Many of us have heard of the phenomenon of using the name of your wifi network to communicate with an unidentified neighbor. “Can you PLEASE keep the noise down?” “We can hear you having sex,” and so on. It’s all a sign of postmodern ennui in the technophilic age. Actually talk to your neighbors? Heaven forfend! Send them a anonymous message they probably won’t ever see anyway? Sure! Hell, the intent of such network names probably isn’t communication anyway, it’s to let off steam.
Gawker has a great little piece today on a fracas among neighbors involving network names. Part of what makes it a great story is that the location is Park Slope, the well-known Brooklyn playground of overpaid hipsters with kids. It all revolves around a combination hair salon/toy store called Lulu’s Cuts and Toys and a neighbor who apparently isn’t pleased to live on the same street as Lulu’s Cuts and Toys, and has struck back via the deliciously passive-aggressive medium of network names. See, one of the networks near the intersection of Brooklyn’s posh 5th Ave. and Bergen Ave., perfectly visible from any smartphone or laptop if you happen to be searching for a signal, is “Lulu’s Anal Bleaching for Kids.”
Image from Google Maps
It seems that Lulu’s Cuts and Toys isn’t very happy about it. On the Google Group bergenbtwn4and5 (membership required, alas), a user named “brigittelpratt” who is almost certainly Brigitte Prat, the owner of Lulu’s Cuts and Toys, recently posted the following message:
Unfortunately someone near by has named their WiFi a really awful name referring to my shops, “LuLu’s Anal Bleaching for Kids”. I’ve tried calling Time Warner and Verizon and they can’t seem to help. I have reached out to the 78th Precinct and my lawyer, but they can’t help either because I don’t know who it is. You can see the Network from both of my establishments, you can see it on your smart phone from my stores, my house, or standing in front of 417 & 426 Bergen Street as well as across the street. This is really disturbing and I’m lost to what to do without knowing who it is. Any other ideas on how to handle this?
This is kind of the ultimate first-world problem: My expensive children’s salon (typical cost for a cut: $26) and toy store is being attacked by the name of a local wifi network! Help!
While we’re on the subject of the modern art of “communication via network name,” I can’t resist the opportunity to post this gem (whether real or not):