How To Root For Your Hometown Olympic Hero In 92 Not-So-Easy Steps

Much as I wish I could have gone to London. I was here at home watching on the TV with my DVR digital recorder. But, of all the sports, there’s one that simply must be watched live—our own Megan Rapinoe playing for the gold.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Step 1 – Forget when the game kickoff begins. Be doing something else, preferably something complicated that demands your total attention and which is hard to put aside.
  • Step 2 – Have your wife remind you, that the game begins in just minutes.
  • Step 3 – Frantically try to finish complicated project while wife turns on big screen TV, tunes to the Old-Peacock-Network on channel 248.
  • Steps 4-92 are spelled out as they coincide with game-time, or GT.
  • -4 Minutes Before GT…. Hear wife say, “It’s not working,” waving the TV remote about, simultaneously looking at her smart phone’s tiny screen.
  • -3:30 – Wife, talking to the silent TV set, says “THE TEAMS ARE ON THE FIELD!”
  • -3:15 – Four remotes in hand, wife fails to tune in Olympics.
  • -3 Minutes – You, also known as Home Tech Support, or HTS, spring into action, and grab the remote, carefully pressing buttons 2-4-8.
  • -2:45 – Wife glares at you. “I DID THAT already.” You both stare at the “INFO” Screen on channel 251, plugging the Old Peacock Network. No soccer players are visible on screen.
  • -2:40 – Home Tech Support has flash of insight. “Must be pay-for-view.”
  • -2:30 – “You sure?”
  • -2:25– “Pretty sure.”
  • -2:15 – “But the Old Peacock website says you can watch it live on the web,” Wife says with lower lip protruding.
  • -2:10 – Wife grabs her laptop, brings up Olympic News, displaying the Road-Kill-Bird logo and randomly clicks about the page. Nothing happens.
  • -1:30 – Wife looks at cell phone, still clutching and clicking her laptop.
  • GAMETIME – Wife stands, dashes into your office, thrusts uncooperative computer into your hands, retreats to corner with phone.
  • +:15 Seconds – You scroll down, and see a link to live viewing. You click link.
  • +:25 – “The Saucer Network” – Online Log-in Screen appears.
  • +:30 – You realize while you have a “Saucer” account, you don’t have a “Saucer ONLINE Account.”
  • +:35 – You find the link “How To Create An Online Account.”
  • +:40 – Screen appears asking for 10-digit serial number off the back of satellite receiver.
  • +:55 – You remove from cabinet, yanking several cables loose and say magic tech-incantation %$**##!
  • +1:00 – Wife asks you if  “everything is OK?”
  • +1:15 – You find several stickers, but no 10-digit number.
  • +1:20-3:59 – Reattach %$**## cables.

  • +4:00 – Return to Wife’s computer… See that “Option B” allows you to enter a 16-digit Saucer account number.
  • +4:05-6:59 – Go into garage. Root through old boxes of paper, looking for an antique “Saucer” bill back in the days before you went paperless.
  • +7:00 – Fail to find bill. Find instead cool Grateful Dead album. Decide to call Two-Tin Cans-And-A-String Telephone Company. They bundle your phone-net-satellite-and pizza-delivery service.
  • +7:01-7:45 – Look for phone book. Find old phone book, fail to find number. Deride ^%@%$^$ phone company that doesn’t even list own phone number.
  • +7:50 – Wife reminds you that phone company changed its name seven years ago. Find phone number under old name.
  • +7:55 – Call The-Old-Company-With-A-New-Name “telecommunications service.” Wait in cue. Hear message saying: “Please have your account number on hand for better service.”
  • +8:45 – Wife, looking at cell phone, announces that the US Women scored their first goal.
  • +8:55-12:59 – Wait in phone queue and listen to messages urging you to buy more services. Wonder if they offer a premium service to avoid waiting in phone queues.
  • +13:00 – Operator answers, asks how she can help? Tell her you need your 16-digit number.
  • +13:05 – Hear operator say – “Our account numbers are not 16-digits.”
  • +13:10 – Argue. Tell her you know better. Tell her you simply MUST have your satellite number.
  • +13:15  – Hear her say – “OK, but I don’t think I can get that for you.”
  • +13:20 – Tell her that the Old Peacock People want that number, and she’d better give it up or someone is going to get hurt.
  • +13:30 – Hear her say – “Buddy, I’ve worked here for 30 years, and no one has ever asked me for that.”
  • +13:40 – Acknowledge the uniqueness of the situation but remind her that YOU MUST GET THAT NUMBER OR YOU CAN’T WATCH THE OLYMPICS.”
  • +13:50 – Endure a long silence, be told that she CAN connect you to the Saucer People, but she “can’t promise you that they’ll give you the number.”
  • +14:05 – You ask her to connect you anyway.
  • +14:15 – Hear phone ring, listen in amazement as a Live & Friendly Human Being answers. Hear him say “How may I help you?” Pray this is not a wrong number.
  • +14:30 – Babble that you “need the magic number that will let you watch our hometown hero play soccer on the Internet.”
  • +14:40 – The Live & Friendly Human Being laughs, and assures you he can help. You experience hope and euphoria.
  • +14:45 -15:00 – You are entrusted with the magic 16-digit number.
  • +15:15-18:30 – The Live and Helpful Human being TALKS YOU THROUGH screen after screen of questions.  You eventually click on the end-user, “EULA” agreement, which gives the Saucer People permission to claim your oldest child at a date to be determined.
  • +19:05-20:25 – You find that, after being on the Saucer Site, you don’t know how to get back to the OLD PEACOCK WEBSITE.

