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When real life resembles a sitcom

Recent events have led me to seek satisfaction by creating a comedy or drama television series to be called “Off-Shore.” It’s in a very early stage, just the outline of events and thoughts about casting.

I am thinking either Melisssa McCarthy who looks like me or Maggie Smith who could add a certain dignity to the necessary profanity.

 The story begins when a writer begins to put a stop to computer issues by trying a different server. That particular server, nameless but starts with the letter A, advertises incessantly and does something called a bundle or a wrap or a sandwich or something. So, the opening scene begins with a hand dialing on an obsolete device that only makes telephone calls. The music is airy and hopeful.

 Order placed. Two weeks later, no contact. Call the number (turns out it answers by someone “off-shore.” Can’t find order. Start over. Installation no sooner than two weeks. On the installation date, stay at home for installer. Nobody shows. Call the number. Get. “O.” Ask for USA contact. Get a guy with lower voice, still off-shore.  Sounding insulted, he puts me on hold for five minutes and I get a guy in California – I doubt it. Mistake acknowledged – new installation date in two weeks.

 Music no longer serene. Sounds like sharks. Profane imperatives and obscene suggestions unleashed.  New installation date negotiated.

 On Big Day, Bruce arrives, spreads cheer and searches for connection. Finds it, and declares a problem.

 Need an outside guy.  Promises he will be there next day. Inside departs. Outside calls in the morning.
“Did I know phone was disconnected?” He has done me a favor by reconnecting and fixing the outside.  To reschedule Mr. Inside, call the number. 

 Two weeks for next appointment. More profanity, suggested placement of the product.

Long story short, nice Mr. Inside arrived on a Friday morning, does a good job, and later that day – at suppertime – off-shore calls to confirm appointment for 9 a.m. Friday.

I stay on the line just for laughs now and ask for an American guy. I then get the other off-shore guy who is not only insulted but confused. I tell him I am placing him on hold and exit, laughing. 

The bill came today, not bundled. More episodes to follow – if the high speed Internet doesn’t wipe out.
Meanwhile, we will be producing some one-minute public service announcements about capable people who work for reliable, on-shore companies: There’s Dan at Batavia Wal-Mart  who quickly said, “No problem – we’ll take care of it.”

The friendly voice at Corfu who obliged instantly to my request to be sure to include the anchovies on the carry out Greek salad.

And, as always, Sunny at Dunkin’ Donuts was not judgmental when we ordered iced coffee in the midst of the snowstorm.

The fashion tip for the week: Mister Z has chosen to accessorize his mink coat with his Army boots issued in Alaska and a perky raccoon hat.

• Joan Arteberry is a long-time resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at


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