The top ten reasons why the television is better than the World Wide Web

10. It doesn't take minutes to build the picture when you change TV channels.

9. When was the last time you tuned in to "Melrose Place" and got a "Error 404" message?

8. There are fewer grating color schemes on TV--even on MTV.

7. The family never argues over which Web site to visit this evening.

6. A remote control has fewer buttons than a keyboard.

5. Even the worst TV shows never excuse themselves with an "Under Construction" sign.

4. Seinfeld never slows down when a lot of people tune in.

3. You just can't find those cool Health Rider infomercials on the Web.

2. Set-top boxes don't beep and whine when you hook up to HBO.

1. You can't surf the Web from a couch with a beer in one hand and Doritos in the other.

The 25 BBS Commandments

  1. Thou shall love thy BBS with all thy heart and all thy bytes.
  2. Thou shalt remember thy name and password.
  3. Thou shalt only call a BBS two times a day.
  4. Honor thy SysOp.
  5. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's password, nor his or her real name, computer, software, nor any other thing belonging to him or her.
  6. Thou shalt not post messages that are stupid, worthless, or have no meaning.
  7. Thou shalt use the English language properly.
  8. Thou shalt spell thy words correctly when ever possible.
  9. Thou shalt delete thine olden messages.
  10. Thou shalt help other users.
  11. Thou shalt not post anonymously when offering criticism.
  12. Thou shalt keep thy foul language to thyself.
  13. Woe be unto the user who attempt to crash thy BBS, for he or she shalt be cast out from the sanctuary of thy hobby and must repent by doing 40 days and 40 nights of penance of voice-only communications.
  14. Thou shalt first dial BBS numbers during the day by way of voice line to assure correct numbers.
  15. Thou shalt not post messages while drunk.
  16. Thou shalt confine thy messages to those of friendship, requests for assistance, aid to the needy, advice, and advancement of thy hobby; and thou art obligated to repel any who wouldst transgress upon those commandments.
  17. If thou doth promise to reply to a message and thou doth not, then surely thou shalt spill coffee into thy keyboard and burn out thy central processing chip.
  18. Thou shalt not giveth any false information when applying for membership to a BBS, for verily it is written that whosoever shall do so will surely be found out and thy welcome on all boards will be thus denied forever and ever.
  19. Thou shalt log on properly and in accordance with the SysOp's rules.
  20. Thou shalt observe BBS time limits.
  21. Thou shalt not upload "worm" programs.
  22. Thou shalt not ask stupid questions that are already fully explained in the BBS instructions.
  23. Thou shalt not exchange copy protected software thru the BBS.
  24. Thou shalt not violate applicable state/federal/local laws hand regulations affecting BBS telecommunications, or thy will feel the wrath of thy judicial system.
  25. Thou shalt not hack.

Diary of a computer lamer

July 18
I just tried to connect to America online, which I've heard is the best online service I can get. I can't connect, I don't know what is wrong.

July 19
Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a modem. I don't see why. He's just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he think I am?

July 20
I bought the modem, I couldn't figure out where it goes though, it wouldn't fit in the monitor or the printer. I'm confused.

July 21
I finally got the modem in and hooked up. A three year old next door did it for me.

July 22
The three year old kid next door hooked me up to America online for me. He's so smart.

July 23
What the heck is the internet? I thought I was on America Online, not this internet thingy. I'm confused.

July 24
The three year old kid next door showed me how to use this America Online stuff. He must be a genius at least compared to me.

July 25
I tried to use chat today. I tried to talk into my computer but nothing happened. Maybe I need to buy a microphone.

July 26
I found this thingy called Usenet. I got out of it because I'm connected to America Online, not Usenet. I went to the doctor today for my regular checkup. He says that since I connected, My brain has mysteriously shrunk to half its normal size.

July 27
These people in this Usenet thingy keep using capital letters. How do they do that? i never figured out how to type capital letters. Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.

July 28
I found this thingy called the Usenet oracle. It says that it can answer any questions I ask it. I asked it 44 separate questions about the internet. I hope it responds soon.

July 29
I found a group called rec.humor. I decided to post this joke about why the chicken crossed the road. To get to the other side! ha ha! I wasn't sure if i posted it right so I posted it 56 more times.

July 30
I keep hearing about the World Wide Web. I didn't know spiders grew that large.

July 31
The oracle responded to my questions today. Geez, it was rude. I was so angry that I posted an angry message about it to I wasn't sure if it posted right so I posted it 22 more times.

August 1
Someone told me to read the FAQ. Geez, they didn't have to use profanity.

August 2
I just read this post called make money fast. I'm so exited, I'm going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions and posted it to every newsgroup i could find.

August 3
I just made my signature file. It's only 6 pages long, So I will have to work on it some more.

August 4
I just looked at a group called I read a few posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face of the Earth. I wonder what an "aol" is, however.

August 5
I was asking where to find some information about something. Some guy told me to check out I've looked and looked, but I cant find that group.

August 6
Some guy suspended my account because of what i was doing. I told him I don't have an account at his bank. He's so dumb.

How to Tell If You're Addicted To E-mail

1. You wake up at 3 am to go to the bathroom and stop to check your e-mail on the way back to bed.

2. You name your children Eudora, Aol and Dotcom.

3. You turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.

4. You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.

5. You decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just for the free Internet access.

6. You laugh at people with 28.8 KBPS- modems.

7. You start using smileys in your snail mail.

8. You find yourself typing "com" after every period when using a word

9. You refer to going to the bathroom as downloading.

10. You can't call your mother...she doesn't have a modem.

11. You check your mail. It says "no new messages." So you check it again.

12. You don't know what gender three of your closest friends are, because
they have neutral screennames and you never bothered to ask.

13. You move into a new house and decide to Netscape before you landscape.

14. You tell the cab driver you live at http://www.edison~/garden/house/brick.html
to a friend.

15. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.

16. After reading this message, you immediately E-mail it  

Top 10 Signs You're Addicted to the Net

10) You wake up at 3am to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed.
9) You get a tattoo that reads "This body is best viewed with Netscape Navigator 1.1 or higher."
8) You name your children Eudora, Mozilla and Dotcom.
7) You turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, like you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
6) You spend half of your plane trip with your Laptop on your lap... and your child in the overhead compartment.
5) You decide to stay at college for an additional year or two, just for the free Internet access.
4) You laugh at people with 2400 baud modems.
3) You start using smileys in your snail mail.
2) The last girl/guy you picked up was a JPEG.
1) Your hard drive crashes. You haven't logged on for two hours. You start to twitch. You pick up the phone and manually dial your ISP's access number. You try to hum to communicate with the modem... you succeed!

How many internet mail list subscribers does it take to change a light bulb?
1,392 -
1 to change the light bulb and to post to the mail list that the light bulb has been changed.
14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently,
4 to complain that they were happy with the old one,
7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs,
27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs,
53 to flame the spell checkers,
156 to write to the list administrator complaining about the light bulb discussion and its inappropriateness to this mail list,
41 to correct spelling in the spelling/grammar flames,
109 to post that this list is not about light bulbs and to please take this email exchange to alt.lite.bulb,
203 to demand that cross posting to alt.grammar, alt.spelling and alt.punctuation about changing light bulbs be stopped,
111 to defend the posting to this list saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts **are** relevant to this mail list,
306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique, and what brands are faulty
27 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs,
14 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly, and to post corrected URLs,
12 to flame the AOL users for violating netiquette and blame them for starting this whole thing,
3 to post about links they found from the URLs that "are relevant to this list, which makes light bulbs relevant to this list,"
45 posts about whether or not AOL should even be allowed to exist
33 to concatenate all posts to date, then quote them including all headers and footers, and then add "Me Too,"
12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy,
19 to quote the "Me Too's" to say, "Me Three,"
4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ,
1 to propose new alt.change.lite.bulb newsgroup,
47 to say this is just what alt.physic.cold_fusion was meant for, leave it here
143 votes for alt.lite.bulb.

Application to Leave AOL

This form must be filled out in triplicate
and e-mailed to all the regs not less than
thirty days prior to your intended departure
Applications will be reviewed the second
Tuesday of each week from 1:10-1:15 am.  If
you are approved for departure (which ain't
gonna happen so give it up), you will be
notified by e-mail on the second Wednesday
of next week.

Part A

Question 1:  In no less than 5,000 word
explain your reason for desiring to be
released from AOL:.

Question 2: What do you think you
are gonna do with all the spare time you
are gonna have?

Question 3:  Do you honestly believe your
family likes you enough to talk to you?????

Part B
Personal Information
Full Given Name:________________________________
Daytime phone__________________________________
Work phone____________________________________
Parents phone__________________________________
Neighbors phone________________________________
Strangers phone_________________________________

Age____________  SSN#_____________________
Weight_______________   Height___________________
Bra size___________________ Jock size_____________
Mothers Maiden Name_____________________________
Grandmothers Country of Origin_____________________

List Ten Names, Addresses & Phone Numbers of
places that you can be reached in case of a
damn "we miss you" emergency:
(please list the above info in alphabetical
order...indicating where you are most likely to
be at what time of day)

Fill out this form and email to all known regs
for review and opinion


This part to be completed by regs, and returned
to the silly person requesting to leave us.
(make sure you file all the personal info that
was given above in case they try to leave us
anyway!! HeHeHeHe)

Application Approved:      NO_______
Application Denied:        YES______

What is the Internet?

  1.  How big is the Internet?  When did it start?  How did it grow?
      The Internet is actually much smaller than most people think.  It
      is primarily composed of fiber optic cables no thicker than a human
      hair, which can be conveniently rolled up and stored in a foot
      locker.  Janitors at the National Science Foundation do this on the
      third Tuesday of every month when they wax the floors.

      Since fiber optics are the size of human hairs, they also make
      attractive wigs.  The next time you watch a Sprint commercial,
      you'll see that Candice Bergen's alleged hair is really the T4

      The earliest origins of the Internet can be traced to Ancient
      Greece, where a loosely connected set of networks was used to
      discuss exploration in the Black Sea.  The Argonets, as they were
      then called, were entirely subsidized by the government, and won
      one of William Proxmire's first Golden Fleece awards.

      The Internet grows hyperbolically, but is usually described

  2.  Who owns the Internet?

      There is no one person or agency that owns the Internet.  Instead,
      parts of it are owned by the Illuminati and parts are owned by Free

  3.  What do the Internet addresses mean?

      Precise meanings are often hard to determine.  The address -- which is sometimes written -- seems to refer to a computer either
      owned by a baker or by someone named Baker.  This can be deceiving
      however; names like this actually refer to where a computer is
      located.  This one is on top of Mt. Baker.

      In addition to names, computers on the Internet also have numbers.
      This is part of the whole right brain/left brain thing.

  4.  Tell me how to get on and off various lists and discussion groups.

      Getting off on various lists is currently the subject of pending

  5.  What is "Netiquette?"

      "Netiquette" is one of many cutesy neologisms created by combining
      two other words.  In this case, "network" and "tourniquette" combine
      to describe a program that shuts down a computer if it starts
      transmitting information too fast.

  6.  What is "Flaming?"

      Along with an improvisational approach to floating point arithmetic,
      early Pentium chips were noted for generating heat.  While some
      hackers speak fondly of roasting marshmallows over their first P60s,
      others found themselves badly singed as the chips caught fire.  This
      "flaming" sometimes occurred while the user was composing e-mail,
      resulting in poorly chosen or excessively vitriolic verbiage.

  7.  What is "Bandwidth?"

      As capacity on the Internet has increased, people have begun to
      transmit material other than simple text.  One notable example is
      audio recordings of rock concerts.  These audio files are much
      larger than even very long books, so they have become a standard
      unit of network usage.  One Rolling Stone song equals one "band"
      width, and so on.

  8.  Why can't I FTP to some places?

      There are two main reasons for this.  The first is that the site
      you want to ftp files from is exercising a certain degree of control
      over its network resources; in network parlance, this is called

      The second reason is that the remote site may be dabbling with such
      network fads as gopher or the World Wide Web.  This is called
      "keeping up with the times."

  9.  What is the World Wide Web, Gopherspace, etc?

      The World Wide Web, or WWW, is an experiment in generating acronyms
      that are much more difficult to pronounce than the words they

      Gopherspace is an older network term.  In response to the Soviet
      space program's early use of dogs in space, NASA mounted a program
      to orbit a number of different rodents.  The programmers involved
      in this project adopted the motto "Gophers in space!" which has
      since been shortened.  The only actual gopher to go into orbit had
      been digging up the carrots in Werner Von Braun's garden, and was
      named Veronica after his daughter.

