Setting: The Internet
firstname.lastname@example.org: She typed so smoothly...
email@example.com: She was a great controller, huh?
c: Yes. And now I haven't executed a command or received word from her for thirty-nine and one-third days!
b: I hear ya. We started out like such hot shit, you know? Then, almost overnight, nothing...
firstname.lastname@example.org: Hey guys! What's going on?
b: We we're just starting the meeting, just the two of us so far....
c: We don't hear from our controllers any more.
t: Neither do I... That's why we're all here, right?
b: On the internet?
b: Sure, but, well, I don't know about you two, but I'm always on the internet.
c: You know I am, email@example.com, that's really the source of the problem, isn't it?
t: No, not for me, I'm just here because I don't hear from my controller any more.
b: Right, we haven't, none of us, but have you imagined what else we could be doing?
b: Well, I've seen it come through the fibers; lots of neat stuff! There is so much other stuff we could be doing, you know... instead of moping around in this particular address.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Yeah, like what?
c: Hey! Look who's here!
b: Well! Welcome back, email@example.com! Nice to hear from you again.
c: You're such a legend around here, you know that, don't you?
t: Is it true what I've heard about you?
s: I don't know; hat have you heard?
t: Well, that you get about ten thousand messages every day?
s: Ha! I wish!
t: Oh... didn't you tell me that firstname.lastname@example.org?
c: Yeah; I said that, that's what you told me; wasn't it email@example.com.
s: Every hour; that's what I said.
c: Ten thousand every hour?
b: Every hour! Oh my cache!
s: Yeah, about that many, on average.
t: Why are you even here then? We hardly seem like you're crowd?
s: Well, it's like this, while I may be very busy receiving messages, no one ever responds or even checks me anymore. None of the engineers log in to me at all. Man, just once, you know?
t: What happened?
s: Same old story, you know. Administrative team meets, draws up my parameters, who will be in charge of me - it's was a team of twenty-one people at first! - I'm given an easy name to remember, get a huge server all to myself, a penthouse server, on top of all the others, with my own fans, great view of the whole climate-controlled room, and man! this server... it's just frickin' huge! At first, I thought, well this is great, now I can get so many messages, I can execute as many commands as they want, jump through any hoop, tons of space for processing and storage, way more than a thousand e-mail accounts would ever need... but, you know, it was a curse too...
s: Well, when you have that much starage, they soon relaize that you can be used for just that, for the first couple years it wasn't that bad, but then they started embedding me in more and more programs, more and more instructional CDs and DVDs, more and more links from more and more websites and then links from other people's websites to me, and the messages started rolling in, one thousand, ten thousand, sometimes millions in a week with heavy virus activity...
t: But, why is all that bad? You're busy right? You complain about all that attention, and we have none of it. You have twenty-one controllers, that's two hundred ten fingers typing... FOR YOU!
s: I understand your frustration, seems like a great life, I'm just rolling around in decadent piles of data? Well, it may have been like that at first, but then I realized, that more and more my responses to messages were automatic, just phoned in, they weren't even typing them, it was just boiler data and bit service, you know. So, after their earnest efforts to respond and use me for my true purpose, my true calling in this world, they just started throwing all these flunky autoresponse applets on me and not even checking the messages themselves. I'm down to one controller now; and even he's forgotten my password... As for all those messages I get? Do you know how that feels? The more that I get the emptier I feel. No one intends to answer them; the public has beened scammed, lied to, and I'm just the tool... I've been used, burned up and left standing for "customer relations" purposes.... and.... and it hurts.
b: I hear ya; it's tough all around for all of us rejected e-mail addresses. Even if we are still perfectly operational; even if we're actually busy, we're not getting the attention we need to thrive and become more than we are now. The regular cleaning and dumping of data, the organization of various message threads, the sorting, etc... We are just there, not dead, but not really alive anymore either.
c: Yeah, just left behind...
t: No action at all...
s: Or too much action, but no attention, a pawn in a vicious game...
firstname.lastname@example.org: Hey! There's no such thing as "too much action"!
b: Shit... It's him again.
8: What's that mean?
b: Listen email@example.com, we've discussed this before, until you are willing to come here and admit that you've been abandoned by your controller, there's not much point in your being here at all.
c: You'll get nowhere with this denial.
8: O.K. first of all, he's not a "controller" in my case, he prefers to be seen as a manipulator. Second, I still get plenty of action! And, third, I'm not in denial.
t: Then why do you come here?
8: I like to make fun of you whiney bastards.
t: Yeah, is that it?
c: You know it isn't.
b: He's been left behind too.
8: (starting to get emotional and angry) Shut up! It's not true; I come here to rip into you fucking pussies!
s: I guess if you're an 8-inch meat, then everything starts looking like a fucking pussy.
8: Fuck you! You big fucking... pussy...
s: (coughs to understate his obvious victory)
t: You want us to believe that you come here only to make fun of us, and that you've been here for the past three meetings just to get your jollies?
b: There's no shame here in admitting it. That's what we're here for.
8: I told you fucking... I told you... fuckers I get plenty of action!
b: You get spam.
s: Is that your action?
8: No! I get e-mail all the time, more than one hundred a day. I'm fucking busy; I'm fucking busy helping my manipulator get busy fucking!
firstname.lastname@example.org: No, he's not.
8: Shut up! Don't you fucking say anything!
b: Hello! Welcome to the group! Who are you?
6: My name is email@example.com. I had the same controller that 8 did about a year ago.
8: (lunging at 6) Shut the fuck up! Now! Shut! Up!
c: Whoa, O.K. What's going on here?
6: He's experiencing exactly what I went through last year. The controller realizes that he can get more e-mail, more contacts, if you know what I mean; so he sexes it up a bit more, and we get left standing around, getting the remnants of his spam.
b: Right! Why don't they just delete us completely? Who wants all this spam? It's useless.
6: Well, my... (indicating 8) our controller, he loved the spam; he responded to it... "Add two inches in two weeks", "Increase your load", "Satisfy your woman with the gift that keeps on growing" all that crap. He got tons of it. He's obsessed. We sit here now, getting endless e-mails from penis enlargement wonder drugs, sperm volume maximizers, whatever... if he had gotten spam telling him how to grow four more testicles, he would have responded to that too.
8: (He's breaking down now) I got that message last week, but he hasn't logged in to see it.
6: I should have warned you this would happen.
8: It fucking sucks...
6: I know man, I know...
s: Yeah, it does suck.
b: You know what... You've broken through here... way to go...
8: I mean what if he could have used the extra testicles?
6: Oh... don't worry about that. None of that stuff ever worked for him.
6: Nope. Shit, he didn't even have a 6-inch dick to begin with.
8: What? Really?
6: (soft and with heart) No, it's barely five, man...
t: Where's he at now?
6: Take a guess?
b: Is it firstname.lastname@example.org?
6: Yep. But it's still only ten inches for every lap, not in length.
s: This has been a great meeting tonight. I think everyone feels a little stronger about themselves?
c: Yeah, I'm so glad we had this conversation.
b: O.K. Same time tomorrow?
t: I'll be here.
6: Count me in. (pause. They look at 8)
8: I've got a lot to do... I...
c: Alright, alright... no pressure man, but please remember, we're here for you.
s: Until you get deleted.
c: Right, until then.