Day The World Wide Web Stood Still
Written by: Alex Sandell
Mike Harris was awakened by Bugs Bunny loudly asking him "what's up, doc?". He usually enjoyed the sound pumping through his Altec Lansing ACS-495 Full Dolby Surround Sound computer speakers with their glorious subwoofer. The sound told him he had new mail. It was a comforting sound. It reminded him that he wasn't alone. Only, at 5:33 AM, not many sounds are comforting. Not even Bugs Bunny.
He kept telling himself he should turn the damn computer off at night, but he couldn't quite bring himself to do it. What if it was a SPAM coming in? Tracking down an evasive SPAMMER oftentimes took an hour or more, even with all the best software. Then, once you found the person, if you did find him, you had to send emails off to a minimum of five different places. Countless Internet Service Providers must be informed. Being a tattle-tale is a 24/7 job, and as Microsoft's Chief Internet Security Advisor, Mike had to be up to the challenge.
"This must be a SPAM" mike mumbled to himself as he rolled around his mouse and woke his monitor from the "Magic: The Gathering - in the nude!" screen-saver he had spent days programming. "I'll make sure this asshole regrets he ever sent SPAM to a certain Microsoft employee." Mike was beginning to pull himself from his sleep and feel the overwhelming sense of power his job description gave him. "I'll introduce him to the business side of a claw hammer!" he yelled out, oblivious to how far past the point of sanity he had let himself go.
Yet, when he checked his email, it was his good buddy Bob Lyman, webmaster for Sprint. "Hmm," Mike wondered, "why would Bob be emailing me this early in the morning? He must have caught a SPAMMER red-handed."
Mike began reading the letter:
"Dear Mike -
I'm sorry to awaken you this early in the morning, but Joe Fan Atic, author of 'Internet for Reactionary Dummies' just forwarded me the good news . . . SPAM IS DEAD!"
Mike couldn't believe it. SPAM was over!?! Could it be true??? He read on:
"Thanks to the recent . . . ahem . . . 'incentives' we've sent to Washington, our bill has been passed, and it is now illegal to SPAM. Anyone sending any unsolicited email in any way shape or form, whether it is for profit or not, will be executed within a period of 24 hours.
The bandwidth belongs to us again! Long live corporate America!
This was too good to be true. Mike called his "friend" in the Senate and confirmed what he had just read. "Yes," the friend told him, "the president signed the bill into law today. Anyone with the audacity to send out a SPAM will be executed." Mike seemed a bit disappointed.
"No," the anonymous senator continued, "we couldn't get your 'business side of a claw hammer' law to go through." "Well," Mike said, "you did your best. I guess I won't have to permanently shut down the Social Security Department's mainframe computer, now." "Yes," the senator laughed, "I guess you won't. You Spam-L people sure know how to strike a bargain."
Spam-L. How could he forget? He had to get online and see what all his self-serving $300,000-a-year friends had to say about the news.
He laughed to himself. "Get online" was a phrase he rarely mumbled. In his excitement he must have forgotten that he hadn't been offline in over two years. "Thank Heaven for that personal computer Microsoft gave me to work with when I went to Indonesia to watch midget wrestling." But why weren't there any messages from Spam-L? These were his only friends. These people had joined together on a singular mission and succeeded in stomping out SPAM. Why weren't they saying anything?
He began typing messages. "What's left to say," was the only reply that he got. Well, at least he had lots of bandwidth to play around in. With all these SPAM-freaks shit out of luck, the Internet should be cruising along at a pace previously unimaginable.
Mike decided to test it out by scanning through some of his favorite bestiality sites. While downloading a rather large image of a fat chick getting screwed by a pig, Mike noticed an abnormally long download time. "This is taking even longer than before," he declared.
To confirm it, he pointed his browser over to some of Microsoft's latest gimmicks and a few Dungeons and Dragons sites. "This sucks!" He screamed. "Plus, I don't have my 'every 30-seconds email fix' from Spam-L. Maybe some of those crazy folks who talked of things like 'corporate brainwashing' and 'freedom of speech' were right. Maybe it wasn't people SPAMMING that brought down the 'net - it was the people bitching about SPAM and all the 'legitimate' SPAMS being sent out from big rich greedy pricks such as myself!"
