Please ignore my paralyzed lip

By Mir
December 12, 2006

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is that I am incapable of eating a cinnamon crunch bagel right now, as I seem to only be commanding about half of my mouth and approximately one-quarter of my upper lip.

The good news is that my internet at home is working again, thanks to the mystical wonder I like to call “nightly maintenance that fixes whatever it is that Comcast is now regularly breaking on my system.”

Oh, wait. There’s more good news: I can make some really cool faces with my lip all numb like this.

So, I went to the dentist last week, and they cleaned and polished my teeth and told me how beautiful they are, and I was luxuriating in the praise when the perky young dentist insisted on pointing out a cavity. The nerve. She told me not to worry, because it’s just a tiny one, but then when I asked if I could wait to have it filled her face fell.

“Oh, no,” she said, “I wouldn’t wait. If you do, it might get bigger!” Well, okay then. Fair enough and all, but why tell someone a cavity is “no big deal” if it has to be filled, anyway? My face is going to be numb by the time you start drilling in there; what do I care if it’s little or huge or just right? You crawling inside my mouth while I try not to drool all over myself is pretty much the same procedure, regardless.

[Aside: For years I had slightly-weird men as dentists. I came to believe they were the only people who chose the profession. Then I encountered a variety of different sorts of dentists, culminating in my current dentist, who is small and adorable and perky and doesn’t look a day over fifteen. I want to put her in my pocket. But it makes me wonder if dentistry is somehow becoming hip, now. Because honestly, the only way you could get ME to become a dentist would be if you locked me in a room and said, “Okay, you have to pick one of these two professions before you can come out. You can either be a proctologist or a dentist.” In that scenario, I pick dentistry (hands down), but other than that, WHY would someone voluntarily spend their time breathing other people’s stinky breath, palpating their gums, and listening to their weak excuses for not flossing? I am puzzled.]

Anyway, I had the cavity filled this morning and now I am hungry, but I cannot even sip a little water without it all falling back out of my mouth, so I think I need to wait a bit to eat.

But back to my internet. Once upon a time my internet was provided by a small company, and when they first offered broadband it had a lot of problems, but eventually they worked it out and the service was good. Recently, Comcast came along and swallowed my local company. And they sent out a billion flyers and ran a zillion commercials about how COMCASTIC everything was going to be now.

In the words of a great icon of our generation: That word, I do not think it means what they think it means.

Apparently what it means to be COMCASTIC is that my broadband service—which previously worked just fine, thanks, providing frivolous things like round-the-clock internet access—now just disappears a couple of times a week for about twelve hours. It just up and vanishes! Isn’t that COMCASTIC?

I call to report the outages, and invariably I get a “customer service tech” on the phone who is really helpful. Oh my, yes. They will say things like, “Let me check on that for you. Well, ma’am, I’m showing that your modem is offline.” And when I reply that THIS IS IN FACT WHY I’M CALLING, they offer to send out a repairman next week.

Then I bang my head on my desk until I pass out. When I wake up in the morning, their nightly maintenance has reset whatever the problem is. And that’s great and all, but sometimes I don’t feel like waiting twelve hours for access. Also? As I explained to the nice man on the phone last night, I’m paying a lot of money for service I’m not getting. It makes me cranky.

Now I have internet again (inexplicably! like magic!) and my bill has been credited and a repairman is coming out at the end of the week. That should be fun, because there’s nothing wrong at my house or probably even on the street pole. I suspect someone at their headquarters is getting a little too Comcastic near the switch that controls my neighborhood, frankly. And I wish they’d stop.

So I’m going to catch up on all of the stuff I couldn’t do last night, and then I have to go shopping for floor tile. And a shower door. Woooo! And even though y’all vehemently protested my wallpapering plans, I have to tell you a couple of things:

1) I already have the wallpaper. Which makes it FREE. Paint? Not Free.


2) That bathroom has always been wallpapered. As such, they the walls never had any finish work. As in, they’re not taped. Would it be lovely to tape and finish them and paint? Yes. The price? Not Free.

So. Wallpaper it is! Those of you who protest can use the painted bathroom with the frogs. But that’s the one where Monkey regularly exercises his dubious aim, so really, it’s a matter of picking your evil.