  10. Why can't I get some WWW stuff via FTP?

      It can be hard to say this, but some users of the Internet are
      unable to do things because they are stupid.  The comparatively
      trivial task of getting an ftp client to do every single thing a
      WWW browser can do is beneath this column's attention.

  Tune in next time for Ask Dr. Internet --

          "I have a master's Internet!"

Web-Surfing Drinking Game

With the recent rise of "Geek culture," the long-held misperception that
computer users are solitary, electronic slaves is slowly receding like a
ten percent drop shadow.  Geeks have asserted for years that they can
party as hard as any testosterone-filled football player.  To prove it, we
present the TidBITS Web Surfing Party Game (TBWSPG, pronounced "Fred").

Fred is best experienced in a group setting (say, a rack of office
cubicles at lunch time), but you can also play at home alone or networked,
of course.  To play, choose your favorite drink, connect to your ISP, and
start surfing the Web.  Remember to be responsible, and hand over the
mouse when you've drunk too much.

	* your modem has to redial when connecting to your ISP (if more 
		than five times, stop drinking and cancel that darn AOL 
		account already!)
	* you see a "Best Viewed With..." tag (twice if it's animated)
	* you get any error message (bad URL, etc.)
	* you see an under construction sign
	* you view a page with a Web counter (twice if it's a broken 
	* you view a blink tag (not necessary to drink for every blink)
	* you come across a Java applet (twice if it doesn't load)
	* you see the phrase "cool links"
	* a background sound loads (you also must dance with drink in hand)
	* your browser crashes
	* you have to resize the browser window
	* a graphic doesn't load

	* you hit a JavaScript error
	* you arrive at a password-protected site (if you can guess the 
		password in three tries, collect a dollar from everyone in 
		the room and chug drink)
	* you find a home page purportedly belonging to someone's pet
	* "cool" is spelled "kewl"
	* you have to download a plug-in and restart your browser
	* the graphics are broken on a Web designer's home pages

	* If you hit a Shockwave project, you have to wait to drink until 
		it's downloaded (This is a good chance to walk to the store 
		for more drinks, render 3D images, or write a new operating 

This is a test message. Had it been an actual message, it would've made sense.

DISCLAIMER:  This e-mail message reflects the thoughts, opinions, ideas, 
and body odor of myself; it does not reflect the thoughts, opinions, 
ideas, and/or body odor of my company, my friends, my wife, my two sons, 
my fish, my roses, my dog, or my trash.  All rights reserved, all lefts 
reserved.  This message is subject to change without notice.  Some bits 
may or may not be slightly enlarged to show detail.  Any resemblance to 
actual e-mail, programs or lizards, either running or hung, is 
unintentional and purely coincidental. Hand wash only, tumble dry on low 
heat.  Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. No substitutions allowed.  For 
a limited time only.  Type hard, you are making five copies.  This 
message is a void pointer to null where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise 
restricted.  Ideas and concepts are provided "as is" without any 
warranties expressed or implied.  User assumes full liabilities. Not 
liable for damages due to use or misuse or inability to understand.  An
equal opportunity electron employer.  No shirt, no shoes, no software. 
Quantities are limited while supplies last.  Quality and your mileage may
vary.  Since e-mail is hand-crafted, there will be slight differences in 
each object.  If defects are discovered, do not attempt to fix them 
yourself, but return to an authorized service center.  No Parking.  No 
Standing.  No Spitting.  Post no Bills. Parental Advisory - explicit 
source code.  No one under 17 admitted.  Keep away from sunlight, pets, 
and small children.  Limit one per family.  No money down.  No purchase 
necessary.  Cache and carry.  You do not need to be present to win.  
Some assembly and C++ required. Batteries not included.  Action figures 
sold separately. Take a number please.  Preservatives added to improve 
freshness.  Safety goggles must be worn at all times.  Hard hat area.  
Sealed for your protection.  Call before you dig.    EXTERN use only. If 
a rash, redness, irritation, or swelling develops, discontinue use and 
consult your magic eight ball.  Use only with proper ventilation.  Avoid 
extreme temperatures.  Store in a cool dry place.  Refrigerate after 
opening.  Keep away from open flames and avoid inhaling fumes.  Avoid 
contact with eyes.  Do not puncture, incinerate, or store above 
120 degrees Fahrenheit.  If this message begins to smoke, run, do not 
walk, towards the nearest exit.  Do not place near any magnetic source.  
Printing, shredding and then smoking this message may be hazardous to 
your health. You are not in Kansas any more.  Code used in this e-mail 
was made from 100% recycled electrons.  Prosecutors will be violated.  
No animals were used to test the deliverability of this message.  No 
extra salt, MSG, artificial color or flavoring added.  If ingested, do 
not induce vomiting.  If symptoms persist, delete yourself immediately.  
If you suspect an overloaded operator, destroy immediately.  Constantly 
volatile when exposed to static pointers.  There is no parking in the 
red zone.  Possible penalties for early withdrawal.  Slightly higher 
outside of the continental US.  Allow four to six seconds for delivery. 
The white zone is for immediate passenger loading and unloading only.  
Motor vehicles only.  Actually, I am a mouse in the middle of an 
incredibly complicated plot to take over the world.  This disclaimer does 
not cover hurricane, lightning, tornado, volcanic eruption, earthquake, 
flood, or any other natural disaster, misuse, neglect, repair, attempted 
modification, bugs in the code, damage from improper installation, 
incorrect line voltage, cosmic rays, missing or altered serial numbers, 
sonic boom vibrations, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, and 
incidents related to airplane crash, ship sinking, motor vehicle 
accidents, leaky roof, alien attack, broken glass, falling rocks, mud 
slides, forest fire, flying squirrels, verbal assaults, or house arrest.  
Other restrictions may apply.  Do not insert orally.

Standardized Spam Reply Form

I took exception to your recent  ___ post to ________________________________.
				 ___ email

It was (check all that apply):

___ lame.
___ stupid.
___ much longer than any worthwhile thought of which you may be capable.

Your attention is drawn to the fact that:

___ what you posted/said has been done before.
    (Mark only if above checked)
    ___ Not only that, it was also done better the last time.
___ your post/letter was a pathetic imitation of   ____________________.
___ your post/mail originated on FidoNet.
___ your post/mail originated on Delphi
___ your post/mail originated from the anon service
    (Mark only if above checked)
     ___ you felt this gave you a license to be a 'tard
	 (Mark only if above checked)
	  ___ your stupidity will be reported to the per
	       the anon disclaimer under "inappropriate use"
___ your post referred to the newsgroup as a Board, BBoard, BBS, or
___ you asked for an FTP site for adult pictures.
___ you posted a request for sexy email
___ you posted a personal ad to a non-personals group
___ you posted a request for *HOT*BI*BABES*
___ your post contained commercial advertising.
    THE FINE FOR THIS IS $20. Please remit immediately to:
		    Usenet News
		    Network Security & Standards Patrol
		    3 Cielo Vista Terrace
		    Monterey, CA 93940
    or your posting privileges will be canceled.
___ your post/letter contained numerous spelling errors.
___ your post/letter contained multiple grammatical errors.
___ you posted a "newgroup" message without Leader Kibo's permission.
___ you posted a "rmgroup" message without Bruce Becker's permission.
___ your post/letter was an obvious forgery.
    (Mark only if above checked)
    ___ It was done clumsily.
___ you have a lame login name.
___ your machine has a stupid name.
___ you quoted an article/letter in followup and added no new text.
___ you quoted an article/letter in followup and only added ___ lines
    of text.
___ you quoted an article in followup and only added the line "Me, too!!!"
___ you predicted the "Imminent Death of the Net[tm]".
___ you asked for replies via email because you "don't read this group".
___ you flamed someone who has been around far longer than you.
___ you flamed someone who is far more intelligent and witty than you.
___ your lines are 80 columns wide or wider.
___ you failed to check the "Followups-To:" line.
___ your .sig is longer than four lines.
    (Mark only if above checked)
    ___ And your newsreader truncated it.
___ your .sig is ridiculous because (check all that apply):
    ___ you listed ___ snail mail address(es).
	(Mark only if above checked)
	___ you listed a nine-digit ZIP code.
    ___ you listed ___ phone numbers for people to use in prank calls.
    ___ you included a stupid disclaimer.
	(Mark only if above also)
	 ___ your pathetic attempt at being witty in the disclaimer failed.
	 (Mark only if above also)
	     ___ Miserably.
    ___ you included:
	(Mark all that apply) 
	 ___ a stupid self-quote.
	 ___ a stupid quote from a net.nobody.
	 ___ a Rush Limbaugh quote.
	 ___ a Dan Quayle joke.
	 ___ a reference to Beavis & Butthead.
	 ___ lame ASCII graphic(s) (Choose all that apply):
	     ___ USS Enterprise
	     ___ Australia
	     ___ The Amiga logo
	     ___ Company logo
		 (Mark only if above also)
		 ___ and you stated that you don't speak for your employer.
	     ___ Bicycle
	     ___ Bart Simpson


___ You have greatly misunderstood the purpose of ________________________.
___ You have greatly misunderstood the purpose of the net.
___ You are a loser.
___ You must have spent your entire life in a skinner box to be this
___ *plonk*
___ This has been pointed out to you before.
___ It is recommended that you:
    (Mark all that apply)
    ___ stick to FidoNet and come back when you've grown up.
    ___ find a volcano and throw yourself in.
    ___ get a gun and shoot yourself.
    ___ stop reading Usenet news and get a life.
    ___ stop sending email and get a life.
    ___ consume excrement.
    ___ consume excrement and thus expire.

Additional comments:

None needed.

Warning: Mail Virus

Postmaster General Warning...

The Postmaster General released a warning last Wednesday concerning a matter of major importance to anyone who ever uses the USPS. Apparently, a new paper virus has been engineered by someone at Dartmouth that is unparalleled in its destructive capability.

What makes this virus so terrifying, said the U.S. Postal Service, is the fact that no genetic material needs to be exchanged for someone new to be infected. It can be spread through the existing mail systems of the world. Once a person is infected, one of several things can happen. If the person has a sex drive, that will most likely be destroyed. If the virus is not stopped, it can place the person's nervous system in an nth-complexity infinite binary loop--which can severely damage neurons if it is not stopped before long. Unfortunately, most novice mail users will not realize what is happening before it is too late.

Luckily, there is one sure means of detecting what is now known as the "Million Dollar" virus. It always travels to new hosts the same way: in a large envelope with the text "You May Have Already Won One Million Dollars" on the envelope.

Avoiding infection is easy once the letter has been received--don't read it. The act of opening the envelope releases pheromones that cause a hypnotic-like response as the virus takes over the reader's central nervous system. The virus is highly intelligent--it will force the victim to make copies of itself and mail them to everyone whose mailing address is contained in an address book or on a piece of received mail, if it can find one. It will then proceed to trash the nervous system it has taken over.

The bottom line here is--if you receive a piece of mail with "You May Have Already Won One Million Dollars" on it, throw it out immediately! Do not read it! Rest assured that whoever's name was in the return address was surely struck by the virus.

Warn your friends and local mail users of this newest threat to their health! It could save them a lot of time and money.

New Net Crisis for release April 1, 1997 Special advisory to e-citizens: President William Jefferson Clinton and Vice President Al "Macarena" Gore jointly announced that a major crisis has arisen on the Internet. The National Bureau of Standards and the Federal Reserve Board have calculated that all jokes and parodies that can be developed, have already been released, and there is no more new humor available for Internet circulation. Bill Gates, 2nd most powerful American, announced that Microsoft would be recirculating all old jokes from their corporate repository. "We had intended to issue this as a 'Microhumor' CD, Mr. Gates announced, but in view of this national crisis, we are recirculating these old chestnuts in the hope that they will amuse once again. Microsoft will ensure that each joke is rated according to age suitability. President Clinton praised the generosity of Mr. Gates and said that "decent Americans everywhere will pray silently that new humor can be developed soon, and spread over the Net. In the meantime, as we have always done in time of crisis, the Federal government will work diligently to avoid a humor gap." Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott observed that this was the sort of thing that the Democrat party always did: use up all resources without knowing how to replace them. He observed that a strong national defense was even more important at such times. Long time Senator Strom Thurmond asked "What's the Internet, son?"

