Tuesday, June 3, 2014

In which Sly and Doris, who live over 1,000 miles away from us (thank God) call to ask Primo to fix their toilet

No, not really.

They didn't call Primo to have him repair their running toilet. Or their backed-up sink. Or to take the trash out.

They called not once but twice to ask him to repair the wireless connection for their computer.

1. Primo is a PC guy. They have a Mac.
2. Even if Primo were a Mac guy, he is here and they are over 1,000 miles away.

Sly called to ask Primo to repair it. Primo told Sly that he could not fix it - that he was not at their house and he did not know what was wrong and they would have to call someone who is actually - you know, THERE.

Five minutes later, Doris called Primo to ask him to repair the computer wireless.

Primo explained again - because the basic facts of the matter had not changed, that he is HERE and they are THERE.

Which makes me think of the Sesame Street sketch about the difference between HERE and THERE. This is a concept that pre-school children have to be taught but eventually, they do grasp it.

Primo is HERE.

Sly and Doris are THERE.

To do the kind of repair that Sly and Doris wanted, Primo would have to be THERE.

Some computer repairs can be done over the phone. More than once, I have gone through the phone tree with Time Warner to reset the modem when Primo is gone and I can't just consult my resident engineer. It is indeed handy to be married to someone who can fix things. (I highly recommend marrying an engineer for that exact reason: you will rarely have to call a repairman.)

But after Primo explained to Sly, who we all know is the Smartest Man in the World, that Primo could not fix the computer because he was HERE and Sly and the computer were THERE, why did Sly and Doris think the answer would change if Doris called?

Did they think that if Doris called, Primo would be tricked into being THERE? Or did they think that Primo was lying to Sly but would be nicer to Doris because he loves and likes her more than he does Sly? Did Sly, who has a PhD and is not dumb but his PhD is in English which blesshisheart does not grant him an understanding of physics, think that Primo could magically be THERE with just one phone call?

I don't know the answers to these questions. But I do know that I, with a mere BA in English, understand

1. HERE and THERE and
2. some physics

I win.