The Thirty-Minute Tyrannical Reign of Captain Obvious

On Saturday my internet wasn’t working. This isn’t unusual– generally the internet is busier on the weekend since obviously people have nothing better to do (or, like yours truly, they have plenty else to do– they’re just putting off).  Anyway, in the past I used to roll my eyes at the “Internet cannot display this webpage” notice and take it as a divine sign that I really should be doing something more productive with my free time. However, this weekend I really did not have anything better to do because it was late and I really did not feel like doing anything meaningful, so I started fiddling. I scrutinized the screen for any button that could shoot my troubles and eventually found a button that said “Identify the problem”.

And so began the reign of Captain Obvious…

After an agonizingly long time of watching a little green “loading” bar bounce back and forth across my screen, a box popped up with the following message: “Your computer cannot connect to the internet”

Yes, I thought. Could you tell me why, though? If it’s not too much trouble.

Perhaps computers are built to make some of us feel stupid… You know, just in case someone (say, Dory, for instance. I mean, if she can remember “P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney”, there is no reason why she can’t use a laptop?) sommer forgot why their computer was busy doing what it was doing and needed to be reminded.

After contemplating the meaning of life for a good 60 seconds, I clicked the “Find Solution” button. Then I practically exploded because the next message to grace the screen was, “No solutions found. Would you like to search online for a solution?”

I started insulting the machine: calling it names and swearing creatively (because I don’t swear swear– I just don’t. Instead, I say stuff like, “Malapropism”– ok, no, I don’t say that but for some reason it was the first thing that popped into my head. Moving on…) Let’s be serious: If I could search online for a solution, I wouldn’t need to search online for a solution.

And then my mother has the audacity to say that computers are smarter than people. Pah!

In theory, sure. In practice? Malapropism No!

Eventually my internet returned of its own accord. In the mean time, I repeatedly beat my high score on Freecell and played my version of the alphabet song on my guitar. It was probably the most unproductive hour of my life and, knowing me, that’s saying a lot.


“The problem at this point is that there is a problem.” – Captain Obvious


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