Finding that the first of the month was fast approaching, area man Paul Mapleton was scrambling to gather the means necessary to pay for another month’s wifi. For the past four years, he reports, the balance due to keep the internet on in his home has risen and fallen sporadically from “yes, this appears to be fair compensation” to “whoa nelly”. Yet, despite these fluctuations, Mapleton maintains that the inconsistent nature of the amount due in exchange for wifi is a small price to pay.
“Yelsbinn must be satisfied,” Mapleton told Eritas.
Yelsbinn, as it turns out, is the tiny wizard who lives inside the wireless router and “makes it go.” Or at least, this is what his wife, Elaine, has told him.
“Paul is a good guy, but he doesn’t understand much,” she explained. “Especially technology and money.”
Four years prior, Paul had misunderstood the nature of a subscription service and ended up ordering 40 different subscriptions to Highlights, as well as 6 others to Moat and Garb Monthly. “After that, I impressed upon him that all mail was bad, which proved to be a problem when the bills would come in.” Paul began devouring every bill and PTA summons that made its way to his mailbox. “He would even print emails, just to shove them down his dilated gullet.”
It was then that Elaine realized that she could leverage Paul’s endearing oafishness to actually get work done. Mr. Mapleton has believed that computers are magic ever since he had a dream about being trapped inside one while in a five-day coma following an accident he was involved in while participating in the community’s annual Grub Slurp. Mrs. Mapleton then convinced her husband that he must keep the wizard who makes the internet work satisfied by making contributions to him.
“I just check the internet bill before he gets the chance to consume it, and tell him later that Yelsbinn demands that much.” And sometimes a bit more. Elaine will use Yelsbinn to locate items she knows Paul has taken or hidden, or simply to get a little more spending money. Paul, a lawyer, is the primary source of income for the family after all.
Mrs. Mapleton has also invented other wizards and magical creatures to make her husband a more productive person. Neef-Breef is the warlock who hides Paul’s underwear when he doesn’t shave that horrid, scratchy beard of his. Oogseth is the slime that will take over the whole house if Paul doesn’t run the garbage disposal after dumping food down the drain. The wizard Hunderbowl makes the TV work as long as Paul makes payments and doesn’t start any dinner conversations with friends by saying, “We were this close to winning ‘Nam.”
When asked if she felt uncomfortable lying to her husband, Elaine told us, “I don’t like being dishonest. And I know that Our Lord, the Great Ground Eagle, will eat all unrepentant liars when the blood star shines its last. But someone’s got to keep the lights on until then.”
This article was written by Kevin Harrington-Bain, who had a brief stint as a Wifi Wizard in ’03. Follow him for more on Twitter @kkevinb