The Tiki Curse

Remember this episode of the Brady Bunch?

When they go on their big trip to Hawaii and accidentally possess a Tiki that they must return to the caves? And everything they did was cursed?

Well, I think I got a tiki.

On Thursday, my Internet stopped working abruptly.

I thought the modem just needed resetting. I was wrong.

After a multi-hour customer service fiasco, the Internet provider on this island, told me this:

“We don’t have service at your address. You can’t have service there.”

Except, I’ve had it for over 2 months.

Turns out that they had our equipment listed at the old address, not the new, therefore it worked here solely because the computer still believes the modem is in Kailua. “I understand, but the system won’t let me add you,” the customer service person told me. Two days of phone calls later, another supervisor sent out a foreman to test the signal strength of our cables.

The building manager explained that for the past 2 years, the Internet company has wanted to do upgrades but has put crazy stipulations on the terms, such as imposing a $250K fine if they switch services within 10 years. Naturally, they said no, but finally they came to an agreement with them that a third party contractor would upgrade all the cables. This is the ONLY place in all of Hawaii Kai without high speed Internet.

That would have been nice to know, I don’t know, before we signed the lease, especially seeing as I wrote that I work “from home” and need the Internet. This is not a question that I thought I needed to ask. The previous tenants, whom we met, had high-speed Internet. You know what else I didn’t think to ask? If I could get water service. Or electricity. Or trash pick up. Good Lord, it’s 2009. Internet is essential. Even my husband’s grandparents had it, at the age of 90.

Anyway, the foreman came out today and measured the signal strength, saying he didn’t know if it was good enough; all he does is report the numbers back to the supervisors. And then they decide. He said that his company wanted to put cables in and they get calls of blackouts all the time from this complex, but that the Internet company can’t do a thing about it; therefore, they elected to not add any more people to their services here.

So we wait.

The other options are DSL from Hawaii Tel; wireless from something like Verizon; or dial-up.

It just makes you want to pound your head against the wall.

It also made me think of the other things that have gone wrong, despite our best efforts, since we got here. The moldy apartment was one. The fact that my husband’s company continually mucked up his guaranteed health coverage for over two straight months was another, preventing us from buying medication and seeing the doctor and actually paying an extra month of COBRA. And just a thousand tiny things, like the fact that the schools all start at the same time but are 15 minutes apart and that it took an hour and a half to drive to the nearest Target and people doing weird stuff like sawing wood at 6 am on a Saturday.

Or that I sent a form to the San Diego pediatrician for medical records and they did not send Ethan’s shot records though I specifically asked them to– I had to get his old school to make a copy and fax it. And then, I got a letter from our medical clinic with a copy of the form I had sent to the pediatrician, telling ME to send it to the pediatrician in San Diego and to stop trying to send it to their office; as though they found the form on their FAX machine and thought I was in San Diego trying to get medical records from them. It was completely bizarre.

And I’m not even counting the heinous ear infection Cadillac got that swelled up his entire right side of his face, although, if I’m thinking about the Tiki curse, I could.

I will say, though, that registering the car was very easy. Very easy indeed. Five minutes, friendly people.

I think that, actually, it’s all this Norse tiki’s curse. My brother sent my son this tiki from his trip to Iceland shortly after we arrived, and he looks rather suspicious, don’t you think? So now I guess I shall travel to Iceland and return him to his snowy cave.


Enjoy it while you can, because soon I might be reduced to going to the Coffee Bean for four to six hours every day and using their Internet. I wonder how many cups of coffee it takes to get 4 hours of time.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “The Tiki Curse

  1. Wow!!! That’s crrrrazy! Don’t send Norse tiki to Iceland…send him to your brother!!

    Fingers crossed the big boys the Internet company don’t pull your plug!!

    You should totally move if they do…that is crap!

  2. My family has a little tiki that has always reminded me of the Brady Bunch tiki. I love the creepy doodly-doo piccolo music used whenever the tiki is at work.

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