Now my tooth is starting to hurt but my lip is still numb. This seems unfair. And I really don’t want to find myself at Home Despot saying, “Yeth, I neeb sub tieble for my bafrum.”


  1. Woman with Kids

    Love the Princess Bride… Habitually and annoying quote from it all time! To the boys dismay…

  2. Elena

    hehe, wouldn’t you rather use a tried and true method for luring a Comcastic repairman to your home? And by “tried and true”, OF COURSE I mean hauling out your wedding dress and swooping around the woods outside your house, singing madrigals and waving a ham sandwich with mustard, the favored food of the cable repairman.
    That Joss. She cracks me up!

  3. Aimee

    Woman with kids, clearly the word “annoying” does not mean what your boys think it means, because there is no way that quoting from The Princess Bride could be anything other than delightful.

    Mir honey, even with a numb lip and a non-painted bathroom… you’re pretty!

  4. Dee Dee

    We had Adelphia too but the father/son combo that started the company are now in prison after embezzling lots and lots of money from the company so Comcastic it is here too. Next Monday we are upgrading to Verizon FIOS with uploads and downloads of 15/2. I cannot wait to be done with Adelphia/Comcast. Good luck with your service call!

  5. Jenn2

    Three things:

    1) Yeah! The Princess Bride is such a good movie!
    2) Comcast sucks in California too. But so does AT&T, so there you have it.
    3) Paper the bathroom, it’s not like you’re gonna be living there much longer anyway, right?

  6. KAT

    I don’t think it was Comcast, but I had a cable Internet company for awhile whose techs just liked to mess with people. My Internet would go out, I’d call and sit on the line for 20 minutes and their advice when they finally answered? “Try unplugging the modem and plugging it back in.”

    It wasn’t something I could do on my own the next time, though, because it was always “Unplug it, count to 10, slower, OK, start over, now count to 10, OK, plug it in… NOW!” But it always worked.

  7. Cele

    I have to say I have Qwest DSL and absolutely love it. I had a dial up service for years, and the outages drove me insane.

    I did a mixture of sponge painting, chair rail, and wall paper border in my bathroom. I love it, and get lots of comments on it. But the problem arose that I can match the paint, but the wall paper border has been out of stock since a month after I bought it. So now when I freshen the paint above the border it is agony trying to not get any on the border.

  8. MMM

    Our Comcast was HORRIBLE. We had to switch to our phone company.

  9. amanda

    Comcast has also eaten our local cable internet company. One suggestion that helped my friend was to ask for a senior repair technician. When the senior tech came out, he re-ran all the cable to the house, and since then, there have not been any problems with outages.

  10. Carla Hinkle

    I had a terrible, terrible time with DSL for a few years. I live in Southern California and apparently rain is so scarce down here that “well, the internet is out because it is raining, just wait a day or two until the lines dry out” is an appropriate excuse.

    After a winter or two of that I switched to cable which seems to suffer a similar problem though out on the pole, rather than on the wiring close to my house. It was especially freaky last winter when the connection would go down around 8 or 9 pm when the coastal mist was settling in, and be intermittently off and on (mostly off) until about 8 or 9 am when things dried out.

    They ALL suck. Big time.

  11. Muirnait

    Squee! Princess bride reference makes my day! Such love.
    And do whatever the heck you want in your bathroom ;-)

  12. Caroline

    I was at the dentist for my cleaning yesterday, and I pondered that very same question – what makes someone decide that they simply must be a dentist? It’s not one of those careers that you fall into accidentally, like some office drones do. You really have to want to be a dentist to go through all of that schooling and deal with all the nastiness. I contemplated asking him, but thought it might sound condescending, and I did not wish to irk the man poking at my tender, delicate mouth with very sharp sticks.

  13. Sara

    Ahh…Comcast. I wish someone would fight them “to the pain”.

