Free AOL

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


I think I got more free months of AOL than any other person in history when I had my first computer and it all had to do with one sentence I had memorized. Whenever it came time to cancel my free trial and they’d ask me why I was cancelling, I would tell them, “I’m a poor college student” and for month upon month upon month they’d say back, “Well, we understand. Why don’t you try it out for another month on us?”

This lasted deep into my Junior year of college. When they finally told me to go fuck myself I ended up downloading NetZero, which was free as well except for their annoying little ad-box that stayed on top of your browser at all times.

How did I manage to get connected to the internet anyway when I had no phoneline in my room? Well, I obviously never did it when Dad was home. I did have a method though. I’d gone to Radio Shack and bought the longest phonewire they had. It remained constantly hooked up to my computer and when no one was around but maybe me and Grandma and sometimes Mom or John, I would toss the cord down the stairs and take over my parents’ phoneline.

This is how I kept in touch with people from college, how I got back in touch with Nydia once or twice (for better or worse) and how I met an older woman in Haverhill who I thought abut hooking up with. We’ll get to all that later though. The important thing here is that we realize that I went to great lengths to get internet access during my summer home. To say I’d become addicted during my first exposure to it at college would probably be an understatement. I would even go so far as to say that the major reason I bought my computer was so I could surf the web.