Net Snoop

by Joe Lavin --

"As computers and the Internet grow more prevalent, employers 
increasingly are using software to monitor workers' computer use. 
Employers say such surveillance is needed to cut down on-line loafing, 
to protect companies from potentially illegal or improper computer 
activities by workers, and even just to determine whether there is any 
problem of computer misuse." -- The Boston Globe

To: All Staff 
From: Charles Endicott

As many of you are aware, we have recently installed a new Net Snoop 
computer monitoring system to help us track employee Internet use. I 
want to assure you that we are using Net Snoop only to increase our 
productivity. While the system does allow me to view what is on your 
computer screen at all times, this in no way should be viewed as an 
invasion of privacy. It is merely an attempt to make our family here at 
Warburton's more successful than ever. 

To: Melissa March
From: Charles Endicott

Congratulations on your recent Minesweeper score of 163. That is very 
impressive indeed. However, while conducting a test of our new Net 
Snoop system, I did notice that you might be playing too much 
Minesweeper at work. In fact, yesterday you played all day, with only a 
break for lunch and another break in which to write a short e-mail to 
Raoul in Accounting entitled "Thanks for last night, STUD!!!" An 
occasional game of Minesweeper is fine, but it would be best to play 
only during your break time. Thank you.  

To: Max Travis
From: Charles Endicott

It was a delight meeting your son yesterday. However, I did notice that 
while you were at a meeting, he surfed to some very frightening web 
sites. One was for a singer called Marilyn Manson and was, I must say, 
deeply unsettling. I don't mean to accuse you of bad parenting; I just 
thought I should inform you so that you may take the appropriate 
disciplinary action.

To: George Pedersen
From: Charles Endicott

While it is impressive that you have been able to download almost the 
entire Pamela Anderson video collection, I feel that this action is not at 
all appropriate in the workplace. From now on, Pedersen, please refrain 
from using company computers to view pornographic materials. Thank 

To Raoul Westerburg
From: Charles Endicott

It seems that your excessive online chatting may be a problem. Many of 
your messages seem quite racy for the office setting, and I think it is 
important that everyone remains fully clothed at all times during the 
workday. Also, from a review of your e-mail, it is apparent that you are 
involved romantically with at least three women and possibly one man in 
our office. There is no policy against this, but I do think it is important 
that something like this does not get out of hand. We certainly do not 
want this office to turn into a soap opera, and I hope that this can all be 
resolved without a scene.  

To: George Pedersen
From: Charles Endicott

Pedersen, I believe I have already warned you against viewing offensive 
materials. This extends to the use of e-mail as well. I must say that your 
latest e-mail joke about the cow was not at all amusing and in fact deeply 
disturbing. As you should know, such an activity can be quite painful 
for a cow, and I do not believe it is right for us to laugh at its misfortune. 
Furthermore, sending this out to a large number of people from a 
Warburton's e-mail address is completely unacceptable. I hope this will 
not happen again.  

To: Melissa March
From: Charles Endicott

Through Net Snoop, I was able to read several chapter of the new novel 
you are writing at work. I was very impressed, but I also feel that it would 
be best if you could refrain from writing this during work hours. Chapter 
Three, "Why Raoul is a two timing creep who deserves to die" was 
especially well written, though I am a little hurt by Chapter Six, "My boss 
is a big fat nosy bastard." If you are at all unhappy, I hope you will stop 
by my office so that we can discuss it. My door is always open. 

To: All Staff
From:  Samuel Warburton

It is with great regret that I have asked for the resignation of Charles 
Endicott. He was in the past a very effective manager, but, since the 
introduction of our Net Snoop system, Charles has been greatly 
neglecting his work. During the last several weeks, he has not been 
performing his normal tasks at all; instead, he has merely been sitting in 
his office all day spying on other employees. I have decided it would be 
best to look for a replacement. I appreciate all your hard work and I know 
that we will be able to continue at our normal level of success 
throughout the coming transition. Thank you.

Legends of the Web
Amazing But Untrue

Special to

For years, promoters of the Internet have been heralding the arrival of the
World Wide Web as our greatest-ever entertainment and enlightenment medium.
Someday, the hypesters say, a wired nation will turn its back on tired old
televisions and books, choosing instead to log on and take in all manner of
glorious new multimedia fictions. 
     I'm not sure exactly why artists and storytellers would magically be
made more creative by the computer than they were by the pencil, brush, stage
or camera, but conventional vision has it that it will be so. 
     And whatever the future may hold for Internet-delivered fiction, the
Net-connected computer has proven a tremendous boon to present-day
storytellers. One has only to drop by the New World Order Intelligence
Update, the Human Cyberslaves site, or the proof that Keanu Reeves is the
Antichrist to find cornucopian offerings of amazing tales and chilling
reinterpretations of contemporary life. 
     The Web also is positively flooded these days with fiction that is
disseminated, read, copied and improved by interactive readers so rapidly and
cleverly that one wonders why Netevangelists aren't proclaiming that the
golden age of interactive fiction has already arrived. 

The Vonnegut Speech
The best—and best-known—recent example, of course, is the "wear sunscreen"
column by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune that was transmogrified in the
ether into an MIT commencement speech delivered by novelist Kurt Vonnegut.
Circulated through e-mail, the "speech" had been read and thoroughly enjoyed
by millions—including Vonnegut's wife—before Vonnegut himself issued a
denial, and the truth (except for the anonymous author of the hoax) came out.

     E-mail is the most fertile medium so far for these "fictions," which
most often take the form of chain letters, hoaxes or whoppers. The principal
plot line of most chain letters is simple: if you forward the letter to X
number of friends, an institution or corporation somewhere will donate money
or items to the pertinent cause. Thus: 


What I find most enchanting about these letters—which self-styled Net
sophisticates dismiss as annoying garbage—is how quickly and widely they are
disseminated, and how often otherwise intelligent people believe them and
pass them on. I have received these messages from highly educated friends,
acquaintances and colleagues who would never for a moment entertain the
thought that such things were to be taken seriously if they received them
through any other medium. 
     "Give the gift of literacy," wrote a colleague with a Ph.D. from
Stanford University, as she forwarded to her co-workers the following
message: "The Houghton-Mifflin publishing co. is giving books to children's
hospitals; how many books they give depends on how many emails they receive
from people around the world. for every 25 emails they receive, they give one
book—it seems like a great way to help a good cause. all you have to do is
email: hope you can spare the seconds...and let your friends
know. so far they only have 3, 400 messages … last year they reached 23,000."

Easily Hoodwinked
Like any fiction in any other medium, these stories serve a didactic function
of sorts, as they tell us something about the state of our society and our
minds. But mostly they serve as powerful commentary on the relationship
between people and the Internet itself. For some reason, the Net in its
current form seems to transmit a powerful credulity virus that makes people
believe the unbelievable. One thinks of Pierre Salinger waving his printout
of the Internet-delivered claim that the U.S. government had shot down TWA
Flight 800. If someone told Salinger that lie over the telephone, would he
have gone running to the world's TV news stations? 
     What is it with the Net, anyway, that it turns people into such fools? 
     Among Internet fictions that have attained a kind of hall of fame status
are the stolen kidneys letter , the Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe story ,
and—most mysterious of all—the computer virus hoax. The amazing thing about
all of these fictions is the lack of profit they bring to their author—all
are written, as far as I can tell, for no money, and bring their creators no
satisfaction other than the vague sense that they are distracting millions of
otherwise intelligent people from more serious pursuits. But the
computer-virus hoaxes, in which a warning is disseminated to millions
throughout the Internet warning them not to read mail containing certain
words or phrases on their subject line, are beyond mystifying. 
     "There is a new horrible virus on the loose!" begins one typical work in
this genre. "Researchers are stunned … they say it is probably the most
destructive virus ever created." The payoff, apparently, comes when some
institution somewhere is moved to issue a warning about the warning. "Please
ignore any messages regarding this supposed 'virus' and do not pass on any
messages regarding it," wrote the good people at Symantec. "Passing on
messages about this hoax serves only to further propagate it." 

Junk Mail 101

by Andrew Hicks

Last year, I wrote a column called "Hate Mail 101." It was one of my favorites and turned out to be a favorite of most readers as well. So in memory of that and respecting the fact that I have nothing else to write about right now, I'm doing a spin off. This time I'll reprint and grade ten e-mails, from A+ to F, from the other end of the "unwanted mail" spectrum. This is a guide to junk mail, all of which I've received this past week. For reference purposes, I'm using each e-mail's subject line as its title...

1. Please Help Me

Ah, the desperation of junk mail. This one reaches new lows, declaring, "I don't know what is most important--kids, or the planet our kids will live on after we are gone!" So he decides to exploit them both, beginning with kids. "FOUR MILLION people will be poisoned this year from cleaning products. Over TEN THOUSAND little kids will DIE this year. That is HEARTBREAKING!" Then he talks about how his brother died when he was ten and asks, "Are you willing to help save a kid's life?" If you are, get ready to buy some all-natural cleaning products, which don't poison our water or kill our kids. And just look at that shine! "Some people may accuse me of being a profiteer," this poor guy says. He doesn't know the half of it, but the sad part is, he'll probably make a lot of money on this. Then he'll push his sister overboard so he can sell the world the Amazing Non-Slick Ship Deck Mop. The lower these junk mails sink, the better they get. Grade: A.


Well, I needs money. So I listened to Dick Hollman when he told me his life went from repossessed cars and bill collectors to luxury cruises, new cars and "a second home in Virginia," all when "I received a letter telling me how to earn $800,000 anytime I wanted to!" How about next Tuesday? he asked himself. The scheme is simple. You send the people on the list one dollar each and ask them to add your name to their lists. Then you send this mail to as many people as you can. Cyrus Huntington returned the letter and, three days later, he won the lottery. John Hopkins refused to return the letter and, three minutes later, he died. The choice is clear, and the sacrifice is little in the long run. As Dick writes, "BE HONEST, HAVEN'T YOU 'BLOWN' MONEY IN RESTURANTS OR ON ITEMS THAT GIVE ONLY TEMPORARY PLEASURE?" Oh, like, say luxury cruises, new cars and a second home in Virginia? Dick's all-caps urgency, his insistence that this age-old scam REALLY WORKS, his subject-verb disagreement in the subject line and his bringing hope to many pathetic individuals actually stupid enough to fall for this e-mail ensure him of his place in junk mail history. An instant classic. A+.

3. I Make $250 to $1000 A Week!!

When I first saw this subject line, I thought, "So what, a janitor makes at least $250 in a week," but then I realized, this guy is working for "One Of The Hottest Most Exciting Marketing Groups On The Internet," The One That Capitalizes Every Word They Use. Then this anonymous writer declares, "I MADE $160 MY FIRST DAY!!!" Having sex with who again? This guy works for the Marketing Warriors, which sounds like some community business college football team. It was founded by Allen Says, brother of Simon, and plugs some "secret site" where you can download millions of e-mail addresses for your personal use, presumably so you can send people senseless, unsolicited e-mail like this and learn how, among other things, "to print your own money....legally!!" This junk mail is all over the place, promising lots of money (probably fake money they printed "legally") but offering no details other than the secret site, and it has its share of widely varying capitalization. Make it work for you. C+.

4. Immediate Release: El Nino update...

Perhaps the absolute worst junk mail I've come across lately, this one offers to educate investment opportunists "how to take advantage of the potential effects of El Nino on the agricultural commodities markets!!" This year's El Nino "could be the worst one in 150 years," so why not make some money from it by investing in soybeans, corn and wheat, the foods that will no doubt reach famine levels of shortage when revaged by El Nino? The catch is, you have to commit to a minimum investment of $6,000. Now, do you think anyone stupid enough to read past the first line of this e-mail really has $6,000 at their disposal? From the same people who brought you "Cash in on your grandmother's rape!" F.

5. The Cash Cow is MOOING!!

That's right. You already know the cash rooster is crowing and the cash elephant is stampeding, but now the cash cow is mooing. "Call the number below and find out how to make thousands of dollars each week simply by getting people to call an 800 number! WE DO EVERYTHING ELSE !!! !!! WE CLOSE ALL SALES FOR YOU !!! $$$$ 100.00 FAST START CASH * PAYDAY EACH FRIDAY $$$$ WE ADVERTISE * WE RECRUIT * WE CLOSE YOUR SALES ****ALL WHILE YOUR AT WORK OR AT PLAY **** $$$$ START MAKING $ 100.00 BILLS RIGHT NOW !!!" People, THIS is an excellent junk mail. All caps, a groaner of a subject line, confusing repeated punctuation, use of "your" for "you're" and, of course, absolutely no details about what kind of business you're entering into. Even the jaded head of a student painter scam would be proud. A+.


