons (in case those clients need to contact us with some editorial or design emergency, uh-huh).

And we have wireless Internet. (You didn’t think I do all this blogging while tethered to an ethernet cable, to you?)

Well, this morning, the Internet was acting up. No, I have no idea why—no one ever does—but it was just slow. Very, very slow.

Sue was on the first floor doing freelance; I was on the third floor trying to check some e’s. But the Internet was so slow, I decided to perform our routine fix-it for all things Internet: disconnect it, unplug it, wait; then plug it all in again. This usually works, somehow.

I wanted to tell Sue that I was going to do this—you know—just to make sure she wasn’t in the middle of some Internet thing that would get messed up if it was suddenly disconnected. But I’m in a moon boot, and steps are kind of a chore. I tried calling her cell phone, but she didn’t pick up. I heard it ringing from her bag in the living room. She didn’t have it with her. Doggone it.

I tried calling our home number with my cell phone, but Sue must have decided to let the answering machine get the call. So that didn’t work.

. . . Running out of options.

But wait a minute . . .

“Hey, Sue! The Internet’s down!”

Hallelujah for old technology! Once again, simplicity reigns: I hollered down to her from the living room’s cold-air return duct, and lo and behold, we were able to speak to each other perfectly well.

Dad has told me about how his mom used to communicate through the ductwork—calling her boys to supper, for instance—our home’s very own low-tech intercom system!

It works even when the Internet’s down, no electricity required.


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Is that where the saying came from, "Where's there's a will, there's a way"?

Zan said...