  14. bec 36

    You might actually want the repair dude to come out and check everything. We were having regular problems with Comcast too (although, in our case, Internet service–and sometimes cable TV as well–would be out for multiple days). One thing we did was sick the county on ’em–there is a cable complaint office in our county government and after we told them our tales of woe, we started getting apologetic calls from higher-ups at Comcast. But the other thing that needed to happen was they needed to run all new lines, or replace the nodes, or something like that, outside our house. In other words, there may be a repair, possibly involving digging, that actually brings a halt to your recurring outtages. I hope so! Good luck.

    bec :D

  15. Naomi

    As the wife of a dentist, I think I can answer the question: Why be a dentist?
    Money. Money.
    Good hours.
    Hygenisits who do the nasty/gross/disgusting work.
    That whole sphill about helping people who are in pain, etc. etc. etc.
    And as Caroline pointed out, if someone irks you, you get to poke them in the mouth with sharp objects (“Oops! Did you feel that? Ohh, sorry.”)

    I loved The Princess Bride quote.

  16. daring one

    Our comcastic experience was similar, without the numb lips. It’s so frustrating to be down when, like, your living depends on having the internet up and running.

  17. Sophie

    I’ve been too cheap to get broadband; I’m feeling better about that decision now. Thanks for that. By the way, you are pretty and funny!

  18. BethR

    “WHY would someone voluntarily spend their time breathing other people’s stinky breath, palpating their gums, and listening to their weak excuses for not flossing?”

    Because they make money hand over freakin’ fist, that’s why!

  19. beatrice

    I did tech support and other stuff for a small ISP for a number of years – believe it or not, sometimes the line and the modem stop talking to each other, and you do have to turn the modem off and turn it back on to get it to work.
    It sounds like you’ve got a local loop or connection problem, honestly. Get your repair guy out there.
    And us techies like chocolate chip cookies, if you’re luring someone to your house…..

  20. Lisa C.

    If nightly maintenance is fixing the issue, it’s probably plain old human stupidity that’s causing it. All communications devices run “routine exercises” during the maintenance window at night. Routine exercises are automated processes that remove and restore each device in turn on a network. Then the next morning, someone has to go in and restore all the stuff that failed to restore during routine exercises. Elements that habitually fail should be replaced. So some numb-nut is restoring something in your network and making it controlling, which is a super big no-no. I would sue. (OK, I wouldn’t sue, but I would bitch, heavily.)

    I skipped cable internet and went directly from Verizon DSL to Verizon FiOS. I love FiOS so much I am currently practicing bigamy with it.

  21. Cyndi


    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I have to say I really enjoy it. I have never commented, but wanted to let you know about the night fairies that work at cable companies. Many years ago, there was a repairman who was paid for all the time he had to do outside of work for cable repair. So, he taught his girlfriend how to make the cable not work. He would then sit around for oh, about 4 (paid) hours, and then go out aand turn it back on. This was Comcast. They eventually caught on and fired him….

  22. Rebecca


    I think I peed a little over this entry. Funny stuff!

  23. rose

    So glad the comcast problem isn’t all in my head. It’s happened twice this week. My service was out most of the day, mysteriously returned in the evening. So annoying. I did get a lot done in the house…

  24. Gillian

    My daughters cable line running from the street to the house was cracked. The result was that when it cooled off the cable would contract and the signal would be lost. When it warmed up the cable would swell and the signal would return. Boggles the mind.

  25. Fold My Laundry Please

    I would rather eat a bug than be either a proctologist or a dentist! I’m gonna go ahead and throw gynocologist in there, too!

  26. DDM

    Heh. I guess now isn’t a good time to talk about my husband, the Technical Trainer for Comcast? *Running!*

  27. Teri

    I just have to say that I agree with comments about Verizon FIOS! It’s just wonderful! We’ve had it for almost a year. I had an outage one day last month. I called in the morning and a repair guy was there within 4hrs to fix it. That’s what I call great service. I hope Otto has Verizon where he lives, because that would definitely be worth the move.

  28. Katie

    We jumped from Comcast to Verizon FIOS too. Other than switching the phone service and losing our number (Verizon blamed Comcast, Comcast blamed Verizon), it’s been great. Good Luck!!!

  29. Kestralyn

    I’ve been playing this same game with SuddenLink (which we’ve all decided means Sudden(ly there’s no)Link.

    I’m about ready to have them come do a complete check. This is getting stupid

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