By: Nolan Cox
It’s Thursday. The first day of the NCAA tournament. You just spent the last 6 months watching college basketball, and you’ve spent days debating what to do with a bracket you will more than likely end up
ripping to pieces and in just a couple of hours. There’s a full slate of games including your alma mater’s. You get to work just elated about the prospect of sitting on ESPN 360 all day not doing anything productive. You get to work and log into your computer, attempt to open ESPN 360 and get hit with a shot to the heart that reads “Content restricted. Please contact systems administrator.”
Being a recent college grad just now getting his feet wet in the corporate world you aren’t aware that such restrictions apply at Fortune 50 companies. You are able to get the live feed going on CBS.com but the connection is spotty at best and each time you re-connect to the website you have to watch another Capital One commercial. You watch so many Capitol One commercials that for a split second you even have a thought about getting a Capitol One card to join the American Express you undoubtedly already have in your wallet. It’s a dark, dark day for us white people but look on the bright side, odds are you didn’t have much in common with anybody who was playing anyway. Except Cornell.
It was about this time 50 weeks ago. My friend Bryan and I were slinging our chairs over our shoulders preparing to walk out of the prettiest golf course on Earth (Augusta National) on Easter Sunday. We had set up camp on hole #16 and watched every last group come through on their way to the finish.
Kenny Perry had a 2-stroke lead after he came through our hole so we thought he would wrap the tournament and claim his first green jacket. On a whim, though, I said to Bryan “let’s head over to hole #10, you know, just in case.”
See, if there’s a playoff at The Masters the competitors start at hole #10 and play to a sudden death. Even though we were exhausted from a weekend of watching golf in the sun (another major white people problem) we trudged over the flower-laden course and set up camp at #10.
And wouldn’t you know it, Kenny Perry choked away his lead and a playoff ensued. We’re sitting there (with pretty good seats) discussing our Masters purchases for the weekend (lots of white people clothing) and a middle-aged guy in front of us strikes up conversation.
We’re talking white people stuff (what else do you talk about when you’re getting ready to watch the final hole of a major golf tournament?) and he brings up the Augusta phone issue. At The Masters if you get caught with a cell phone they throw you off the course and take your badges away. For some white people it’s too much to go 24 hours without a cellular device so they sell their Masters tickets for thousands of dollars. That’s a white people predicament.
Anyway middle-aged-semi-drunk gentleman keeps going on about what a pain it’s been to be without his Blackberry when he posed a curious question. “Hey, do you guys ever feel like your phone is ringing even though you know you don’t have it with you?” Bryan and I looked at each other nervously as if he were about to strike us over the head with a Masters wine glass he got from the Masters merchandise tent.
He continued, slightly perturbed at our silence, “I’m serious man, it’s killing me, I reach for my phone every 10 or 15 seconds because it feels like it’s vibrating, you don’t?”
At this point I was terrified to say anything, especially because I knew exactly what he was talking about. Thankfully about 20 seconds later the golfers teed off and we moved on to more important white people problems like feeling sorry for the Augusta National members who paid 4-figure sums of money to have little children run their seats to the eighteenth green in hopes of seeing the end of the tournament.
Sorry very-wealthy-green-jacket-wearing-champagne-sipping Augusta National member. Maybe this year. Oh and keep an eye on the Blackberry guy, something tells me he’s going to try and sneak one in this year.
For reasons beyond me many many white people feel entitled to this incessant stream of information that comes at very rapid speeds on their Macs (not having the money for a Mac will be discussed at a later date) called the internet. And they feel entitled to all of this at no cost to them.
When white people have to pay for their WiFi (the aforementioned magical appearing of the internet in random places like coffee shops and bagel cafes) you would think you just asked them to be the majority investor in research & development for the A-bomb.
I get it though, I really do. White people have grown up thinking the internet was this big free prize they got at their birth. They hit the genealogical jackpot and learned what a USB was before they learned what the USA was. Most of us never knew our parents paid a company substantial amounts of money on a monthly basis so we didn’t have to grow up in the catastrophic Facebook-free world that some other kids had to grow up in.
Complaining about paying for WiFi isn’t really our fault. Let’s blame it on our parents!
You grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa (I think we all know where I’m going from here). You love your life. In fact, you’ve built a very good life for you and your family and you’re pretty excited because recently your Northern Iowa Panthers won the Missouri Valley Conference (even though they’re from Iowa) and got an automatic invitation to what we sports fans like to call “The Big Dance.”
