National Unplug It, Then Plug It Back In Day

Funny story written by P.J. Maggitti

Sunday, 7 March 2021

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Have you tried unplugging, then re-plugging it?

When we were in college, the Cuban Missile crisis and the draft scared the bejesus out of Americans and inspired this joke: What do you do in case of fallout? Stick it back in and shorten the stroke.

Much the same advice is proffered today by computer technicians: Have you tried unplugging it, then plugging it back in again? This is always said without inflection…computer techs do not do irony and do not recognize any entendre beyond the single.

The low-tech version of shortening the stroke works a treat with devices such as cable modems, routers, streaming television boxes, and “smart” devices from cell phones to dildos, all of which have tiny computers inside. Unplugging and re-plugging devices like these reboots their computers, forcing them to flush any temporary software malfunctions.

Although plug-out-plug-in often leaves the customer satisfied, it doesn’t fix the problem that caused the cock-up to begin with; but that’s its brilliance. It puts off for a while having to do anything about the balky device…or even thinking about it.

Often unplugging then re-plugging will buy a person months of time at the cost of a reboot now and again. My dominant half and I have been putting off getting a new Roku box for the better part of a year now using this technique.

Sadly, however, as Mick Jagger has warned us, “Everything turns to shit eventually.” A self-fulfilling prophecy, that.

Irregardless, [sic], you will eventually be rebooting so often that you’ll realize the damn device is unplugging and re-plugging you. Then, to add injury to insult, one day the bastard just won’t work at all. There are loads of people - you can find them on the web, (where else?) - who write to help sites, complaining that their televisions will no longer work unless they’re unplugged and then re-plugged first.

And that, Gentle Reader, is worse than a chronic case of fallout; but, at least, when you finally call tech support about the problem and you are asked if you tried unplugging it, then re-plugging it, you can proudly answer yes.

At which point, the tech person will say, “Let me put you on hold while I talk to my superior.”

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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