  • +20:30 – You tell your wife that you don’t like her “*&<>P^6  browser and Bill Gates.” Wife avoids eye contact, sits quietly in the corner of the room, looking at her cell phone.
  • +20:35-21:00 – You hunt, peck, and claw your way back to the OLD DEAD BIRD logo.
  • +21:10 – You’re met with a blank, black screen and ominous message: “May need A Plug-In Update.” You decide it’s all Bill’s fault, and copy the Live Olympic Coverage URL.
  • +21:20 – With relief, you launch “Your-Favorite-Browser-That-Wasn’t-Made-By-Bill-Gates.”
  • +21:25 – Finally, you paste URL into the YFBTWMBBG browser. And PRESTO! … Another black screen.
  • +22:40 – You see warning that the Old Peacock website needs the latest Twinkle-video plug-in.
  • +24:00 – You click on “update plug-in instructions.”
  • +24:05 – Then click on uninstall the “Twinkle Plug-in.”
  • +24:45  – And Click on link to download the “NEW BUT ESSENTIALLY THE SAME TWINKLE PLUGIN.”
  • +25:30 – Download complete, begin installation.
  • +25:45 – Watch installation progress, realize you’ve accidentally downloaded additional pay-software that will over-write your free anti-virus software, ABORT! ABORT DOWNLOAD!
  • +26:00 – Get re-Twinkled, again, san virus checker.
  • +26:30 – Install new plug-in.
  • +27:00 – Paste Old Peacock URL into YFBTWMBBG/Twinkle enabled.
  • +27:15 – Almost there! See Screen directing you to Saucer Online.
  • +27:30 – Get into the Saucer.
  • +27:45 – Get “Sorry” screen that your Saucer subscription does not include… premium sports.
  • +28:00 – %$&$&$&$&$&$&###@$$.
  • +28:10 – Notice offer on bottom of screen for a free, 4-hour trial subscription
  • +29:00 – Complete subscription information in your wife’s name and with her soon-to-get-a-lot-of-spam email address.
  • +29:30 – Be forced to watch 2-minute Peacock commercial.
  • +32:00 – Begin watching last few minutes of first half. Hand computer to Wife. Start to return to office to finish big-complicated-project. Accidentally delete wrong file, losing two-hours of work.
  • +32:25 – Hear wife ask if her computer can be hooked to the Big-Screen TV
  • +32:30 – Dig for cables in junk drawer to hook up wife’s computer to TV.
  • +34:00 – Hook up computer to big screen TV. Unplug computer from power supply because it won’t reach. Notice that wife’s computer battery is almost dead.

