They were, by the way, absolutely convinced that the problem was Ours, even though I tried to explain that someone at the newly refurbished
mall Town Center Experience two blocks over had somehow blown up its electrical grid, causing all the stores to close for the day and browning us (in the neighboring grid) out for roughly one minute. This, I felt, may have had something to do with it, even though our own failure occurred roughly five hours later, but also roughly at the exact moment the power company guys showed up to work on the transformer at the end of the next block. (I was, it should be noted, trying to make myself understood over a pay phone situated on a median strip in the middle of 62nd Street, at 5:30 PM, which did seem to affect communications somewhat, from my perspective. That made two people in a single afternoon who expressed utter disbelief when I informed them there was no cell phone number where I could be reached as there is no cell phone in my possession, nor has their ever been.)
In their defense, we were the only house so affected, so far as I've been able to tell. Still, I suspect that the It Sounds Like A Household Wiring problem was just an excuse to bump us to the end of the repair line, and they somehow managed to solve the problem without ever coming within sight of our house. AT&T and I are going to have a detailed discussion about this just as soon as my Poor Wife catches up on her phone calls.
Doing without all this stuff was surprisingly easy, except for missing The Daily Show and relying on non-internet sources for news. It was actually much easier than kicking heroin (either time), except that coming off of the Boy you aren't forced to watch Meridith Viera. And therein hangs a tale I suppose you'll be hearing shortly.