Came back from picking Viv up at the airport to find a neighbor’s delivery truck had popped the cable-company line to our house. Since we haven’t used cable services since we bought the house it was mostly a hassle in figuring out how to deal with the line in the road.

The original install had routed the house-side stay around a telephone line that appears to have been routed under our vintage vinyl siding, so I had a tiny cardiac moment in fear our DSL and land line were out, but they proved to be fine.

The real hassle started when I tried to get ahold of someone at Comcast (er, Xfinity) to report the downed line so that they would come and get it. There was no way to interface directly with Seattle-local CSRs, and the offshored CSRs could not file a report unless I had a customer number. I just hung up on the nice Ukranian lady who was telling me this in the middle of her family’s night.

I hopped in the car and drove up to the cable offices, not too far away, where I took a number and waited for forty minutes for a two-sentence interaction with the in-person CSR. She told me unambiguously that the downed line was being reported and that a technician would take care of it.

The interaction was so short I was not sure if she had even actually recorded my contact information, so after I got home I called Seattle City Light and discussed things with them too. I ended up filing a ticket with them as well, although the phone rep there said she thought SOP would be that the City truck would come by, the dudes in the truck would verify that it was not a City line, and that would be the end of it.

Instead, the City truck rolled up just after five and the dug in the truck was awesomely helpful and immediately took the line off just below the hanging lines on the pole. We joked about copper theft and in the end decided against putting a sign on the cable advertising it as free.

A few minutes later, a Comcast truck actually showed up! The cable guy was bemused but not unhappy that the City had already taken care of it.

Sadly I had to miss going to see Bill Vollmann read from his latest, “The Dying Grass.” Viv was not ready to eat when she normally is and felt her blood sugar was running high, so I just waited it out before serving. Unfortunately, that meant we did not finish eating until seven, when the event was slated to begin in downtown Seattle. There was no realistic way to expect being able to arrive there before seven-thirty and of course parking is another matter entirely.

The phone rang three times yesterday when I was unable to get to it and as it rang I knew it was Bill; it rang once more today at five or so and again I was unable to reach it. So I suppose I’ll drop a quick note. I am genuinely bummed about missing the reading.