Your first round game is on a Thursday night and Cedar Falls is “rockin’.” You have the boys over for a great night that culminates with a dagger shot from your star guard: Ali Farokhmanesh. Remember that name, if you can.
You’re still excited on Friday afternoon after work when your wife sweetly reminds you about your 2nd cousin’s outdoor wedding that you agreed to be an usher at because her boy band fiancée doesn’t have any friends (how many groups of people did I just insult there?).
You’re mortified. Northern Iowa and Kansas play at 4 PM. The wedding starts at 5.
You devise a plan: systematically wean yourself off of any and all electronic devices starting Saturday morning at 11 AM and bring ear plugs for the reception in case any family member tries to give you updates. You set the DVR and dream about being back in your house post-wedding watching the game.
You devise a better plan: skip the reception.
You set the DVR for that extra 30-minute feature it offers and pray against a 4OT game.
The wedding goes as planned and you’re flying home in your Ford Explorer while your wife tries to explain to the family that you’re allergic to wedding cake. You try to forget about what happened before the wedding in the dressing room with the rest of the boy band members.
You fling open the door to your house, crack one open (a Coke), and hit play on the DVR. Everything is as it should be. Your Panthers are even leading mighty KU deep into the second half.
Then it happens. It’s a culmination of atrocities really. Halftime went longer than expected because they had to drag the Panther off the floor after a trampoline dunk gone awry. N. Iowa is slowing things down (who wouldn’t against Kansas?), and Kansas’ coach has used all of his timeouts (who wouldn’t if they were losing to N. Iowa?).
You continue to believe everything is going to be ok even though that little cursor on the DVR is getting anxiously close to the end.
All of a sudden you’re standing up and there are 40 seconds left and your Panthers get the rebound and throw it ahead to the aforementioned Farokhmanesh for what appears to be another dagger 3.
Then the biggest white people problem related to recording devices in the post-VHS era occurs. Your DVR runs out. Nothing. It’s black.
You have to turn to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN4, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic (it’s already on), ESPN Deportes (you don’t understand), or flip the computer on ESPN360 for a recap.
Farokhmanesh hit the shot. Your white people problem has a good ending.
We’ve all been there, and what an inefficient, insufferable place it is to be. You’re talking on your iPhone to a friend or family member (possibly on their iPhone too) and all of a sudden you find yourself in a 100 ft. x 100 ft. dead zone (another white people problem) as your white people conversation about Starbucks and little league batting averages fades into oblivion.
Neither person knows what to do. “Should I call back?” “Should I wait for her to call back?” “Should we just exchange texts?” “Should I get a Blackberry?” Somebody needs to write the official “what to do when you get cut off by a dead zone” manifesto. I’d pay upwards of $7 for that. Seriously, I would.
So while you’re deep in thought about the business potential of a call back manifesto she calls back, and in a frantic act to answer your iPhone while traveling >70 MPH on the road you accidentally hit decline instead of accept.
Then things get ugly. You try to call back right away and get a voicemail. Then she calls while you’re calling and you’re both simultaneously on each other’s voicemail and nothing good is happening. This is when both parties should just hang up and exchange a good night text. It’s for the best.
White people spend copious amounts of time organizing their iPhone apps. Do I put my magic Twilight app next to my calorie counting app or my American Idol voting app or even my Words With Friends (more on this later) app?!
Many white people organize their iPhone apps by color, functionality, or even genre. Some white people confuse themselves by always switching their apps around for aesthetic beauty and end up tweeting when they were trying to text (another massive white people problem).
Some white people get so frustrated with their iPhone app problem that they just buy a Blackberry.
Michael Hyatt, CEO of a publishing company called Thomas Nelson, recently confirmed the iPhone app problem. He even expounded upon it here. Michael Hyatt has been spewing digital gold re: this white people problem.
Firefox, Safari, or IE?
White people struggle and stress over which browser will optimize their Web surfing time. Many white people use multiple browsers, and some may even have many open at one time to test their respective speeds against one another.
It’s very important to white people to have the fastest speed possible for their browser even though those speeds differ, on average, by .00000029 seconds. This is valuable time white people could be sorting through other white people problems or making white people purchases on Amazon.com.