The very funny James Lileks actually explains his DSL trouble in terms we all can understand:
As it turns out, the Qwest and COVAD people will meet together at my house tomorrow to solve the problem together. Apparently the COVAD guy can't enter a house, or he turns into a skeleton a la Pirates of the Caribbean. And the Qwest guy can't handle the outside wires. It's a Jack-Sprat-and-his-wife thing.