Slow modem slow-cooked Wisconsin style

Jim Rendon

A Wisconsin man recently reached his limit with his slow dial-up service. The malevolence he felt for his modem stoked a burning desire to remedy the product's pitiful performance.

In the past when he was faced with Internet Explorer's endlessly spinning ball, he'd been known to apply a low-tech solution to his slow modem -- an encouraging thump with his fist.

When that failed to move the packets more quickly, he would sometimes just pitch the whole unit out the door into the yard.

Despite his innovative techniques, none of his home remedies seemed to do the trick.

Last week he apparently had had enough and decided to try a new approach to increasing his bandwidth. He didn't buy a backup line, and given his budget, frame relay was out of the question.

Instead, he turned to the old American standby -- the barbecue.

According to, he wheeled his grill into the living room, shook out some charcoal, soaked the pile with lighter fluid and lit a fire under the modem.

Man versus modem. Man wins.

By the time police arrived, he was roasting the modem over the coals. Local authorities doused the flames with water and instructed his wife to put the cranky dialer to bed.

The moribund modem went into the trash -- its number finally having come up.

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