Mamma Catciatore couldn’t have been more sad on that cold winter day. As the marm for the House of Poor Little Darlins What Ain’t Got Nothing, she could feel a chill wind creeping across her broken heart just as sure as she could feel it blowing into the taped up windows of her decrepit building. Where a woodpile should have been, there was only a pile of broken dreams and bad CRCs.
Times were already bleak, and she couldn’t even let her tired mind think too much about Christmas or she’d be crying in front of Little Phy and The Packet Boy, and she tried hard not to let the children see her blubbering and whatnot. Even her old first-gen Surface was barely running the Micropuff program she used to keep track of all the things they didn’t have, including decent data rates and the left knob on Lil Punkin’s Etch-a-Sketch.
Life wasn’t always bad for Mamma and the Little Darlins. They used to have at least 10 Mbps to share and Moon Pies for breakfast every day. But she sent her Old Man into town to get the cow groomed one time, and the stupid bastard traded Bessie away for some “turbo router” because it had like 46 antennas. When they fired it up, the label melted and they found it was just a dollar store waffle iron with some pipe-cleaners glued on as antennas. The Old Man was given the heave-ho, and there wasn’t throughput above 56K since that day.
On Christmas Eve, Lil Punkin and the The Packet Boy asked Mamma why they didn’t have the Christmas Yagi set up, because Santa needed something to put all them iCubes and stuff that they’d be getting from the fat guy under. Mamma tried to be strong, but finally she lost her shit… “Children, there ain’t a -gonna be no iCubes. There ain’t gonna be no Yagi, and we can’t even afford our PoE brick for the waffle iron anymore!” She ran out crying, but Lil Punkin, Little Phy, and The Packet Boy just sat there, shattered at the thought of no Christmas.
Ah… but that waffle iron had cards it wasn’t showing, and if Mamma Catciatore knew it’s secrets, she might not have thrown the Old Man out!
You see, what this waffle iron lacked in throughput, it made up for with eavesdropping capabilities. Being an IoT device, it sent a live audio stream of everything it heard to a bunker in China. On this fortuitous day, Analyst #116 happened to hear the whole miserable affair playing out. Even though he faced certain execution if discovered, he had to do something… anything. For he too grew up in a crappy house run by a miserable lady, and his heart ached to think about the poor throughput and lead-flavored waffles that were happening so far away.
Luckily, Analyst #116 knew a guy. And that guy just happened to be Chuck Norris.
As it were, Analyst #116’s house marm was an extra in the Norris classic I’ll Kick Your Ass, when it was filmed in nearby Chee Toh . Chuck himself took a liking to her young ward who would hang around the set, and they kept in touch for years after with Morse Code. #116 knew that Chuck Norris was basically a god, and figured he could get a hold of Santa and maybe a decent wireless VAR to get things squared away at House of Poor Little Darlins What Ain’t Got Nothing.
And that’s just what happened!
Just as the children got ready to go off to bed, they saw a glow from the sitting room. When they ran in to see what it was, there was Santa putting up a new access point over the fireplace! And outside Mamma was raking out all of the bad CRCs while Chuck Norris stacked up a whole mess of wood. Soon they were all eating Moon Pies by the best Yagi you ever saw, when suddenly Lil Punkin yelled “Holy Shit!” (she did have a terrible potty mouth at times) because there in Chuck Norris’ hand was… the left knob to an Etch-a-Sketch!
As they all opened presents and drank hard liquor, Analyst #116 could hear the happy noise as it was streamed from the waffle iron. He could’t help but smile, even as the handcuffs were painfully snugged around his wrists.
Last year’s epic Wi-Fi holiday story.