April 14th, 2009



First and foremost, I owe you an apology. This Internet? The one we share, you and me, and perhaps the others as well but especially the two of us?

It is now full of snakes, all whiplash and poisonous, muddy-eyed and agitated, ready to strike. You may want to keep your fingers off the keyboard until they calm down. They might slip out of our little Internet and up between the keys.

They can do worse things than bite, these snakes. Have you been around a lot of snakes before? Do you know how a snake smells? Imagine it. That's all over the Internet now.

And I know -- oh, how I know -- that I shouldn't have put them all onto the Internet. I know, okay? My apartment was getting way too full of snakes, and I didn't know what to do with them, so like some kind of negative-virtue Pied Piper, all chromed out with zeroes and ones, I drove them off into the Internet. They squiggled and complained and wrote all kinds of vituperative letters, but I chased them nonetheless, and now my apartment has no snakes, only their lingering smell. The floor's safe to walk again. I may even begin collecting brightly-colored beetles and scarabs and such, which I could never do before on account of all the snakes.

Come see those beetles some time, won't you? They will be fab. I'll send you an invitation. Not by Internet, of course, because I filled it with snakes.

I know I've already apologized twice. And I know, furthermore, that apologies can often be a burden to the receiver, rather than a blessing. Guilt rarely helps a situation. Guilt certainly can't drive snakes out of the Internet -- goodness knows I've tried. Guilt can only drive more snakes into the Internet.

And perhaps you say I'm being unfair to the snakes, and that they are beautiful and virtuous reptiles, undeserving of their bad reputation. Generally, I agree.

But not these snakes, the ones that are squatting in our Internet making trouble and biting and so one. These ones are plum ornery, I tell you what. They're bitey and scratchey and kicky and screamy. They make trouble for a living like every crime has a funny funky soundtrack that makes it all okay. They cross the line and back so many times you'll think they were opening a SMTP over TLS communications session straight up to your old elementary school's yard bully. They'll make your ogres look like pigeons and your meanest snarl seem sanguine by comparison.

I hear they killed a goat on the Internet one time, just because. Maybe Samuel L. Jackson can chase them off, but I sure can't. The best I can do is offer this apology.