Posted by: dougery | August 27, 2010

In the Shadow of Mount Greylock

Once upon a time explorers boldly set sail for the ‘New World.’ It was a place of dragons, cannibals, and corn; it was a place that might or might not exist. These were the same breed of folks who felt compelled to journey into the Heart of Darkness, who scale mountains because they are like, tall and forbidding and stuff, who thought there was some hidden paradise at the North Pole not consisting of a bearded fat man and his questionable labor practices.

This summer, L and I have joined their ranks. We have set out from the known (Chicago) to the somewhat known (Vermont ski country) to the completely unknowable (the Berkshires). Recently we signed a lease on a three bedroom farmhouse in a quaint little town called New Ashford. Quaint in this instance means ‘so small that it shares the same zip code as the two closest neighboring towns.’ To reiterate, this is a town so small that it couldn’t support a single zip code. Which probably should have tipped us off that other mundane things might be equally hard to come by in the shadow of Mount Greylock.

Our move is rapidly approaching and as such L and I have been ramping up our pre-game warm-ups, trying to secure electricity, running water, heat, you know, basic living conditions. We are told all of those rudimentary services are in place, however I am beginning to doubt this. The reason for this is that when I asked what we need to do to get mail, the internet, or heaven help us, cable television, I was greeted with unpleasant difficulties.

Before moving out of Chicago I held the amusing assumption that the Internet, and its system of tubes, was all encompassing, that it covered the globe, left no stone unturned and all that. It turns out that there are places that haven’t heard of the Internet, or if you prefer, that the Internet has not yet deemed important enough to colonize. We are moving in to just such a place. I spent 2 hours this afternoon trying to convince Verizon and Time Warner, respectively, that our new address was a real place and not, say, Shangri-La. Despite my best efforts they remained disbelievers, ‘a survey’ was the best they could muster, something that will tickle their engineers no doubt when they drop by and bustle down our long drive, shaking their heads all the while. “You’re telling me people actually live out here?” Yes. And give me the internets!

So there you have it. L and I, adventurers both.



  1. good luck with that!

  2. They have some kind of satellite Internets now. It’s for hill people like you and L. I saw an add for it on a television the other day. The nice lady selling it mentioned that it’s good for people who live “with a lot of nature,” which I assume describes the place where you live, since you are a hill person, and hill people live on/in hills. It might work for you hill people since the lady assured me (who, ironically, is not a hill person) that you could even “watch that video clip everyone’s been talking about” (subtext: keyboard cat).

    In short, satellite Internet is for hill people. You are hill people. Satellite Internet is for you. You hill people.

  3. Sensei! We (the matrimonial ‘we’) do sense that satellite may be the way to go.

    Also, on a slightly unrelated note, I saw a spider next to a nearby barn that might have been a cat it was so big. A sickly grayish green color (and few extra, prickly legs) were all I had to discern it’s true nature.

    At least we don’t have those millipedes, right? *looks around nervously* Right!?

  4. I often describe the big, hairy spiders in Japan as “kittens with four extra legs,” because they’re 1.) around the same size (the spiders are slightly larger), 2.) they’re furry, and 3.) they eat pests.

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