A funny thing happened to me on the way to my fantasy football draft on-line last night... my laptop would not connect to my wireless router at home.

Within minutes of this important event's beginning, I was panic-stricken, as I apparently did not know my "WEP Key" password that I was being asked for in order to connect the laptop to the DSL service. (Have I lost you yet?)

Ideally, I would have simply conducted the two-hour on-line mock NFL bidding war on our desktop computer at home BUT a window-in-window pop-up blocker had been unknowingly installed on that computer - for which I was unable to disable.

So being a loyal customer to the company that provides the wireless service, I thought perhaps a call today might help me resolve this technological glitch in the future?

But after more than 2 hours on calls that spanned FOUR continents, I am no further along in the quest for that golden grail WEP password. I spoke to a nice Canadian, a fine Northern Ireland man, someone in India who dropped the call - and finally a pleasant fellow named "Felix" in Tijuana.

Now, I have set up national radio broadcasts in at least twenty different states. I have set up satellite uplinks from the desolate deserts of Iraq - while being shot at.

But when comes to determining what my missing password is in the 21st century - I find myself in the jaws of defeat.

Companies declare state of the art 24-hour customer assistance and tech support. But I'd say it's more like guaranteed torture and endless frustration. And they had better hope Crazy Pants Judge Roy Pearson never has to seek computer help from them too.

I think my favorite part of the charade is that prior to each and every call, a voice alerts you that "THIS CALL MAYBE MONITORED FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE PURPOSES."

What is that? It's like a personal insult before getting shipped off into the abyss of your technological black hole.

Humorously too, at the end of my last call with Felix in Tijuana, he had the gall to ask me how I would characterize the helpfulness of his assistance on the scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest. And I actually gave him a "4" out of sheer pity. (Despite the fact that he called me the wrong name three times before we sorted out the language barrier.)

Therefore, there must be a lesson in all this, right?

I tell you what I think it is - TEACH YOUR KIDS TO BECOME COMPUTER GENIUSES. Because I seriously doubt age and worldly experience is going to assist you with this problem down the road.

Want to know how the draft went? Great - thanks to my ingenuity in sitting along the northeastern front wall of our house which enabled me just enough reception strength to steal the wireless signal from the guy across the street... He apparently doesn't have WEP Key Password Nightmares... YET!