Former 2:24 marathoner, now pushing 50 and reduced to a pitiable spastic shuffle • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on distance running since 1999; mostly a crank since approximately 2016 and possibly long before • Coach and adviser of less pessimistic perambulators • Dobie-mix owner Sentence-fragment impresario

Saturday, July 27, 2019

SIM not provisioned

Executive summary: Thanks to a system glitch being experienced/perpetrated my mobile carrier, I can only be reached by e-mail at the moment. This "moment" could, per the carrier, stretch out for at least five business days. But, despite being a chance event reflective of nothing more than the mindless futility of everyday life, I can claim it a sign to take another decisive step away from the electronic mainstream, because after all, there isn't a single person out there I even like texting with or talking to live on a consistent basis anyway.

"SIM not provisioned" is the notification I got from Cricket Wireless a couple hours ago, along with a text saying that my service had been changed. I couldn't make non-emergency calls or texts (I kind of want to call 9-1-1 just to see if it actually works, and then make something up that implicates Cricket), and a chat with the customer disservice rep ended in pretty much nothing but the report that a system failure is responsible and someone would contact me within five business days.

This was after he tried to get me to confirm a 20-digit number on the back of the SIM card itself, which my one eye is not good enough to read without enhancements I do not have, and which yours probably couldn't either. I told the guy I knew he already had this info, and he agreed, but said he had to confirm it anyway for security reasons. I starting behaving toward one of these drones for the first time like I suspect a lot of people do toward customer service personnel for shitty companies, dumping in random expletives not directed at him but intended to make him hate his job enough so that he will quit and not even look for another one, thereby driving up both national unemployment and national discomfort, and nudging humankind one step closer to fulfilling its destiny by immolating itself in a triumphant thermonuclear fireball. (I realize that getting everyone to rally behind willful species extinction is dishonorable project in some people's eyes, and that I have maybe skipped a few steps in the above scheme, but it's exactly the kind of stupid, bovine static from the "let's make the best of the gift of life" crowd that underscores the need for a secular apocalypse.)

Cell-phone companies in the U.S. are generally run by the kind of people who deserve to die of extremely hellish malignancies or other chronic, ravaging illness while occasionally being treated to videos of their first-degree relatives getting fist-fucked in the ass by every member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at least once within a 30-minute period; Cricket is probably among the shittier ones, but I can't say for sure. But no one is forcing me to use their services. I have no special reason to have a phone, other than having it for tethering in the event I can't access a Wi-Fi network and have to be online. I know no one who would or at least should call me in an emergency, and there is nothing in my own life that could constitute a personal emergency other than the threat of it persisting for too many more years.

Will I hold myself to not having a cell phone? Cricket, being an ugly chancroid sore on the tip of a syphilitic cock, doesn't allow customers to actively terminate their service and accounts; instead, they just wait until accounts become 60 days delinquent. Well, add that one to the calendar. In a few days, I'm letting my health insurance lapse, which I admit isn't the big deal to me it would be for most people I know. Weeks ago, I nixed my Strava account, and took the accompanying, perhaps heavy-handed step of throwing a $140 GPS watch down an actual New Hampshire storm drain; that part was probably unnecessary since I could have given it to someone, but such a "gift" would arguably have just been enabling someone else's bad behavior). I am not on Facebook or Twitter, and am slowly winnowing Instagram down to following maybe 15 accounts, none of them featuring humans. Hell, I buried the lede here: I even permanently gave up alcohol (it appears) three years ago. As far as monthly reminders of being tied to society, I have no choice but to keep paying for car insurance -- as much as I would love to see that little green booger zip into a concrete wall on fire at 100 miles an hour carrying a few hefty bags filled with human excrement as well as a few key WH staffers, I just dumped $2,340 into repairs for the little shit, so it's probably best to wait for it to die a natural death, or for God to helpfully make me inexplicably lose control at speeds I never in fact attain, and hit a tree or other solid entity with enough force to turn out the lights immediately (I am kind of a pussy about the whole "two or three seconds to contemplate the reality of mortality" thing).

Aside from that, it feels oddly empowering to slowly work back toward the communication norms of 30 years ago. Despite the tone here, I am actually encouraged by the offline (and not blog-suitable) results I've gotten so far by being progressively less likely to engage with people virtually. This is probably because I am accepting that the things that made me happiest and calmest as a kid do not involve other people at all and are the same ones most likely to do the same thing now: Reading book after book, drawing, messing with my keyboard (at age 5 it was a drum set for a while), writing stuff for the sheer loop fun of it, and romping with a dog. This place is my one concession to modernity, and my goal is to eventually make it too uncomfortable for anyone who values life in any way to even risk reading any of my posts sober.

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