Perhaps it’s a setting you’re familiar with: It’s 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. Your significant other and the children are in bed. The dogs are chasing squirrels in their sleep. The streets are empty and all is quiet. There are no emails to reply to, no “eureka” texts to send to your fellow co-workers. It’s just you, a nightcap, and the television.
Maybe you’re watching the latest season of The Walking Dead (apparently, everybody does hate Chris). Or perhaps it’s the trailer for the new Mad Max movie (this two-minute-long-blast of post-apocalyptic fury, death-race frenzy, and fire-spewing guitars is better than most movies). Or maybe you’re watching a strangely introspective documentary about the demise of Atari and the rumor that the company buried millions of E.T. the Extraterrestrial cartridges in a landfill (actually, it’s kinda true).
Then it happens.
The cable lags. It pauses. It skips. And then the time-wheel of doom appears. For some strange and sudden reason, your cable connection has disappeared.
And so you do what you do in these situations: You unplug the router and modem and you wait. Then you plug it all back it and give it a go. Sometimes, the downtime does the trick. Sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, well, that’s when you curse your local cable provider, shouting out epithets the likes of which would shame the most unsavory of internet trolls.
If this sounds like your life, then believe you me, I understand. It is mine as well, and frankly, I’m just not sure what to do about it. And for the longest time, I didn’t even know what was causing it. But thanks to one viral photo of a University of South Carolina student, I now do.
In a much-circulated image, a female student appears to be trying to answer a question that is very similar to the one I ask every Saturday night: Why does U.S.C. wi-fi blow? The answers, which the pictured student may or may not have written are: 1. Niggers. 2. Incompetent professors. 3. Ratchets. 4. Overpopulated campus. 5. Parking.
Like you, I simply don’t get it. Clearly, there is some joke here that I have missed, some bit of funny that I just can’t see, and as a Grade-A wiseass, that frightens me. If there’s one thing that I understand, it’s humor. I get the joke. I always get the joke. Even when the joke isn’t funny. But this ... this ... doesn’t make any sense. It’s like if James Joyce’s Ulysses had been written by a thousands monkeys on one typewriter and they were all typing at the same time. Damn you, Comcast. Damn you all to hell.
And so, I’m going to try to salvage this joke. I’m going to try to make sure it makes sense and that it generates more than just one laugh. Here goes:
6. Knuckle-dragging racists.
7. Soft-shell crab season.
8. Tourists from Ohio.
9. Condé Nast.
10. Power yoga.
11. Yoga pants.
12. Scratch that. We can’t blame yoga pants for anything. Seriously, don’t even.
13. That mega-church preacher in the Upstate who rewrote the 10 Commandments.
14. I mean, dude, the fucking balls you have to have to correct the word of God.
16. Lug wrenches.
17. Ball-peen hammers.
18. Hammer pants.
19. Zayn Malik.
20. Iggy Azela’s fake “black American” accent.
21. White-boy reggae.
22. Imagine Dragons.
23. Peter Jackson’s decision to split The Hobbit into three movies.
28. Rick Perry’s glasses.
29. Rick Santorum’s sweaters.
30. Hillary Clinton’s server.
31. Self-serve soda fountains.
32. A can of warm Diet Coke on the floorboard of your car.
33. Tesla, the car.
34. Tesla, the band.
35. Tesla, the scientist.
36. Global fucking warming.
38. Polar bears.
39. Bears who love Josh Groban.
40. James Franco.
41. James Franco’s selfies.
42. Selfie sticks.
43. Kim Kardashian’s ass.
44. A broken internet.