Life was always offering new little gems.
Yossef Mendel brought home from the men’s synagogue the secret of dial up. Joel Leichter, a lanky guy who I saw in the morning by the bus stop for his job at B&H in the city, confided to Yossef Mendel that if the phone plug was attached to the computer outlet instead of the phone and Internet Explorer was opened, a pop-up box would jump forth, and we could enter the universal username “Joel” and a Kiryas Joel telephone number to reach the internet. Meanwhile, anyone who tried to call our home would enjoy an unceasing succession of ringing, and may or may not wonder what had happened to our answering machine. Joel Leichter said he occasionally did this at night when his wife was at a charity party. Yossef Mendel told him he did not have to hide from his wife, and I felt pride as I heard him say that line. Together we beeped and wailed our way on to msn.com and deduced the purpose of the internet: to bring to the world news, movies, and shopping. And pornography, for Joel Leichter.