Saturday, September 17, 2005

On Hold

In the final days before school began, I was bored out of my mind.

I know this doesn't really have anything to do with atheism, but I'm still in the process of writing my next series of posts which I have tentatively dubbed "Wierd Orginizations." No, wait, actually I haven't even started writing it yet, damn homework.

Anywho, in my silent bored stupor, my DSL cut out. After two hours on hold and at least 20 minutes of pointless discussion with various customer service people, I finally figured out what was wrong: out of AOLs three or four DSL systems, which each had a 17,000 mile range, my house was 800 feet outside of all of them. 800 feet! *slicing motion*

Well, anyway, now I was bored and pissed, but I had something to write about. So, over the proccess of a few hours, I had came up with "On Hold." May I remind you that this, like everything else in my blog, is copyrighted. Enjoy.

On Hold
By Chris Annas-Lee


Philip Wigan has been on hold for two weeks.

It had happened one day in mid August when Phil had called up the DSL customer service. The DSL was beautiful, for the one day it worked. It was fast, reliable, able to play streaming videos quickly. Exactly what the commercial had said. But Phil had known it was impossible. Commercials, and this is a Law of Physics, are not correct. The product they advertise might be perfectly good, but the space time continuum simply cannot physically enable it to function properly. If it does work, as Phil’s had when it first arrived, the continuum calls out it’s armed forces to wait until the unsuspecting buyer leaves the house, then to club the equally unsuspecting product to pieces, patch it up with tape, and finally leave the house with bright smiles on their faces, happy in the knowledge of a job well done.
So, the day after the arrival and installation of the DSL, Phil returned from work to his study, and turned on the computer. He typed in the URL for the Boston Globe website, hit the enter key, and sat back in his chair. Nothing happened. Phil was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access Q:h.433294@e.com but instead ends up with Q:h.434105@e.com.
He hit the enter key again, rather harder than necessary. He waited, and in that silence, somewhere, a solitary bunny rabbit bobbed his head to Jazz music. Then, rather suddenly, nothing continued to happen. He began to get annoyed, but the thought that the DSL wasn’t working didn’t once cross his mind. This was because his subconscious refused to accept the fact that the DSL wasn’t working. Though the subconscious didn’t realize it at the time, it to was obeying another, though much less known rule of fundamental physics which states, in very clear and legible interstellar language: “” (It’s not my fault you people haven’t learned that language yet).
So, acting in a very normal, natural way under the current circumstances, and still steadfastly believing that it could not possibly be a problem involved with the DSL, Phil very slowly picked up his keyboard, and smashed it in two.
One quick trip to Best Buy later, during which time the continuum’s armed forces reentered Phil’s home and smashed and taped up his septic tank (but that’s a different story), Phil sat once again at his computer, with a new keyboard in front of him. The old, smashed-in-two keyboard would later be reincarnated as a very large grizzly bear, and Phil would much later be reincarnated as a salmon, but that, also, is a very different story.
Now Phil was calm. His subconscious had given up trying to keep rational thoughts out of his head, and had taken a much needed vacation to Cuba. So, there were a few fleeting ideas of things hovering in Phil’s mind as he hit the enter key again. There was a pause. At the end of that pause there was another pause, this one was slightly longer than the first. This was followed by another pause which about 10 seconds long; shortly afterwards there was a 50 second pause, then a short break as the pauses went out to the porch for a smoke, then the whole process began (naturally) at the beginning again.
Phil hit enter again. Then he hit his head with the palm of his right hand, swearing loudly, since the mouse was still clutched in it. After some more cursing, he explained his idea to the wall which, since he had hit himself, had begun to resemble Pamela Anderson (this image quickly faded, and he felt sad again). “You see,” he said to John Malkovich, who had just joined the party, but who would be leaving very soon, “I’ve been hitting the enter button all this time, I should hit go with the mouse.”
He did so. And there was a pause. . .
5,280 pauses later, he decided to call customer service. He had never liked calling customer service, though he had only done it seven times in his life. The first time had been rather pleasant. He had been in a rough place in his life, his wife had just left him and was demanding child support for a son that only she could see, and she was suing him for not paying it. His television had been acting up, and he had called the hot line. A nice woman had shortly shown him that the TV was, in fact, possessed by an evil fire breathing demon, and had shown him, step by step, how to remove it. He had thanked her vigorously, before turning off the phone and instantly feeling better. The next five calls were to the same woman, asking her to marry him. On the sixth, she told him he was crazy, and said she had gotten a restraining order against him.
So he was clearly not well disposed towards customer service, though a faint part of him hoped to meet someone there again. . .
Eventually, summing up all his courage, he phoned in. A gruff toned man with a faintly Indian accent told him that he would be put on with a technician shortly, and that he should hold. He has been holding ever since.
Phil’s phone is a corded phone, so he couldn’t run for help, even after his food supply of old M ‘n M crumbs had run out. He couldn’t get on the internet to email help, because the DSL didn’t work. And he couldn’t hang up.
He had tried, oh he had tried. But every time he was about to, the music stopped for a moment and a kind and warm woman’s voice informed him that his call was important to the company, and to her. She said it wouldn’t be long now . . . just a few minutes . . . technicians were otherwise occupied. . .
Phil had tried screaming at the woman to let him go, to let him live in peace. But it didn’t work. Over time he had developed a kind of relationship with the woman. Phil and the woman had never met; they were like two butterflies who had also never met. Eventually, Phil decided to go mad. Since Phil was already mad at the time of his decision, madness seemed perfectly reasonable to him. He developed an even deeper relationship with the woman. His call was important to her. He mattered to her. He was important. He mattered. . .
Now Phil had recently won a company golf tournament. Usually this would mean nothing, but Phil had no skill at golf, he had won by pure luck. His luck had been used up at that tournament. That’s the only explanation for what was about to happen. The DSL company he was calling went bankrupt. Everyone was fired. But the phone remained plugged in, still playing the slow and steady beat of Beethoven’s Ninth, over and over again.
He should have died. By every law of nature he should be dead. Every law, that is, except one. This law states: “When a person is put on hold by customer service, or any other company for that matter, he or she is rendered invincible. A bullet could pierce straight through the body of this person, a really big snake with huge pointy teeth could swallow him or her whole; it wouldn’t matter. While this person is on hold, hunger is irrelevant, pain unnoticed, and the world becomes a cloud of gray.”
Philip Wigan has been on hold for two weeks. He has nothing else to do, and there is no one at all to come looking for him. Without intervention, he will continue to hold. He will wait, solemnly, quietly. He will listen to Beethoven, he will long for the woman with the kind and warm voice. But the music will not end, and the woman will not come. . . Phil Wigan will be on hold forever.

2 Comments:

Blogger Aeger gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

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4:13 PM  
Blogger Aeger gasped, still in awe of the posts pure goodness...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:13 PM  

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