The relationship between me and my 3G/HSDPA service provider can hardly be more strained. If we were a married couple and in a movie, the movie would be called The War of the Roses and I would be Kathleen Turner trying to poison Michael Douglas.

I called MWEB many, many times last year to complain about the fact I hardly ever get the 3G or HSDPA signal I am paying for, and that my internet life is a laborious one of waiting entire half-hours for my mail to download. Joys like the Onion are few and far between, and loading video clips onto my blog a harrowing experience. No, the little green light that indicates MTN EDGE is the only one that shines from the cute little modem.

Now that my contract is running out (OK, only in August, but time flies: for example, how the hell can February be over already?) MWEB has started to phone me, noting my complaints, wondering if I have been sorted out. Of course not, I say a little bemused, because my migration to ADSL in August is certain no matter what these callers do.

I have cried, screamed, cajoled, begged and pleaded for months. Of our two-year relationship I will remember only the terrible humiliation I suffered in vain attempts for a little attention and a little help. I cannot count the number of times that MWEB, my spouse in this matter, tried to convince me that there was not much they could do, as MTN were the folk who provide the signal.

And every time I reminded them that I do not have a contract with MTN, that I have a contract with MWEB, that is where my money goes every month, and will stop going very soon. I do not care how they fix my problem, or who they have to blow to do it.

The calls have become more frequent, with Carol from MWEB phoning twice in two days, once just to say that she will be phoning again. That was amusing, at least.

But then today, here I was, happily boiling a potato for lunch, when my doorbell started ringing like an insane fire alarm. I locked the flat and walked down the two flights of stairs to see who the hell wouldn’t take their finger off the button. It was a delivery guy, and I had to shout at him to stop because he was looking away from the door, did not see or hear me. He was aggressive, rude and unapologetic, saying that he could not hear the bell (surprise) and thought it was not working.

I said that I was going to complain and he said, “you do that mama, I don’t care.” It was absolutely infuriating. I so badly wanted to punch him on the nose, or at the very least call him a miserable cocksucker, but I didn’t, and I am still sorry about that.

He was delivering some contraption from MTN that I suspect is a signal booster. It looks like hard work to me, and I don’t think that I am going to be getting down on my knees any time soon to install it.

Enough is enough. I want a divorce. I am married to a liar, who sold me the supposed-to-be fastest internet connection on the market at the time, without telling me that it was only really fast when you were the ONLY one online. They can send all the signal boosters they like, but in another six months, they can kiss my ass goodbye.


Bête Noire, MTN and chocolate cake

I am not sure why I do not use the internet more judiciously. I could argue that it is because my Mweb/MTN-3G/HSDPA connection has mostly been in a coma recently, but when I chose a name for my blog it was uncharacteristically operational, and hence, that would be lie.

Whatever. Point is that this morning I actually looked up “Bête Noire” for the first time in Wikipedia, (on someone else’s computer) and found an eclectic gathering under its umbrella. It was a ‘Word of the Day’ sometime in January, and I liked it a lot. It did not occur to me at the time, however, that so many others might also have found some use for it. It is a very sexy term, after all, AND French.

Even though I am a very big Brian Ferry fan, (well, from “Boys and Girls” onwards anyway) I did not know that Bête Noire was a Roxy Music album title. There is also an episode of NCIS called so, it is a song by the The Gutter Twins (no idea), and it is big in the world of the comic strip and the comic book: Bête Noire is the universe of Fallen Angel; the kitten in the strip Gordo by Gus Arriola; and it is both a comic book and a comic book anthology, according to my source of information.

Lastly, but certainly not least, La Bête Noire is a flourless French chocolate cake. One that appears to be both dangerous and delicious: the kind that makes your eyes roll back in your head with pleasure. Continue reading

An intimate relationship

Service providers are like lovers.

They make your life richer, more interesting, they take you outside yourself and into the world… they help you connect with other people. I have heard of extreme instances, cases of severe emotional disability, where people claim that their partner “completes” them.

On the other hand, they also lie to you, let you down when you really need someone to lean on and screw around behind your back. Continue reading