  • +34:15 – See browser crash.
  • +34:25 – Restart “#$@#<&^%” browser.
  • +34:30 – Rewatch the same 2-minute Peacock commercial.
  • +34:45 – See warning message. Decide to find extension cord for computer.
  • +36:45 – Actually see soccer players on our TV.
  • +37:00 – Find extension cord. It won’t fit three-pronged computer plug.
  • +37:30 – Back to the junk drawer to find side-cutting pliers.
  • +38:00 – Mutilate extension cord so 3-plug computer plug can be jammed in.
  • +38:15 – Plug in computer, sit in office where you can see TV. Wonder if you have a backup to replace deleted file.
  • +38:20 – Wife shouts thank-you from the front room.
  • +39-41 – Hear excited sounds from front room, chants, cheering and the roar of the crowd on big screen.
  • +41:15 – Silence, browser crashes.
  • +42:00 – Error report sent. Restart Browser.
  • +42-44 – Watch Peacock commercial for the third time.
  • +44-45 – Watch last minute of first half.
  • Halftime – Browser crash – reload – watch Peacock Commercial again. Realize you’ve spent  more time watching this commercial than women’s soccer.
  • Second half starts
  • +47 – Big Screen freezes, Bandwidth? Audio continues. Have to decide whether to just listen, or restart.
  • +49 – See error message pop up: “A script on this page is taking a long time. Do you want to wait?” Sound has stopped. Still no picture. You wait.
  • +50 – Restart, see Peacock commercial for 5th time. You now see why they let you watch this for free.
  • +51-91:59 – FINALLY. Wow. GO USA! Oh My God. NO. NO. NOOO. Whew. Nuts. GREAT SAVE. GO! GO! GO! Whew, that was close. “HEY REF??”
  • Finally – Watch your hometown gal win gold.
  • +92 – Sit down in chair, exhausted.
  • +93 Minutes – Hear wife say – “Wow. That was amazing.” Admit that all the hassles were worth it to see our women in action. Console yourself that you can still see the parts you missed on the DVR.
  • +94 – Wife gets first spam message from the “FREE OLYPMIC VIEWING.”

Robb has enjoyed writing and performing since he was a child, and many of his earliest performances earned him a special recognition-reserved seating in the principal’s office at Highland Elementary. Since then, in addition to his weekly column on A News Cafe – “Or So it Seems™” – Robb has written news and features for The Bakersfield Californian, appeared on stage as an opening stand-up act in Reno, and his writing has been published in the Funny Times. His short stories have won honorable mention national competition. His screenplay, “One Little Indian,” Was a top-ten finalist in the Writer’s Digest competition. Robb presently lives, writes and teaches in Shasta County.

Robb Lightfoot is a humorist, author and educator. He and his wife raised a family of four kids, a dozen or more dogs and a zillion cats. He has enjoyed writing and performing since he was a child, and many of his earliest performances earned him a special recognition-reserved seating in the principal’s office at Highland Elementary. Since then, in addition to teaching at Shasta Community College, and his former column on A News Cafe - "Or So it Seems™" - Robb has written news and features for The Bakersfield Californian, appeared on stage as an opening stand-up act in Reno, and his writing has been published in the "Funny Times". His short stories have won honorable mention in national competitions. His screenplay, “One Little Indian,” Was a top-10 finalist in the Writer’s Digest competition. Robb presently lives and writes in Chico where he manages He also hates referring to himself in the third person, and will stop doing so immediately. I can be reached in the following ways: PO Box 5286 Chico, CA 95928 @_thinking_funny on Twitter
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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Canda says:

    Very funny stuff, Robb!

  2. Avatar Terry says:

    What a great story! This is a fantastic summary of all the "fun" one can have with technology. Thanks for the chuckles.

    • Avatar Robb says:

      You are kind. It seemed like an eternity before we got soccer up and running, and we were missing some really cool stuff. I had to shorten this, but Karin was narrating what we were missing at times.

  3. Avatar Sally Wells says:

    I laughed so hard I had tears going down my cheeks! Ain't technology wonderful!!!

  4. Avatar Barbi says:

    Holey Mo;ley I so lived that….many times…over the 17 days….laughed all the way through this replay….thanks!

    • Avatar Robb says:


      You may get a kick out of this. One of our kids was set to play in the Foothill band at a half-time show in Pac Bell Stadium at a televised game. The thing was that it was on a channel we didn't get. So, I signed up for a 2 year dish contract, they rushed out and installed it just before the game. All good. Then, the day of the game, the network cut to the commentators and didn't play one minute of the half-time show. True story.

  5. Avatar adrienne jacoby says:

    Best solution to all my tech problems . . . . repair to sports bar!!! (even if it's not sports you're wanting to watch!!)