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Real Life In the Boondocks

Sabotaged by beavers and other tall 'tails'

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning with no internet. No biggy. This is Tumbler Ridge and our internet is often sketchy. Rebooting is the most obvious fix, but when that didn’t work, I wondered if some other disaster was at play. It wouldn’t be the first time a tree fell on a power line or ice built up somewhere causing havoc… It happens all too often when you live in the boondocks.

What really had me scratching my head was the fact that my phone didn’t work either. No TV and no internet is one thing, but no cell service either? Weird… Oh well. I decided to go downtown to do my grocery shopping.

Except there was a big sign out front saying “CASH ONLY”. Fortunately, I had a $50 dollar bill in my wallet (my husband gave it to me a few weeks earlier for ’emergencies’…) I ranked the items in my cart for importance and had to put a couple of things back once I reached $49.35! For those who didn’t have cash or cheques (because really – who carries cheques anymore?) they were out of luck. Without internet service, there is no getting cash from the ATM.

According to the store owner, it was a widespread problem. Further, he expressed his concern that if anyone needed to call 911 they might have to start knocking on doors to find a landline. My husband and I had been talking about getting rid of our landline. No one but telemarketers ever call us on it, so why pay the monthly fee? Hm. Maybe now I have my answer…

Saturday turned into Sunday. We noticed more people out doing things outdoors. The problem wasn’t discovered and fixed until later that afternoon. For some people, almost two days without their ‘lifeline’ was a stretch, but we survived.

It turns out the fiber-optic cable had been chewed in multiple places by a family of beavers! The story made international headlines! What could be more Canadian than that? It sounds funny – and it is because one just has to laugh about stuff like this – but it certainly sheds a spotlight on a couple of things.

First, we live in a very precarious time. People have become so reliant on technology that when something like this happens everything comes to a halt. In this case, it was an inconvenience more than anything, but what if it was more widespread, or for a longer period of time? Chaos could ensue!

Second, it really does highlight what it means to live in the boonies. I mean, some people like to think they live in the backwoods, but this is the real deal.

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