Two Years Of Humorix

Feature written by Dances With Herring on Tuesday, July 25, 2000

from the throwing-together-some-lame-filler-material dept.

Live from our World Headquarters in the Missouri Ozarks, this is Humorix's Second Anniversary Special. Hi, I'm Dances With Herring, Humorix's special investigator and host for this event. For the next 12,538 bytes this ASCII broadcast will feature such lame filler material as fake interviews, never before seen articles, and a behind the scenes look at Humorix.

Today, July 25th, marks the second anniversary of that fateful day when the first lame fake news article was thrust upon the unsuspecting world. 280 articles and 1,024 Microsoft jokes later and we're still going strong, unlike the many dotcoms which launched, IPO'd, and declared bankruptcy all within the span of about 3 weeks.

After two years Humorix is still going strong. The number of regular readers has increased by a whopping 150% (i.e. from two people in 1998 all the way to five in 2000). Here with me is Eric, one of our regular readers and Vast Spy Network(tm) member.

Dances: So how long have you been reading Humorix?

Eric: Since New Year's Eve 1998. I was totally drunk at the time... with still two hours to go before midnight I killed the time by surfing random webpages I found at Yahoo. I stumbled on to Humorix, and in my drunken stupor I found the site to be uproariously funny... Of course, after sobering up in the morning it didn't seem quite so humorous, but I was too lazy to unsubscribe from the mailing list, so I've been a reader ever since.

Dances: Umm, yeah... I hear you're one of the largest Humorix stock holders.

Eric: Oh, yes, I own 5,000 shares of FAUX. Unfortunately, they've lost 99.9% of their value, but at least they're holding steady now even while the Nasdaq is faltering. Holding steady at $0.0000001, that is. In fact, the stock certificates literally aren't worth the paper they are printed on... I could redeem them at a recycling center for about 50 cents. I'm pretty lazy, though, so I'm still holding on to them for the long haul... maybe they'll reach $0.0000005 sometime this decade.

Dances: Well, this isn't going so well... let me move on.

It was two years ago that our Editor posted the first of many amateurish pro-Linux, anti-Microsoft fake news articles. Within milliseconds the first flame mails and cease-and-desist bark letters arrived, but he persevered to create the most popular Linux humor website in the world Missouri.

But not all has been rosy for Humorix. That terrible denial-of-serive attack known as the Slashdot Effect has struck this site more than once, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. Joining me is Eric Geekman, the system administrator for Humorix's website hosting company.

Dances: What was it like when the Slashdot Effect first struck?

Eric Geekman: Oh, it was horrible... I still have nightmares from that first attack in 1998. The kernel panics, the sparks flying from the machine, the power surges... it's just too horrible to think about. I almost quit my job the next day and went into farming... I was so shaken up by the whole dreadful experience.

Dances: Were there any more attacks?

Geekman: Oh yes... I wish I had quit, as the second Slashdot Effect was even worse. Several cockroaches that were hiding beneath the server were roasted to death by the flames coming from the overheating Pentium at the height of the maelstrom. And the amount of electricity my servers drew that day exceeded the total amount consumed by Rhode Island in a week.

The next day I sent a memo to James Baughn requesting that he make his articles less funny and more bland to prevent any more such calamities. He replied "I can do that", but his valiant efforts to make his articles even more lame simply wasn't enough to keep away the likes of Taco Boy and his legions of followers and groupies.

Whoa! My beeper just went off; it must be time for my appointment with my shrink. We're going to be discussing the recurring nightmares I keep having about the Slashdot Effect in which I get repeatedly struck by lightning... I gotta go.

Dances: After these messages we'll be back with never before published Humorix articles! Don't touch that Back button.


Announcer: Internet access... $19.95.

Humorix T-shirt: $14.

Inkjet printer... $100.

Printing out a particularly bad Humorix article and using it for toilet paper or fertilizer... Priceless.

Humorix... It's nowhere you want to be.


Dances: Hi, we're back at the Humorix Second Anniversary Special. Our Editorial staff can be quite cranky, rejecting every article they read over picayune stuff. Some articles, no matter how well-written and downright funny, never make it past the Editors. Meanwhile, for some reason I still haven't figured out, lots of really crappy articles do get approved without hesitation.

So, then, a number of articles are left to die from bitrot as they sit in the Rejection box. For your amusement, and to fill up this show with old material, here are two never-before-published articles from the past.


Linus Torvalds: King Of Silicon Valley
This was published last January the day before every geek sat in front of ZDTV for the first (and only) time so they could be the first to learn what Transmeta was doing...

SANTA CLARA, CA -- A mob of high-tech recruiters surrounded Linus Torvalds' house this morning, forcing the Finnish babe-magnet to hire a group of bodyguards. Many now consider Torvalds to be King Midas -- any Silicon Valley start-up he touches turns into gold. Many dotcoms, hoping to turn a profit for the first time, are working to attract Torvalds to their company.