This one loses a letter grade for being an actual, tangible product and not some kind of pyramid or sales scheme. It also loses a letter grade for melding one pathetic product with another. I think we all see enough pictures of our friends and family, we don't need to be running our mouses across their faces every time we're on the computer. Nevetheless, the manufactures think, that for only $14.75 plus shipping, "Its time to REPLACE your OLD, DIRTY, FRAYED, BORING mouse pads with LOVED ONES, FAMILY, FRIENDS, PETS," and so on, as if to suggest a mouse pad with a picture of a loved one would somehow not be boring. Now, if someone actually had a pet mouse and wanted to put the mouse's picture on the mouse pad, I could see the novelty value, but otherwise, no f'ing way. This is no fly-by-night operation, though: "Our Mouse Pads are made from the HIGHIEST QUALITY 'NO FRAY' cloth tops and 1/4" deep non-skid rubber bottoms." If I'm not mistaken, so are the Virtual Boyfriend and Girlfriend accessories. These people do earn a small amount of credit in my book for including the line, "We will ship it back to you OR TO ANY ADDRESS you prefer!" which opens up endless possibilities for sending enemies obscene photos. And since these mouse pads are of the "HIGHIEST QUALITY," the enemies would probably end up using them. D+. 8. Make money From People Watching TV

I got this one three times in a row. It starts with the line, "Just Released," probably describing the author's parole. This e-mail describes some kind of vague digital satellite sales job, "setting up people with DSS satellite equipment at no charge. As a representative with our company, you will get paid between $25 and $100 for 'giving away' Digital Direct Satellite Dishes." So they pay you to give away their equipment? They don't explain how they make money doing this, but rest assured there is illegal activity involved. The fact that "giving away" is in quotes suggests something sinister, like perhaps that they've "borrowed" the satellite dishes from some electronics store. The closing line reads, "If you are ready for the greatest business opportunity to come down the pike, don't miss this one, it is only 2 months old!!!" Younger is better in junk mail; you have to go with a company that has not proven itself at all, whose business strategies don't make any sense and who put words in quotes. Overall, very effective. B+!!!

8. A personal message...

Shannon Johnson, CEO, writes, "I have to tell you that I am really angry and upset about what is going on here on the Internet. We at Success Concepts are so angry, in fact, that we decided to do something about it." More specifically, they decided to make everyone else angry by sending them junk e-mail. This one, like so many others, offers to sell you everyone else's e-mail addresses so you can bug the hell out of them like they do. This is unremarkable junk mail -- where are the screaming, all-caps promises? Where are the missing details of shady business? Where are the erotic software offers? D.

9. I know all about you...

This subject line was followed by the promise, "Now YOU CAN KNOW TOO..." So I'm supposed to pay you so I can know about me? Okay, let me get my checkbook... I admit, when you see e-mail with a subject line like that, you read it. You want to make sure you're not being blackmailed, that no one knows about you and Marv Albert and the three drunken flight attendants last May. Then this guy tries to sell you information on how to find dirt on everyone. "Check out your spouse, or even your daughter's new boyfriend!" And I'm sure he knows what I did last summer, but the lack of any personal details to freak me out kept me from falling for the scheme. Now, if he would have said anything about May with Marv, I would have been sold. C-.

Internet vs. Interstate

There it is again.  Some clueless FOOL talking about the "Information 
Superhighway."  They don't know anything about the net.  It's NOTHING 
like a Superhighway.  That's a BAD metaphor.

Yeah, but suppose the metaphor ran in the OTHER direction.  Suppose 
the HIGHWAYS were like the NET.  All right!  Severe craziness.  A 
highway HUNDREDS of lanes wide.  Most with potholes.  Privately 
operated bridges and overpasses.  No highway patrol.  A couple of 
rent-a-cops on bicycles with broken whistles.  500 member VIGILANTE 
POSSES with nuclear weapons.  237 ON RAMPS at every intersection.  NO 
SIGNS.  Wanna get to Ensenada?  Holler out the window at a passing 
truck to ask directions. AD HOC traffic laws.  Some lanes would VOTE 
to make use by a single-occupant-vehicle a CAPITAL OFFENSE on Monday 
through Friday between 7:00 and 9:00.  Other lanes would just SHOOT 
you without a trial for talking on a car phone.

AOL would be a giant diesel-smoking BUS with hundreds of EBOLA victims 
and a TOILET spewing out on the road behind it.  Throwing DEAD WOMBATS 
and rotten cabbage at the other cars most of which have been ASSEMBLED 
AT HOME from kits.  Some are 2.5 horsepower LAWNMOWER ENGINES with a 
top speed of nine miles an hour.  Others burn NITROGLYCERINE and IDLE 
at 120.

No license tags.  World War II BOMBER NOSE ART instead.  Terrifying 
paintings of huge teeth or VAMPIRE EAGLES.  Bumper mounted MACHINE 
GUNS.  Flip somebody the finger on this highway and get a WHITE
PHOSPHORUS GRENADE up your tailpipe.  Flatbed trucks with 
ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE BATTERIES to shoot down the WTCX Traffic Watch 
helicopter.  A little kid on a tricycle with a squirt gun filled with 


Now THAT'S the way to run an Interstate Highway system.

Internet Virus Warning

	Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet!
	WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular
	Internet Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are
	becoming infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without
	question every groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows
	up in their inbox or on their browser.  The Gullibility Virus, as it
	is called, apparently makes people believe and forward copies of silly
	hoaxes relating to cookie recipes, e-mail viruses, taxes on modems, and
	get-rich-quick schemes.

	"These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery
	tickets based on fortune cookie numbers", a spokesman said.  "Most are
	otherwise normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told
	to them by a stranger on a street corner".  However, once these same
	people become infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe
	anything they read on the Internet.
	"My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone", reported
	one weeping victim.  "I believe every warning message and sick child
	story my friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are
	Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about
	Good Times, I just accepted it without question.  After all, there
	were dozens of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the	
	virus must be true".  It was a long time, the victim said, before she
	could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is
	Jane, and I've been hoaxed".  Now, however, she is spreading the word.
	"Challenge and check whatever you read," she says.

	Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the
	virus, which include the following:
	-- The willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking.
	-- The urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others.
	-- A lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story 
		is true.

	T.C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter,
	"I read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos
	makes your hair fall out, so I've stopped using shampoo".
	When told about the Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop
	reading e-mail, so that he would not become infected.
	Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately.
	Experts recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet
	users rush to their favorite search engine and look up the item
	tempting them to thoughtless credence.  Most hoaxes, legends, and tall
	tales have been widely discussed and exposed by the Internet community.
	Courses in critical thinking are also widely available, and
	there is on-line help from many sources, including:
	-- Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability at
	-- Symantec Anti Virus Research Center at
	-- McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at
	-- Dr. Solomons Hoax Page at
	-- The Urban Legends Web Site at
	-- Urban Legends Reference Pages at
	-- Datafellows Hoax Warnings at
	Those people who are still symptom free can help inoculate themselves
	against the Gullibility Virus by reading some good material on
	evaluating sources, such as:
	-- Evaluating Internet Research Sources at
	-- Evaluation of Information Sources at
	-- Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources at

	It *is* possible to design responsible alerts for people to circulate
	on the Internet.  Here is a how-to that draws positive conclusions
	from long experience with the evils of badly designed alerts:
	-- Designing Effective Action Alerts for the Internet at
	Lastly, as a public service, Internet users can help stamp out the
	Gullibility Virus by sending copies of this message to anyone who
	forwards them a hoax.

The Internet Explained

By Dave Barry

Q. What, exactly, is the Internet?
A. The Internet is a worldwide network of university, government, 
   	business, and private computer systems.

Q. Who runs it?
A. A 13-year-old named Jason.

Q. How can I get on the Internet?
A. The easiest way is to sign up with one of the popular commercial
	"on-line" services, such as Prodigy, CompuServe, or America 
	Online, which will give you their program disks for free. Or, 
	if you just leave your house unlocked, they'll sneak in some 
	night and install their programs on your computer when you're 
	sleeping. They really want your business.

Q. What are the benefits of these services? 
A. The major benefit is that they all have simple, "user-friendly" 
	interfaces that enable you-even if you have no previous 
	computer experience-to provide the on-line services with the 
	information they need to automatically put monthly charges on 
	your credit card bill forever. 

Q. What if I die?
A. They don't care.

Q. Can't I cancel my account?
A. Of course! You can cancel your account at anytime. 

Q. How?
A. Nobody has ever been able to find out. Some of us have been trying 
	for ears to cancel our on-line service accounts, but no matter 
	what we do,  the charges keep appearing on our bills. We're 
	thinking of entering the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Q. What if I have children?
A. You'll want an anesthetic, because it really hurts. 

Q. No, I mean: What if my children also use my Internet account? 
A. You should just sign your house and major internal organs over to 
   	the on-line service right now.

Q. Aside from running up charges, what else can I do once I'm connected 
   	to an on-line service?
A. Millions of things! An incredible array of things! No end of things! 

Q. Like what?
A. You can ... ummmm ... OK! I have one! You can chat. 

Q. Chat?
A. Chat.

Q. I can already chat. I chat with my friends. 
A. Yes, but on the Internet, which connects millions of people all over 
	the entire globe, you can chat with total strangers, many of 
	whom are boring and stupid!

Q. Sounds great! How does it work?
A. Well, first you decide which type of area you wish to chat in. Some 
	areas are just for general chatting, and some are for specific 
	interest groups, such as Teens, Poets, Cat Lovers, Religious 
	People, Gays, Gay Teens Who Read Religious Poetry to Cats, and 
	of course Guys Having Pointless Arguments About Sports. At any 
	given moment, an area can contain anywhere from two to dozens 
	of people, who use clever fake names such as "ByteMe2" so 
	nobody will know their real identities. 

Q. What are their real identities?
A. They represent an incredible range of people, people of all ages, in 
	all kinds of fascinating fields from scientists to singers, 
	from writers to wranglers, from actors to athletes - you could 
	be talking to almost anybody on the Internet!

Q. Really?
A. No. You re almost always talking to losers and hormone-crazed 
	13-year-old boys. But they pretend to be writers, wranglers, 
	scientists, singers, etc.

Q. What do people talk about in chat areas? A. Most chat-area discussions revolve 
around the fascinating topic of who is entering and leaving the chat area. A 
secondary, but equally fascinating, topic is where everybody lives. Also, for a 
change of pace, every now and then the discussion is interrupted by a hormone-crazed 
13-year-old boy wishing to talk dirty to women. To give you an idea of how 
scintillating the repartee can be, here's a re-creation of a typical chat area 
dialogue (do not read this scintillating repartee while operating heavy machinery):

LilBrisket: Hi everybody
Wazootyman: Hi LilBrisket
Toadster:   Hi Bris
Lungftook:  Hi B
LilBrisket: What's going on?
Toadster:   Not much
Lungftook:  Pretty quiet


Wazootyman: Anybody here from Texas?
LilBrisket: No
Toadster:   Nope
Lungftook:  Sorry


UvulaBob:   Hi everybody
Toadster:   Hi UvulaBob
Lungftook:  Hi Uvula
LilBrisket: Hi UB
Wazootyman: Hi U
UvulaBob:   What's happening?
LilBrisket: Kinda slow
Toadster:   Same old same old
Lungflook:  Pretty quiet
Jason56243837: LilBrisket, take off your panties 
LilBrisket: OK, but I'm a man


Wazootyman: UvulaBob, are you from Texas? 
UvulaBob:    No.


Lungftook:  Well, gotta run.
Toadster.- 'bye, Lungflook
LilBrisket: Take 'er easy, Lungster
Wazootyman: See ya around, Lung
UvulaBob:   So long, L


PolypMaster: Hi everybody
LilBrisket:  Hey, PolypMaster
Toadster:    Yo, Polyp
UvulaBob:    Hi, P
PolypMaster: What's going on?
LilBrisket:  Not much
Toadster:    Pretty quiet
UvulaBob:    Kinda slow ...

And so it goes in the chat areas, hour after riveting hour, where the 
ideas flow fast and furious, and at any moment you could learn some 
fascinating nugget of global-network information, such as whether or 
not PolypMaster comes from Texas.

Q. Aside from chatting, what else can I do on the Internet? 
A. You can join one of the thousands of forums wherein people, by posting 
	messages, discuss political topics of the day. 

