Two Sundays ago Gmac called to tell me that her "Faceoff is broken," which translates to "I can't log in to Facebook."
I was wondering why I hadn't seen any all caps comments on my posts, detailing personal and somewhat inaccurate information about myself, in a while.
Gmac is in her late 80s now, and having never been one to embrace the latest technologies with ease, we have all been pretty impressed with her shaky attempts to engage in social media over the years.
I mentioned to you recently that Gmac has a very bad habit of using Bob McCann as her personal tech support, a situation which I have referred to as "the blind leading the dead." I was told that she went to Bob as her first line of defense against the broken Faceoff, and after several hours of "help," the two were in no better a position.
So Gmac reached out to me. And really, she wasn't looking for my help. She was fully aware that I would then loop in Skylar and he, and he alone, would be responsible for this mess.
I invited Gmac over for dinner and then braced Skylar for a very frustrating evening.
Eli: Gmac's faceoff is broken.
Skylar: Why are you telling me this?
Eli: Because she's coming to dinner and bringing her iPad with her so you can fix it.
Skylar: What does "faceoff is broken" even mean?
Eli: Probably that the Facebook app slightly updated.
But I was wrong.
Gmac showed up with Bob and Cathie later that afternoon. She had her cane in one hand and her iPad in the other. She threw the iPad at Skylar as she walked through the door and yelled "get the TV on--I need to watch my Jazz."
There is no more enthusiastic fan of the Utah Jazz NBA team than Darlene Hinkle McCann. I am 1000% convinced that the coach is the sole beneficiary in her will. If I said something negative about any person who has ever played for the team, I would be immediately disowned from this and all other families.
Not wanting to stand in the way of Gmac and her cult-like fandom, I quickly turned the Jazz game on and directed her to the couch.
Skylar sat near her, fiddling with the iPad, which hadn't experienced a software update since Steve Jobs was still wearing turtlenecks. He would periodically ask her basic questions like "what's your email address" and "why is this device covered in Ovaltine," to which she would respond with a phone number she had in the 40s and "oh, is that why faceoff is broken," respectively.
I was cooking so I missed most of the drama unfolding, but at one point I walked into the front room and saw Skylar sitting at the kitchen table with at least three laptops opened up, typing on all of them like he was playing the Mormon Tabernacle Organ and simultaneously working at CTU from 24.
I asked him what was going on and he gave me some vague answer about Gmac having locked herself out of several accounts and how she may be the first person ever to successfully scam a Nigerian Prince and when I asked follow-up questions he "sshhhed" me so I left the room.
Eventually I heard him on the phone with Comcast while Gmac screamed things like "get him out of the game!" and "does anyone have any Ovaltine?" in the background.
I still don't really understand how Comcast got caught up in the whole broken faceoff situation but by the end of the evening (for this took several hours) Skylar had scheduled a call with a Comcast specialist, something I didn't even know one could do, and he sent Gmac home with strict instructions not to use her iPad for any purpose until he could get the government to remove her from a terrorist watch list.
Today is Gmac's birthday. And I love her.
To celebrate her birthday, tell me about your biggest technology blunder. I better hear some good reply all and wrong number stories from you.
~It Just Gets Stranger