Said one recruiter, "The only reason Transmeta hired Linus was for the buzz and PR that he brought. Tommorrow millions of geeks will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the official Transmeta announcement for a product that probably won't be that great. If it wasn't for Linus, Transmeta would be yet another bankruptcy-bound, product-less company that nobody has ever heard of. Unfortauntely, our company is bankrupcty-bound and product-less, but we hope that if we can hire Linus the ensuing buzz and interest will lift us off the ground..."

Ask Humorix: Defending Gates
And here's another rejected article that I salvaged from electron death...

Anonymous Noncoward writes, "For my Economics 101 class, I have to pretend to be Bill Gates and write an editorial defending Microsoft against anti-trust charges, citing economic principles. To complete such an assignment violates every moral fiber of my body. What should I do?"

The Oracle responds: Well, it seems that you have to make a decision among two choices. You can blow off the assignment, thus forcing you to fail EC101, lowering your GPA below the required minimum to keep your scholarship, causing you to drop out of college and work at McDonalds all your life. Or you can write a paper that's positive towards Microsoft and make an 'A'. This seems like a no-brainer to me; I'd choose the first option without hesitation -- a burger flipper has far more dignity and self-respect than somebody who utters a positive statement about the Evil Empire.


Dances: Coming up next... a look behind the scenes here at Humorix. Stay browsed!


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Dances: Welcome back. To finish off this Humorix Second Anniversary Special, I've inserted a secret microphone downstairs in the Humorix Boardroom. A meeting between staff members is about to begin. This is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the corporate culture here at Humorix, so don't even think about clicking on a hyperlink until you've finished reading this article!


Baughn: Okay, folks, this is an emergency meeting of the Humorix executive staff. You know why we're here.

Jon Splatz: What emergency? Has Jesse Berst retired or something?

Baughn: Well, that would be bad, since Ziff-Davis pundit jokes account for 10% of our content. But that's not the problem. We're broke. I'll turn this over to our new Executive Book Cooker, Mr. G. E. Trich.

G. E. Trich: [Reaches into his pockets] Here's the entire contents of Humorix's bank account: two dollars and fifty-one cents, three million Russian rubles (worth 23 cents), plus an annual membership in the Linux Distro Of The Month Club (worth $9.95).

We can't keep up our burn rate... the daily massages, the luxury jet, the unlimited supply of imported German beer, our constant legal expenses... we've gotta cut back.

Noah Morals (Humorix Lawyer): Now wait a minute! Humorix's legal expenses aren't that expensive. So maybe I've filed and lost a few frivolous, costly lawsuits. I'm charging a bargain-basement price of $500 per minute of work, which is much cheaper than any other lawyer that has the same caliber skill as me. Humorix simply can't cut back it's legal department. Why? Well, I've got this huge monthly payment on a 100,000 acre Montana ranch (and fifty room mansion) that I can barely afford as it is.

James Baughn: What about Humorix merchandise? Isn't anybody buying any?

Trich: Not really. I suppose we could plug the really sweet-looking 100% cotton high-quality Humorix T-shirts in a future article, but we're just not selling as many as we expected.

Splatz: How come we aren't receiving any more Venture Capital?

Baughn: Last year before our IPO, hordes of VCs pounded on our door demanding to invest in us. Remember that? We had to shoo 'em off because they were preventing the pizza delivery guys from getting to our door. Maybe we should have taken their money before we kicked them out.

Trich: Unfortunately most of the Venture Capital has run out. Still, we might be able to send someone on a pilgramage to Silicon Valley and maybe find a few leftover VCs which haven't invested all their money in failed dotcoms.

Baughn: Any other ideas?

Splatz: What about the recent brouhaha surrounding companies that send free stuff to Linux websites in order to "buy" positive reviews? Why aren't we getting any of that free stuff?

Morals: That's right! Why does nobody send us complementary copies of software or books to review? If we can convince other companies to bribe us with free stuff, we could turn around and sell the merchandise on eBay for a tidy profit.

Baughn: I'll have to think about that later when I'm taking a dip in the new Olympic-size swimming pool that was just built on the fifth floor.

Splatz: What? The new pool is finished already? Why doesn't anybody tell me these things?

Baughn: Well, before we go swimming, I just thought of another money source. I'm a college student, which naturally means that I receive about four credit card offers per day. If I were to apply for every one of those cards, I'd probably have a large enough credit limit to keep Humorix afloat for several years.

Trich: But what about the exorbitant 350 percent interest rates those credit card companies offer?

Baughn: Not a problem. One of these days we'll be acquired by some big media conglomerate and we'll let them worry about it... but they won't find out about our staggering debt until after the ink has dried on the contract. Mr. Trich, you are a world-renowned expert in cooking books, right?

Trich: Yep. Not a problem.

Baughn: So then it's settled. You all go ahead and take a swim in the new pool while I go make some calls about the new movie theater I have planned for the tenth floor...

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