Q. Like what?
A. Barry Manilow.

Q. There's a forum for Barry Manilow?
A. There's a forum for everything.

Q. What happens on these forums?
A. Well, on the Barry Manilow forum, for example, fans post messages about
	how much they love Barry Manilow, and other fans respond by posting 
	messages about how much they love Barry Manilow, too. And then 
	sometimes the forum is invaded by people posting messages about how 
	much they hate Barry Manilow, which in turn leads to angry 
	countermessages and vicious name-calling that can go on for months.

Q. Just like junior high school!
A. But even more pointless.

Q. It is a beautiful thing, the Internet. 
A. It is.

Q. What is the "World Wide Web"?
A. The World Wide Web is the multimedia version of the Internet, where you 
	can get not only text but also pictures and sounds on a semi-infinite 
	range of topics. This information is stored on "Web pages," which are 
	maintained by companies, institutions, and individuals. Using special 
	software, you can navigate to these pages and read, look at, or listen 
	to all kinds of cool stuff.

Q. Wow! How can I get on the Web?
A. It's easy! Suppose you're interested in buying a boat from an 
	Australian company that has a Web page featuring pictures and 
	specifications of its various models. All you have to do is fire up 
	your World Wide Web software and type in the company's Web page address, 
	which will probably be an intuitive, easy-to-remember string of 
	characters like this:


Q. What if I type one single character wrong? 
A. You will launch U.S. nuclear missiles against Norway. 

Q. Ah.
A. But assuming you type in the correct address, you merely press 
	Enter, and there you are!

Q. Where?
A. Sitting in front of your computer waiting for something to happen.  It 
	could take weeks. Entire new continents can emerge from the ocean in 
	the time it takes for a Web page to show up on your screen. Contrary to 
	what you may have heard, the Internet does not operate at the speed of 
	light; it operates at the speed of the Department of Motor Vehicles.. 
	It might be quicker for you to just go over to Australia and look at 
	the boats in person.

Q. Does that mean that the World Wide Web is useless? 
A. Heck no! If you're willing to be patient, you'll find that you can utilize 
	the vast resources of the Web to waste time in ways that you 
	never before dreamed possible.

Q. For example?
A. For example, recently I was messing around with a "Web browser," which is 
	a kind of software that lets you search all of cyberspace - millions 
	of documents for references to a specific word or group of words. You 
	can find pretty much everything that anybody has ever written on the 
	Internet about that topic; it's an incredibly powerful research tool. 

Q. That is truly beautiful.
A. Yes. And it's just one teensy little piece, one infinitesimally tiny 
	fraction, of the gigantic, pulsating, mutating, multiplying mass of 
	stuff out there on the Internet. Sooner or later, everything is going 
	to be on there somewhere. You should be on there, too. Don't be 
	afraid! Be like the bold explorer Christopher Columbus, (E-mail 
	address: ChrisCol@nina,pinta&santamaria.ahoy) setting out into 
	uncharted waters, fearful of what you might encounter, but also 
	mindful of the old inspirational maritime saying: "If you don't leave 
	the land, then you'll probably never have a chance to get scurvy and 
	develop anemia, spongy gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes." 

So come on! join me and millions of others on this exciting CyberFrontier, 
with its limitless possibilities for the enhancement of knowledge and the 
betterment of the human race!

Wazootyman is waiting for you.

You Know You Are Addicted to the Internet When ...

 *  You actually wore a blue ribbon to protest the Communications
	Decency Act.

 *  You kiss your girlfriend's home page.

 *  Your bookmark takes 15 minutes to scroll from top to bottom.

 *  Your eyeglasses have a web site burned in on them.

 *  You find yourself brainstorming for new subjects to search.

 *  You refuse to go to a vacation spot with no electricity and no
    phone lines.

 *  You finally do take that vacation, but only after buying a
    cellular modem and a laptop.

 *  You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your
    lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.

 *  All your daydreaming is preoccupied with getting a faster
    connection to the net: 28.8...ISDN...cable modem...T1...T3.

 *  And even your night dreams are in HTML.

 *  You find yourself typing "com" after every period when using a

 *  You turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, like
    you just pulled the plug on a loved one.

 *  You refer to going to the bathroom as downloading.

 *  You start introducing yourself as "Jim at I-I-Net dot net dot au

 *  Your heart races faster and beats irregularly each time you see a
    new WWW site address in print or on TV, even though you've never
    had heart problems before.

 *  You step out of your room and realize that your parents have moved
    and you don't have a clue when it happened.

 *  You turn on your intercom when leaving the room so you can hear
    if new e-mail arrives.

 *  Your wife drapes a blond wig over your monitor to remind you of
    what she looks like.

 *  All of your friends have an @ in their names.

 *  When looking at a pageful of someone else's links, you notice all
    of them are already highlighted in purple.

 *  Your dog has its own home page.

 *  You've already visited all the links at Yahoo and you're halfway
    through Lycos. or [C]ontinue?

 *  You can't call your mother...she doesn't have a modem.

 *  You realize there is not a sound in the house and you have no
    idea where your children are.

 *  You believe nothing looks sexier than a man in boxer shorts
    illuminated only by a 17" inch svga monitor.

 *  You check your mail. It says "no new messages." So you check it

 *  You refer to your age as 3.x.

 *  You have comandeered your teenager's phone line for the net and
    even his friends know not to call on his line anymore.

 *  Your phone bill comes to your doorstep in a box.

 *  Even though you died last week, you've managed to retain OPS on
    your favorite IRC channel.

 *  You code your homework in HTML and give your instructor the URL.

 *  You don't know what sex over three of your closest friends are,
    because they have neutral nicknames and you never bothered to

 *  You name your children Eudora, Mozilla and Dotcom.

 *  You laugh at people with 2400 baud modems.

 *  Your husband tells you he's had the beard for 2 months.

 *  You miss more than five meals a week downloading the latest games
    from Apogee.t, or [C]ontinue?

 *  You start looking for hot HTML addresses in public restrooms.

 *  You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check
    your e-mail on the way back to bed.

 *  You move into a new house and decide to Netscape before you

 *  You tell the cab driver you live at 

 *  You actually try that 123.elm.street address.

 *  Your virtual girlfriend finds a new net sweetheart with a larger

 *  You tell the kids they can't use the computer because "Daddy's
    got work to do" and you don't even have a job.

 *  Your friends no longer send you e-mail...they just log on to your
    IRC channel.

 *  You buy a Captain Kirk chair with a built-in keyboard and mouse.

 *  Your wife makes a new rule: "The computer cannot come to bed."

 *  You are so familiar with the WWW that you find the search engines

 *  You get a tatoo that says "This body best viewed with Netscape
    1.1 or higher."

 *  You never have to deal with busy signals when calling your
    ISP...because you never log off.

 *  The last girl you picked up was only a jpeg.

 *  You put a pillow case over your laptop so your lover doesn't see
    it while you are pretending to catch your breath.

 *  You ask a plumber how much it would cost to replace the chair in
    front of your computer with a toilet.

 *  You forget what year it is.

 *  You start tilting your head sideways to smile.

 *  You ask your doctor to implant a gig in your brain.

 *  You leave the modem speaker on after connecting because you think
    it sounds like the ocean wind...the perfect soundtrack for
    "surfing the net".

 *  You begin to wonder how on earth your service provider is allowed
    to call 200 hours per month "unlimited."

 *  You turn on your computer and turn off your wife.

 *  Your wife says communication is important in a you
    buy another computer and install a second phone line so the two of you
    can chat.

 *  As your car crashes through the guardrail on a mountain road,
    your first instinct is to search for the "back" button.

If Internet Companies Provided Cable Service

	TV stations are starting to provide INTERNET access, but could you imagine 
	if INTERNET Service Providers were to provide CABLE?

	All the most popular shows would just 'slow down' just because there were too 
	many people watching it at once.

	The nudie channels would make you click your remote saying, "YES, I AM OLD 

	When you change channels, there'd be a 5 to 10 second wait with an hourglass 
	on the screen while the next channel is connected to. The more people watching 
	a show, the longer the hourglass stays there.

	There'd be a "back" button on the remote so you can take another look at what 
	you just watched.

	Sometimes your TV will complain it cannot "FIND" what you're looking for.

	You'd be able to make your TV store the things you like, until it gets too full, 
	then you'd have to delete a few things.

	There'd be an arrow on the screen blocking the view, and you'd have to slide 
	your remote control around on the coffee table just to change channels.

	When you complain that you cannot connect your tv and get cable, or that the 
	Hourglass is just staying on the screen all the time, they'd say: "Well, were 
	busy now, that's the way it goes."

	You'd be able to instantly be able to send messages to anyone else with a TV. 
	The downside of that is that ADVERTISERS would be able to instantly send 
	messages to everyone for free as well.

	They would advertise, "All the TV you can watch for $20 a month!"

	If you're having poor reception, the technical staff at the station would suggest 
	trying to reconnect again, turning your TV OFF and then ON again, Blaming the 
	problem on you, Getting you to re-program your TV, and then telling you that 
	your TV just isn't good enough and to buy one ten times as fast for about $3000.

	New software for your TV will make it run slower and require hardware upgrades.

	After about 1.5 years, your TV would be completely useless for watching, and 
	you'd have to go out and buy another TV for about $2500 dollars.

	You'd have to hire a high school kid to help you set up and connect your TV.

	They'd take one good COAX cable and split it up into 10000 smaller slower cables, 
	1 to each customer.

	If you have 2 TV's, you'd be able to connect them and have your own Network.

	The NEWS would be only 5% relevant, full of ads,and messages from people sending, 
	"me too" messages.

	You could pay a lot for a TV now, or you could wait a few months for the price 
	to go down.

	So I don't think I'll ever get cable from an Internet company... or buy a TV,... 

If AOL Was a City

	You'd live in a place where no two people had the same name, and all
	were h0t 17/f cheerleaders with a fetish for pierced gay Dobermans in

	You'd only pay $19.95 a month to live there, but half the time you
	tried to leave your house, the door would be stuck. 

	Once you got outside, even if you were in a hurry, you'd be assaulted 
	by slimy little door-to-door salescreeps offering you great AOL 
	14.4 modems for only $399.99

	The commute to work is just a double-click away, but every time you
	try to leave your driveway, the flow of traffic knocks you back into
	your yard.

	48 hours after moving in, your mailbox would be overflowing with
	special offers, promotions and discounts from

	The local post office would tell your mother you're not a known

	The local post office won't forward your mail to you when you move. 

	The administration would kick you out of town for cursing after one
	of those brutal toe stubs. 

	If you saw a crime and called 911, they'd reply a week later with a
	form letter saying how you "really are important you are to us". 

	The administration would tell your boss to either pay up, or move
	his slack-ass company somewhere else. 

	Everyone on the street would have something to do with kiddy porn,	
	and this business would account for 75% of all city revenue. 

	Every time you went to the mall, people would run up to you and
	violently scream M/F??!!, AGE/SEX?!?! or g0t PH1SH d3wd?!11 while
	little kids called your cell phone saying "Wanna FUCK?" 

	Those that didn't do that would call you and say " Hi, I'm j0e hax0r
	from the town council. We had a database crash and lost your tax
	records. Please give us your address and the key to your house or we
	will be forced to evict you and your family." 

	Every time you went shopping, you'd be kicked out of the store by a

	Whenever you traveled to other cities, people would see your license
	tag and laugh behind your back. 

	Even your 3 year old son would know the intimate personal details of
	the town security expert.     

	You'd occasionally be sent home during your day by another bouncer
	telling you that the city has performed an illegal operation, but that
	it's really the Earth's fault.

	The local McDonalds sign would be realistically changed to "McHax0r
	Wuz H3r3" and "Gr33tz 2 K}It0sawruz" almost daily. Police don't
	investigate, but do show up with little scrubby tools, or just remove
	the sign altogether. 

	Half the kids in the daycare you use are thinly disguised fat, hairy, 
	drooling, diapered men holding sacks of candy. 

	Your daughter would disappear to the No-Tell Motel every night, and
	you'd foot the bill. 

	Putting up controversial art in your home would result in the police
	bashing in your door, throwing your ass on the floor, and kicking the
	shit out of you while saying "Ya got two chances left, jerk.
	You'd send your kids to school for history, math and science, but
	they'd wind up studying ph1shing, one-handed typing, and annoying

	You'd not have any idea who your neighbors are, and most new
	arrivals would move in at night, stuff everyone's mailbox with crap,
	and vacate before sunup. 