Mike decided it was his moment in the sun. His age of Aquarius. His time to rebel. He had been a pawn in their game for far too long. He was going to write a SPAM of his own and send it to everyone else in his Spam-L Tupperware club. Then they'd have something to bitch about, and he'd get his friends back.
The thing is, he didn't really have the skill to advertise anything, much less nothing. Not only that, throughout the "SPAM" his true colors showed through. This is what he wrote:
"This SPAM is in compliance with other SPAMS under law number 1.333.772.228.557.337.557. If you would like to stop future mailings, please send an email to email@example.com with the word 'remove' in the subject line.
Would you like to make more money? Sure, we all would. Would you like to make more money doing nothing but sitting on your fat lazy ass being a big hypocrite and staring into a monitor? Sure, we all would. Would you like to make more money doing nothing but sitting on your fat lazy ass being a big hypocrite and staring into a monitor while pissing and moaning about receiving a SPAM in your email-box? Sure, we all would.
If you would like to live out your dreams, answer these simple questions:
1. Has anyone every accused you of being popular?
2. Do you have common sense or ability to reason?
3. Do you think there's anything wrong with becoming a fascist piece of oozing puss if it's in your best interest?
4. Have you ever gotten laid?
If you answered "no" to all four of these questions, you are the PERFECT candidate to become rich by doing nothing at all!
Simply send $373.33 to my house and I'll send out pertinent information on how I, Mike Harris, achieved hero status with a lounge full of nerds! Don't hesitate! Your star is waiting!
When finished with the SPAM, Mike sent it out to all his friends in the anal-retentive Spam-L group. He only received two responses; the first was simply to tell him that if he was going to pose as a SPAMMER, he should probably not use his actual email address. The second was a letter from the Government notifying him of his impending execution which was to take place 22.5 hours from the time of his writing . . . with a claw hammer.
Mike was worried. Maybe this execution idea wasn't so good. SPAMMING was kind of fun, and all his friends could just press the delete key if they didn't like what they read. Should he really be killed for this?
After pacing for ten minutes he sat back down to type a letter to Bob, asking what he thought of the whole deal. Much to his surprise, his Internet connection was down. When calling his Internet Service Provider, he found out a certain Bob Lyman had reported him for SPAMMING and he would not be allowed back online. "But," Mike said, "I only have 22 hours to live, and I just sent the SPAM out of desperation." "Tough luck, bud," returned his ISP, "you shoulda thoughta that before sending a mass-mailing out and slowing down the entire Internet." "But it didn't slow down the 'net!" Mike screamed. The ISP hung up. Mike cried into his hands for hours.
After consulting his Parker Brothers Ouija board, he knew what he had to do. He had to go to the public library and use their computer to send SPAM to thousands of people, telling them how unfair this "execution" law is, and how it was simply set up by the corporations to protect their better interests.
When he got to the library, he saw that the Internet was down. "What's wrong?" he asked the librarian. "The 'net is over," she said. "Why?!?" Mike half asked, half pleaded. "Too many people too scared to go on it. Think they might be executed if they say the wrong thing. The only sites left up were the big ones like Microsoft and GeoCities, but they went down once they realized there were no customers left to buy into their crap. No one was having fun anymore."
Mike broke down into tears, once again. "But no one had fun, anyway," he sobbed. He looked at the librarian and reconfirmed his worst nightmare, "there's no more World Wide Web????????" The librarian shrugged, "I guess this is the day the World Wide Web stood still."
Mike fell to the floor, crawled to the door, and looked at the sun one final time before death.
All contents ęcopyright 1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. The names Microsoft, Sprint and GeoCities are trademarks of their respective (but I betcha not very respectable) owners. Sprint-L is operated by L-Soft which is also trademarked, and from what I've seen, couldn't give a rat's ass about its customers.
Send all comments, compliments, criticisms and threats of a lawsuit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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