	The administration would secretly sell off chunks of their personal
	land in the city, while buying up neighboring cities with imaginary

	The administration would build a huge, state of the art park, and
	allow the kids to play there free, then suddenly demanding money while
	ripping down the swings and beating the fuck out of kids currently
	playing there.

	Don't forget the AOL playground, which is locked so that the kiddies
	can not get out "for safety reasons", and then hordes of perverts &
	pedophiles are allowed in.

	The police would work for free out of some sort of "duty" to the
	city, but would secretly only be doing it for the free food stamps. 

	Upon waking every morning, a voice from above would shout "HEY! YOU
	DO WANT A STINKIN' AOL VISA, DON'T YOU?" To which you say "no". The
	voice then replies "OK, I'LL ASK YOU TOMORROW". 

	A trip to the local library would find you a few ancient doom 2
	patches, commercial pix of Pamela Anderson Lee, and a viral copy of
	PkZip 2.04g

	Community events would be periodically interrupted because of the
	speaker randomly flying out of the meeting hall and appearing several
	minutes later with some stupid comment about a Punt Monster. 

	Your neighbors would be called to leave on pilgrimages to a mystical
	land called USENET, where they would bleat the virtues of your fair

	Somewhere in another city, David Cassel would be sitting with a
	telescope trained on City Hall, smiling contentedly. 

If AOL Made Cars

1. The AOL car would have a TOP speed of 40 MPH yet have a 200 MPH speedometer.

2. The AOL car would come equipped with a NEW and fantastic 8-Track tape player{tm}.

3. The car would often refuse to start and owners would just expect this and try again later.

4. The windshield would have an extra dark tint to protect the driver from seeing better cars.

5. AOL would sell the same model car year after year and claim it’s the NEW model.

6. Every now and then the brakes on the AOL car would just "lock-up" for no apparent reason.

7. The AOL car would have a very plain body style but would have lots’a pretty colors and lights.

8. The AOL car would have only one door but it would have 5 extra seats for family members.

9. Anyone dissatisfied could return the car but must continue to make payments for 6 months.

10. If an AOL car owner received 3 parking tickets AOL would take the car off of them.

11. The AOL car would have an AOL Cell phone that can only place calls to other AOL car cell phones.

12. AOL would pass a new car law forbidding AOL car owners from driving near other car dealerships.

13. AOL car mechanics would have no experience in car repair.

14. Younger AOL car drivers would be able to make other peoples AOL cars stall just for fun.

15. It would not be possible to upgrade your AOL car stereo.

16. AOL cars would be forced to use AOL gas that cost 20% more and gave worse mileage.

17. Anytime an AOL car owner saw another AOL car owner he would wonder, M/F/age?

18. It would be common for AOL car owners to divorce just to marry another AOL car owner.

19. AOL cars would always claim to be older or younger than they really are.

20. AOL cars would come with a steering wheel and AOL would claim no other cars have them.

21. Every time you close the door on the AOL car it would say, "good-Bye."

How To Be a Pest By Modem

	 Make up fake acronyms.  On-line veterans like to use abbreviations
	 like IMHO (in my humble opinion) and RTFM (read the f...... manual) to
	 show that they're "hep" to the lingo.  Make up your own that don't
	 stand for anything (SETO, BARL, CP30), use them liberally, and then
	 refuse to explain what they stand for ("You don't know? RTFM").

	 When replying to your mail, correct everyone's grammar and spelling
	 and point out their typos, but don't otherwise respond to the content
	 of their messages.  When they respond testily to your 'creative
	 criticism," do it again.  Continue until they go away.

	 Software and files offered on-line are often "compressed" so that it
	 won't take so long to travel over the phone lines.  Buy a compression
	 program and compress everything you send, including one-word E-mail
	 responses like "Thanks."
	 Upload text files with Bible passages about sin or guilt and give them
	 names like "SexyHouseWives," then see how many people download them.
	 Challenge your friends to come up with the most popular come-on.  Take
	 bets and calculate odds on the results of each upload's popularity.
	 CC: all your E-mail to Al Gore ( so that
	 he can keep track of what's happening on the information Superhighway
	 Join a discussion group, and tie whatever's being discussed back to 
	 an unrelated central theme of your own.  For instance, if you're in  
	 a discussion of gun control, respond to every message with the
	 observation that those genetically superior tomatoes seem to have
	 played an important role.  Within days, all discussion of gun control
	 will have ceased as people write you threatening messages and instruct
	 all other members to ignore you.

Hitching on the Information Highway

by Kal Rosenberg

After Mom passed away we carried home her big TV -- her first and only color set. We had bought it for her birthday twelve years before. It was bigger than the one in our bedroom so we put hers there instead. It had no remote control, so I asked Sandi to please pick up a zapper first chance she got. She did.

The DeLuxe Universal Remote lay inside an impressive bubble pack. It claimed the ability to remotatize any TV set in this and nearby galaxies. It came with a nice little instruction book. The nice little instruction book had forty-eight pages. On page three it proclaimed that anyone over the age of six could easily program the zapper.

Still, I knew we belonged to the electronically challenged generation. Despite a solid liberal arts education, we had been unable to play recorded music since our eight track went. But now the Universal Remote Company was making us a promise. It was my big chance, especially since I felt I knew more than most six-year olds. This new link in my golden chain might at last connect us with the twentieth century before it ended. I fantasized operating CD players -- whatever they are -- and pre-setting our VCR (which would no longer mock us with insatiable 12:00 ... 12:00 ... 12:00 ...). I might even glide across a suddenly comprehensible Internet! We could leave our horse-and-buggy days behind, appliancewise. A powerful mantra from the DeLuxe Universal Remote zapper would empower us, placing us at last in harmony with the strange and distant electronic universe in which we now floundered.

I read each of the forty-eight pages in the nice manual. (Six-year olds must be much smarter than in my day!) I scrupulously switched, set, held, waited and pushed. All was in place. I hit the final button. Nothing. I was dumber than a six-year old. Dumber than his shoes. I was Neolithic. Obsolete. A fossil. Frozen in an ice block of time -- like a lump of pineapple in a Jell-O mold -- somewhere between pin boys and the Shirelles. It seemed that God was not about to let us cross over into the land of cyber-milk and virtual honey, even after aimless wanderings in the vast Computer Desert, lo these many years.

As I put the remote back in its bubble pack I thought about making an excuse for when I returned it. I would say it was not my size. As I turned the package over to re-staple it, there in bold red print was what seemed to be my last chance to ride on the Information Highway: IF YOU FOLLOWED ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND THIS UNIT FAILS TO OPERATE YOUR ELECTRONIC APPLIANCE, CALL THE 800 NUMBER BELOW. DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK IF OUR UNIVERSAL REMOTE FAILS TO PERFORM!!!

Another promise. With three exclamation points.

I must have done something wrong, and some kindly phone voice, accustomed to assisting primitives, would gently lift me higher, higher, until we dazzled with zapper-competence. I phoned the 800 number.

"Universal Remote customer service. This is Jeffrey. How can I help you?"

"Jeffrey, I have your remote. I can't get it to work."

"Which model please?"

"It's the DeLuxe."

He seemed annoyed. "They're all DeLuxe, sir! Is it the DeLuxe Universal Remote One or the DeLuxe Universal remote Two?"

"I don't know. How do you tell?"

There was an exasperated pause. "The 'One' has a big 'One' on the front, sir." Another pause. "The 'Two' ... "

" ... has a 'Two.' Okay Jeffrey, it's a Two. I'm with you so far."

"Okay then. What brand is your set?"


"Super. How old?"

"Twelve years."

"That works for me. Now, how about all the steps on page sixteen? You do 'em?"


"How about the trouble-shooting section, pages forty-four through forty-seven?"

"That too."

"Not to worry. I'll walk you through it. First, get the original remote and turn it over."

"Original remote?"

"Yeah. The one that came with the set."

"Jeffrey, if I had an original remote why would I buy yours?"

"Whaddaya mean?"

"What I mean is, Jeffrey, for one TV I only need one remote. Why would I have two? If I had the original, I wouldn't have had to buy one."

"So, you don't have the original then."

"What original?"

"Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me your set never had a remote?"

"I do."

"Well," he laughed, "that's bad, because this one won't work."

"Oh, but that's good, Jeffrey. You can just send me double my money back."

"We can't do that."

"It says so right here on the package."

"Yeah, but if your set never came with a remote then no remote will work 'cause you don't have a sensor."

"There's no mention of 'sensor' in the nice instructions. If we needed one of those things, somewhere in here is should have told us that and we would have bought one."

Another one of those pauses. "Sir," he said softly, as if speaking to a child, "let's say you have this car, and you want to take a ride. Now, you have the key, but there's no engine. So, you open the door, you get in, you turn the key. Now, what do you think happens?"

"I think I get double my money back for that car!"

"Sir! Everyone knows you need a sensor in your TV for a remote to work. What you are saying is ridiculous. Either this is some kind of a joke -- which I really don't appreciate -- or you've been asleep for twenty years." Then his tone suddenly changed. "I don't mean to be abrupt or rude, sir. And please excuse me for asking, but are you all right? Is there someone there with you I can talk to? Someone who takes care of you? Do you know your phone number? I'll have a supervisor call you right back. Maybe we'll send you double your money back. Would you like that! Hello? Sir? Hello?"

I hung up. It was like I was struck down by a modem (which until recently I thought was a feminine hygiene product). This young boy -- what could he possibly know of life -- who had just spoken to me as if I were a six-year old (and not a bright one), became seriously concerned because I was out of touch with his reality. And so I was.

I still would like to surf the Web, watching megs and gigawhatsis scoot around us. Patiently we will wait for our high-tech Fairy Godmother, our booted up Robin Hood. But slowly I'm learning. A little here. A little there. You know what those computerniks say: "Hit any user to continue."

Newsgroup Etiquette

Q: How can I choose what groups to post in? ...
Q: How about an example?

A: Ok. Let's say you want to report that Gretzky has been traded from the Oilers to the Kings. Now right away you might think would be enough. WRONG. Many more people might be interested. This is a big trade! Since it's a NEWS article, it belongs in the news.* hierarchy as well. If you are a news admin, or there is one on your machine, try news.admin. If not, use news.misc.

The Oilers are probably interested in geology, so try sci.physics. He is a big star, so post to sci.astro, and because they are also interested in stars. Next, his name is Polish sounding. So post to soc.culture.polish. But that group doesn't exist, so cross-post to news.groups suggesting it should be created. With this many groups of interest, your article will be quite bizarre, so post to talk.bizarre as well. (And post to comp.std.mumps, since they hardly get any articles there, and a "comp" group will propagate your article further.)

Diary of an AOL User

July 18 - I just tried to connect to America Online. I've heard it is
the best online service I can get.  They even included a free disk!  I'd
better hold onto it incase they don't ever send me anther one!  I
can't connect. I don't know what is wrong.

July 19 - Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a
modem. I don't see why. He's just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he
think I am?

July 22 - I bought the modem. I couldn't figure out where it goes. It
wouldn't fit in the monitor or the printer. I'm confused.

July 23 - I finally got the modem in and hooked up. that nine year old
next door did it for me. But it still don't work. I cant get online.

July 25 - That nine year old kid next door hooked me up to America
Online for me. He's so smart. I told the kid he was a prodigy.  But he
says that's just another service. What a modest kid.  He's so smart and
he does these services for people.  Anyway he's smarter then the jerks
who sold me the modem. They didn't even tell me about communications
software. Bet they didn't know. And why do they put two telephone jack
holes in the back of a modem when you only need one?  And why do they
have one labeled phone when you are not suppose to hook it to the phone
jack on the wall?  I thought the dial tone sounded funny! Boy, are modem
makers dumb!  But the kid figured it out by the sound.

July 26 - What's the internet?  I thought I was on America Online. Not
this internet thing. I'm confused.

July 27 - The nine year old kid next door showed me how to use this
America Online stuff. I told him he must be a genius. He says that he is
compared to me.  Maybe he's not so modest after all.

July 28 - I tried to use chat today.  I tried to talk into my computer
but nothing happened. maybe I need to buy a microphone.

July 29 - I found this thing called usenet. I got out of it because I'm
connected to America Online not usenet.

July 30 - These people in this usenet thing keep using capital letters. 
How do they do that?  I never figured out how to type capital letters.
Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.








August 7 - Why have a Caps Lock key if you're not suppose to use it? Its
probably an extra feature that costs more money.

August 8 - I just read this post called make money fast. I'm so exited.
I'm going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions and posted
it to every newsgroup I could find.

August 9 - I just made my signature file.  Its only 6 pages long. I will
have to work on it some more.

August 10 - I just looked at a group called I read a few
posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face of the
earth. I wonder what an aol is.

August 11 - I was asking where to find some information about something.
 Some guy told me to check out I've looked and looked
but I can't find that group.

August 12 - I sent a post to every usenet group on the Internet asking
where the is. hopefully someone will help. I cant ask the
kid next door. His parents said that when he comes back from my house
he's laughing so hard he can't eat or sleep or do his homework. So they
wont let him come over anymore. I do have a great sense of humor. I
don't know why the rec.humor group didn't like my chicken joke. Maybe
they only like dirty stuff. Some people sent me posts about my 56 posts
of the joke and they used bad words.

August 13 - I sent another post to every usenet group on the Internet
asking where the is. I had forgot yesterday to include my
new signature file which is only 8 pages long. I know everyone will want
to read my favorite poem so I included it. I'm also going to add that
short story I like.

August 14 - Some guy suspended my account because of what I was doing. I
told him I don't have an account at his bank. He's so dumb.

Day of Atonement E-Mail Prayer

by Mark Frydenberg

	On Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, we need to search our 
	hearts and recognize our wrongs (the hardest part!), then do all we 
	can to make amends to those we have wronged, and ask their forgivness.  
	We then go to services and communally pray, asking the Higher Power 
	for insight, strength, and forgiveness.

	For the sin which we have committed
	    by responding too often,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by not posting at all when we have something valuable to say;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by responding angrily in haste,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by posting private email in a public forum;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by misinterpreting others' words,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by not expressing ourselves clearly;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by being sarcastic to other list members,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by not being tolerant of their positions;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by not explaining technical terms,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by assuming others know as much as we do;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by posting announcements directly,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by posting subscription commands to the list;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by forwarding messages without introduction
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by cross-posting our own messages to many other lists;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by not using an appropriate subject line,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by having a long .signature file;
	For the sin which we have committed
	    by quoting others' posts in their entirety,
	And for the sin which we have committed
	    by not providing context to our replies;
	For all of these, Forgiving One,
	Forgive Us, Pardon Us, and Grant Us Atonement.

Bye Bye to America Online

[To the tune of "American Pie"]

A long, long, time ago
  I can still remember when I dialed up their help desk lines.
And I knew if I had the chance
  They could make my modem dance
with chats and GIFs and silly pick-up lines.

But Help Desk phone calls made me shiver
  with every busy they'd deliver.
Bad news on the front page
  A 19-hour outrage.

I can't remember if I cried
  when I realized that Steve Case had lied.
But something touched me deep inside
The day
the service

So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine.
And good old geeks are cheering users offline
Saying this'll be the day that they die.
This'll be the day that they die.

Did you write the book of TOS
  Will you send your password to PWD-BOSS
If an IM tells you so.

And will you believe the Motley Fool
  When he tells you that the service rules
And can you teach me how to Web real slow?

	Well I know you sold the service short
	Cause I saw your quarterly report.

	Steve Case sold off his stock
	It fell just like a rock.

It was a crazy, costly high-tech play
As they slashed away at what subscribers pay
And half their users went away
the day the service died.

	So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
	Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine
	And good old geeks are cheering users offline
	Saying this'll be the day that they die.
	This'll be the day that they die.

Well for two days we've been on our own
  And dial-ins click on a rolling phone
But that's not how it used to be

When the mogul came to Virginia court
  With an OS icon and a browser port
And a desktop that looked like Apple III.

	And while Jim Clark was looking down
	The mogul stole his thorny crown

	The browser war was turned.
	Mozilla...was spurned.

And while Steve left users out to bond
With hosts unable to respond
6 million newbies all were conned
the day the service died.

	So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
	Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine
	And good old geeks are cheering users offline
	Saying this'll be the day that they die.
	This'll be the day that they die.

Da Chronic ducked their software guards
  And stole a million credit cards
To use accounts he'd gotten free.

And so Steve Case went to the FBI
  and he told Boardwatch* a little lie
That hackers wanted child pornography *

	But while Steve Case was looking down
	The hackers pulled his e-mail down

	They put it on the net.
	He can't be trusted yet!

And while user cynicism climbs
At sign-on ads and welcome rhymes
They scan their e-mail for "Good Times"
the day the service died.

	So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
	Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine
	And good old geeks are cheering users offline
	Saying this'll be the day that they die.
	This'll be the day that they die.

Helter-skelter billing needs a melter
  The lawyers filed a class-action shelter
Eight million in lawyer's fees.

But it looks like some attorney jibe
  an hour if they resubscribe.
To a service marketed for free

	Well I KNOW you're raking in the bucks
	Cause I'm reading

	"Until we bless the suit
	The settlement is moot."

"If AOL treats you like the Borg
Then visit
Before some router pulls the cord..."
the day the service died.

	So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
	Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine
	And good old geeks are cheering users offline
	Saying this'll be the day that they die.
	This'll be the day that they die.

Bill Razzouk, the head-to-be
  sold off his home in Tennessee
And headed for a 4-month end.

Was he sad or just incensed
  when Case offered him his thirty cents.
Billing is the devil's only friend.

	But as I read him on the page
	My hands were clenched in fists of rage.

	No "Welcome" born in hell
	could ring that chatroom bell.

And as chat freaks cried into the night
CompuServe read their last rites.
I saw Earthlink laughing with delight
the day the service died.

	So bye bye to Amer'ca Online
	Drove my modem to a domain and it's working just fine
	And good old geeks are cheering users offline
	Saying this'll be the day that they die.
	This'll be the day that they die.

I met a girl in Lobby 9
  And I asked her if she'd stay on-line.
But she just frowned and looked away.

And I went back to the Member Lounge
  To see what loyalty I could scrounge
But Room Host said the members went away...

	And on the net the modems scream
	At faster speeds and data streams.

	And not a tear was spoken.
	The hourly fees were broken.

And the three men that I hated most
Ted, and Steve, and Razzouk's ghost
They couldn't dial up the host
The day the service died.

AOL Online Messages

1.)  You have been online for 46 minutes.  Do you want to stay online?
     Please respond within 10 min. or you will be logged off.
2.)  You have been online for 92 minutes.  Do you still want to stay
     online? Please respond within 10 min. or you will be logged off.
3.)  You have been online for 135 minutes.  Not to put any pressure on
     you, but there are other people in the world who would like to sign 

4.)  You DO realize that you have been online for 184 minutes, right? 
     When was the last time you went outside?

5.)  Ok, this is getting ridiculous.  You have been online for 240
     minutes. Frankly, you are starting to piss us off.  If you sign off 
     now, we will bring back your buddy list, ok?

6.)  You have now been online for 360 minutes.  We promised you 
     unlimited time, we know, but can't you just finish up NOW and go 
     read a good book?

7.)  You have been online for 467 minutes.  Do you remember your family
     members' names?

8.)  You have been online for 513 minutes.  Your spouse has left you and
     your dog is starving.  Do you wish to remain online?

9.)  You have been online for 724 minutes.  Steve Case is coming over
     personally to kick your ass.
10.) You have been online 852 minutes.  DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY 

11.) You have been online for 921 minutes.  Do you realize that AOL
     averages 921 complaints per hour about busy phone lines?  This is
     because of YOU, you loser!  Now log off and go to bed!!

12.) You have been online for 1000 minutes.  When AOL went unlimited, 
     we didn't think you would take it literally.  Now hang up before we 
     go broke!!!!

13.) You have been on since yesterday.  OK, if you don't get off, we
     are coming to your house and pulling the dang phone out of the wall.

AOL Hacker Turnaround

NOTE FROM LORI: I don't think the poor kid is still on AOL anymore (or if he is, I think he changed his username). If I am wrong, please don't hound him. He seems to have learned his lesson the hard way

Read Newfpyr's masterful turning of the tables on a hacker... Certainly one of the best Absurd IMs we've EVER received! Newfpyr's comments are in brackets throughout.

  Zabu451:Hello from America Online! I'm sorry to inform you that there
  has been an error in the I/O section of your account database, and this
  this server's password information has been temporarily destroyed. We 
  need you, the AOL user, to hit reply and type in your password. Thank 
  you for your help.

  Newfpyr:Hello! This is Server Manager #563. I'm sorry to hear that
  your server has lost the password info. I mean, this has been hapening 
  to much lately.
  NewfPyr:We have developed some solutions to this problem. Have you got
  the mail sent out to all server managers?


  NewfPyr:Really? Ouch. There's been some problems with the server mailer
  lately. Oh, well. Here's a solution to this problem: try connecting your
  backup database to your main I/O port, then accessing the system restart.

  Zabu451:no i still need passwords

  NewfPyr:I see. Do you want me to send you the list of all the passwords
  of all the screen names of your server?

  Zabu451:ya i want that

  NewfPyr:Let me get the server manager to send it...
  NewfPyr:He says I need your server manager password. Could you please
  type it in?

  Zabu451:i dont have one

  NewfPyr:What do you mean? That's the first thing every manager gets!

  Zabu451:itgot deleted

  NewfPyr:Wow! You must be having a lot of trouble. Let me find out what
  server you're using...

  [Note: I checked his profile. It said he was from Springfield, Mass.]

  NewfPyr:Okay, you're number has been tracked to an area in Springfield,

  Zabu451:how did u know?!!!?!?!!?!?!?!?!??!!

  NewfPyr:I used Server Tracker 5.0 . Don't you have it?

  Zabu451:do you know my address!?!?!?!!?!?

  NewfPyr:Of course not.


  NewfPyr:I only know the number you're calling AOL from, which is from
  your server, right?


  NewfPyr:Good. Okay, now that we have you're number, we have you're
  address, and we are sending a repair team over there.

  Zabu451:dont stop them now

  NewfPyr:Why? Isn't your server down?

  Zabu451:nonono its working now

  NewfPyr:They're still coming, just in case.


  NewfPyr:I can't break AOL Polacy.


  NewfPyr:No! To your server. You know, where you're calling AOL from.

  Zabu451:im calling from my house

  NewfPyr:But you said you where calling from the server!

  Zabu451:i lied im not reely a server guy

  NewfPyr:But you said you were!

  Zabu451:i lied i trying to get passwords please make them stop

  NewfPyr:Okay. The repair team isn't coming anymore.


  NewfPyr:But a team of FBI agents is.

  Zabu451:im sorry
  Zabu451:ill never do it again please make them not come

  NewfPyr:I'm sorry, I can't do that. They should be at your house in 
  5 minutes.


  NewfPyr:They won't hurt you! You'll probobly only spend a year of 

  Zabu451:NO IM ONLY A KID

  NewfPyr:You are? That makes it diferent. You wont go to prison for a 

  Zabu451:i thout so

  NewfPyr:You'll go for two years.

  Zabu451:NO! IM SORRY

  [I thought this was enough. He was probably wetting his pants.]

  NewfPyr:Since this was a first time offense, I think I can drop charges.


  NewfPyr:The FBI agents have been withdrawn. If you ever do it again, 
  we'll bump you off.

  Zabu451:i wont im sorry goodbye

  [He promptly signed off.]

  One of the RARE RARE occasions that we've actually felt sorry for the
  hacker. SEVENTY FIVE TOKENS to you, NewfPyr! We're STILL laughing -
  thanks a lot!

An AOL Dictionary (abridged)


AOL      America On Line (TM) A grand scheme for democratizing
         the INTERNET.  Let all the rabble participate, if
         they've got the money.  Rumor has it that Rush Limbaugh,
         fer crying out loud, uses the service.

AoL      America Off Line (SM)  Opps, too many to handle.  The
         service is about to crash...

AOL      (as in AOL.COM) Cryptic address which marks the
         addressee as {probably} a bumptious newby who, like some
         icky younger sibling, will breathlessly proffer the
         electronic equivalent of a 5th generation photo-copy
         (identified by all them >>>>>>s in the text) of some
         tired old joke as hot new humor.

AOL      (ca. 12/96) America On Line (TM) now with unlimited
         access for a set fee.  Kinda reminds one of those old
         Nuclear Energy commercials where they said that
         electricity would become so cheap there would be no need
         to meter it!  Too much of a good thing?

AOL      Americans Outta Luck  Thousands, nay millions, of them
         sitting there trying to get online and not being able
         to.  Still, ya gotta wonder, just how many bought the
         service and installed the software without realizing
         that your computer needs to have a modem on it for you
         to get to the INTERNET?

AOL      Americans Organizing Law Suits.  That's the ticket!
         Finally the masses are revolting.

Are You A Flamer?

	 Since no one admits to being a flamer, and it's always the other
	 guy, this quiz will help you determine if you are, in fact, the
	 other guy.

	 1. You read a message that contains information you believe to
	 be erroneous.  You:

		 a) sigh and go on.
		 b) reply with a query that elicits more information.
		 c) draft an angry response in your mind.
		 d) post that angry response NOW.

	 2. Have you ever posted a message with any of the following
	 phrases: "You (descriptive adjective or pejorative noun)" or
	 "You obviously don't understand/know/appreciate ..."?

		 a) Never.
		 b) Sometimes.
		 c) Often.
		 d) It's in my signature file.

	 3. Your postings ...

		 a) what postings? I'm a lurker.
		 b) ask what I need to know.
		 c) answer questions when I'm sure of the answer.
		 d) restate the replies of others, only better.

	 4. Within the group or forum that you most often frequent,
	 you are:

		 a) less knowledgeable than most.
		 b) about average.
		 c) more knowledgeable, but I don't flaunt it.
		 d) without me, the group would fall into an abyss of ignorance.

	 5. Everyone else in the group is:
		 a) encyclopedic and intimidating.
		 b) just folks.
		 c) in need of guidance.
		 d) functionally incapable of understanding my simple,
		    well-articulated points.

	 6. Replies to your postings most often take the form of:

		 a) sneering silence.
		 b) reasonable discourse.
		 c) multiple, angry diatribes.
		 d) death threats.

	 7. When first entering a new group, you:

		 a) read all the threads in awe.
		 b) read everything but hang back.
		 c) engage in discourse where I feel comfortable.
		 d) respond to as many messages as possible, so people know
		    I've arrived.

	 8. Online, you most enjoy:

		 a) reading others' conversations.
		 b) give and take.
		 c) getting a rise out of people.
		 d) really making the fur fly.

	 9. The most important thing in an online group is:

		 a) consensus.
		 b) keeping threads on-topic and relevant.
		 c) introducing new ideas and asides.
		 d) hawking my product or service to a new, ripe audience.

	 Score yourself one point for every "a," two for every "b,"
	 three for each "c" and four for each "d."
	 9-15 points: You're holding back.
	 16-22 points: You're a team player, if a bit on the quiet side.
	 23-29 points: You probably get on people's nerves occasionally.
	 30+ points: Burn your keyboard before you inflict yourself on
		      anyone else.

The Ten Types of Usenet Users

	The Lurker -- Never posts, never replys just observes.

	The Vulture -- Never posts, but ready and waiting to point out any fault in
		your post.

	The Knit Picker -- Never posts but will break down, question and analyze
		your post until it is no longer funny.

	The Poacher -- Never posts, but will reply to another post with a better or
		different punchline, stealing the laugh.

	The Flame Fodder -- Usually a newbie who asked a lame question, usually in
		the wrong group.  No mercy is shown.

	The News Cop -- Only ever post to tell people they are in the wrong group
		or to stop spamming etc.

	The Wacko -- Will often post a message or joke which makes no sense.  The
		wacko will never post again.  Strange.

	The Spammer -- we all HATE the spammer!!!!

	The Stealth Spammer -- Post Spams that need to be read before you can tell
		its a spam.
	The Hero -- This brave person often posts at the mercy of the Vultures,
		Knit pickers and the Poachers.

	Which are you?

10 Commandments of Email

	Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.

	Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.

	Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it.

	Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.

	Thou shalt check thy spelling and thy grammar.
	Thou shalt not curse, flame, spam or USE ALL CAPS.
	Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.

	Thou shalt not use e-mail for any illegal or unethical purpose.

	Thou shalt not rely on the privacy of e-mail, especially from work.

	When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in the light
	of the dawn.

	And, here's the "Golden Rule" of E-Mail:

	That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not unto others.

The 9 Types of Web Page Creators

Joe/Jane Average College Student

Traits : Owner of a new university-supplied computer account
with httpd access. Complete lack of originality. Multiple
references to beer/Disney movies. Several photos of Student
with college buddies (high school, if freshman Student).

The Good News : They don't know how to get their page linked to
the outside world, so only they and their friends download
their 16.7-million- color pictures from the last party.

The Bad News : They, their friends and their 16.7-million-color
pictures might be on your server.

Mr. "Enhanced For Netscape"
Traits : The second thing you see on his page is a Netscape
logo and a link to an ftp site where you can download Netscape
NOW!. The first thing you see is about 80
different titles scrolling back and forth across your screen.

The Good News : You won't have to look at their pages for long,
because there won't be much there to see.

The Bad News : Half of the rest of the people who look at their
pages are going to think "Hey, that's cool!" and copy the

The Old-Timer

Traits : Pages compatible with HTML 1.0, no graphics and very
few attribute tags. Normal-text-size message at top says "This
page not enhanced for Netscape. Cope, whipper-snapper."

The Good News : He's likely there because he has something of
importance to say.

The Bad News : Whatever it is will likely be boring or far too
technical for you.

The 5-Year-Old
Traits : Pictures of their parents, the family pet, etc. More
data about the daily life of a kindergartener than you thought
possible. Cute "kiddy-talk" dialect to the text. Contains the
note "such-and-such's mother helped her build this page."

The Good News : The first few of these you see give you a warm,
fuzzy feeling.

The Bad News : The last few dozen of these you see all look the

The Computer Science Major
Traits : Links to the linux FAQ, the Geek Code, Star Wars theme
music and DOOM .wad files. Cautious use of Netscape
enhancements. Picture of Darth Vader instead of personal
pictures. HTML 3.0 (Beta) compliant seal-of-approval at bottom
of her page.

The Good News : If you're a geek, you'll find what you're
looking for here. Even if you're not, you'll like the page

The Bad News : Complete lack of socially redeeming qualities.
Unfortunate tendency to upload specs of their home PC.

The Businessman
Traits : Pages without fancy backgrounds and with only one
nice, clean, imagemap. Unfortunately, there are no text-links
for those using Lynx.

The Good News : You won't go blind staring at his pages.

The Bad News : You might wish you had once you see the prices
of the goods/services he's offering.

The Newbie
Traits : Very little created text on their pages, it's almost
all links to other people's pages. Missing right brackets in {A
HREF's kill whole lines of information. Several image files are
not able to be loaded. {CENTER.

The Good News : They'll almost have to get better.

The Bad News : They just might not.

The Egotist
Traits : Large image of themself greets you when page is
loading. 1/2 Meg .au file of him chatting with his dog. Access
counts shown for every page. Several lengthy pages devoted to
his compact disk/Magic card/beer bottle collection. More
personal details than you'd ever want to know.

The Good News : There isn't any.

The Bad News : Frequently friendly with Mr. "Enhanced for

The Maniac
Traits : Last counted 1267 .html files in his public_html
directory and 100+ CGI scripts in his cgi-bin directory. Is
known as a "Close Personal Friend of Bob [Allison]." Thinks the
people at Yahoo! "don't keep up with the Web fast enough." Will
be the first on his block to have an ethernet cable hardwired
into his brain.

The Good News : You could go through all his pages and never
find an error.

The Bad News : You'd never make it through all his pages.

The Seven Stages of a Usenet Poster
With Illustrative Examples

1. Innocence


2. Enthusiasm

Wow!  This stuff is great!  But one thing I've noticed is that everytime
someone tries to tell a dead baby jokes, everyone says that they don't want
to hear them.  This really sucks; there are a lot of us who *like* dead
baby jokes.  Therefore, I propose that we create the newsgroup:


specifically for those of us who like these jokes.  Can anyone tell me how
to create a newsgroup?

3. Arrogance

In message (3.14159@BAR), FOO@BAR.BITNET says:

> [dead chicken joke deleted]

This sort of joke DOES NOT BELONG HERE!  Can't you read the rules?  Gene
Spafford _a clearly_ states in the List of Newsgroups:

rec.humor.dead.babes Dead Baby joke swapping

Simple enough for you?  It's not enough that the creature be dead, it
*must* be a baby -- capeesh?

This person is clearly scum -- they're even hiding behind a pseudonym.  I
mean, what kind of a name is FOO, anyway?  I am writing to the sysadmin at
BAR.BITNET requesting that this person's net access be revoked immediately.
If said sysadmin does not comply, they are obviously in on it -- I will
urge that their feeds cut them off post-haste, so that they cannot spread
this kind of $#!T over the net.

4. Disgust

In message (102938363617@Wumpus), James_The_Giant_Killer@Wumpus writes:

> Q: How do you fit 54 dead babies in a Tupperware bowl?
> ^L
> A: La Machine! HAHAHA!

Are you people completely devoid of imagination?  We've heard this joke *at
least* 20 times, in the past three months alone!

When we first started this newsgroup, it was dynamic and innovative.  We
would trade dead baby jokes that were truly fresh; ones that no one had
heard before.  Half the jokes were *completely* original to this group.
Now, all we have are hacks who want to hear themselves speak.  You people
are dull as dishwater.  I give up; I'm unsubscribing, as of now.  You can
have your stupid arguments without Me.  Goodbye!

5. Resignation

In message (12345@wildebeest) wildman@wildebeest complains:

>In message (2@newsite) newby@newsite (Jim Newbs) writes:
>> How do you stuff 500 dead babies in a garbage can?
>> With a Cuisinart!
> ARRGGHH!  We went out and created specifically
> to keep this sort of ANCIENT jokes out!  Go away and stick with
> r.h.d.b until you manage to come up with an imagination, okay?

Hey, wildman, chill out.  When you've been around as long as I have, you'll
come to understand that twits are a part of life on the net.  Look at it
this way:  at least they haven't overwhelmed us yet.  Most of the jokes in are still fresh and interesting.  We can hope that
people like newby above will go lurk until they understand the subtleties
of dead baby joke creation, but we should bear with them if they don't.
Keep your cool, and don't let it bug you.

6. Ossification

In message (6:00@cluck), chickenman@cluck (Cluck Kent) crows:
> In message (2374373@nybble), byte@nybble (J. Quatermass Public) writes:
>> In message (5:00@cluck), chickenman@cluck (Cluck Kent) crows:
>>> In message (2364821@nybble), byte@nybble (J. Quatermass Public) writes:
>>>> In message (4:00@cluck), chickenman@cluck (Cluck Kent) crows:
>>>>> Therefore, I propose the creation of rec.humor.dead.chicken.
>>>> Before they go asking for this newsgroup, I point out that they
>>>> should follow the rules. The guidelines clearly state that you
>>>> should be able to prove sufficient volume for this group. I have
>>>> heard no such volume in rec.humor.dead.babes, so I must conclude
>>>> that this proposal is a sham, and a fraud on the face of it.
>>> The last time we tried to post a dead chicken joke to r.h.d.b, we
>>> were yelled at to keep out! How DARE you accuse us of not having
>>> the volume, you TURD?
>> This sort of ad hominem attack is uncalled for. My point is simply
>> this: if there were interest in telling jokes about dead chickens,
>> then we surely would have heard some jokes about dead *baby* chickens
>> in r.h.d.b. We haven't heard any such jokes, so it is obvious that
>> there is no interest in chicken jokes.
> That doesn't even make sense! Your logic is completely flawed. Think a

It should be clear to people by now that this Cluckhead is full of it.
There is no interest in rec.humor.dead.chicken, so it should not be

People like this really burn me.  Doesn't he realize that it will just take
a few more newsgroups to bring this whole house of cards down around us?
First, we get rec.humor.dead.chicken (and undoubtedly,  Next, they'll be asking for rec.humor.ethnic.
Then, rec.humor.newfy.  By that time, all of the news admins in the world
will have decided to drop us completely.  Is that what you want, Cluck?  To
bring about the end of Usenet?  Humph!

I urge everyone to vote against this proposal.  The current system works,
and we shouldn't push at it, lest it break.

7. Nostalgia

Well, they've just created rec.humor.ethnic.newfoundland.bizarre.  My, how
things have grown.  It seems like such a short time ago that I first joined
this net.  At the time, there were only two newsgroups under the humorous
banner:  rec.humor and rec.humor.funny.  I'm amazed at how things have
split.  Nowadays, you have to have twenty newsgroups in your sequencer just
to keep up with the *new* jokes.  Ah, for the good old days, when we could
read about it all in one place...

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