Humorix Strike: Day 7
Fake News written by on Sunday, October 22, 2000
The strike continues. Jon Splatz, Noah Morals, and others are sitting on the sidewalk outside screaming, "What do we want? More money! When are we going to get it? Now! What if we don't get it now? We're going to repeat this annoying chant over and over and over and over until we do! What do we want?..."
I've hired several scabs, including lawyer Philip Mepocketz and pundit Don Fatz. Things have started to pick up, as you can see from the attached transcript from yesterday's staff meeting:
Baughn: Well, let's get started by introducing ourselves. Mr. Fatz?
Fatz: Hi, I'm Don Fatz, a graduate of Millard Fillmore Ivy League College with a degree in Social Commentary & Punditology. I used to write for several dotcoms that have long since folded, including NoBusinessModel.com and BettingItAllOnTheSuperbowl.com. As a side note, every business I've worked at has failed. Hope that doesn't happen here.
Mepocketz: Hello, my name is Philip Mepocketz III, Esq., and I'm an attorney. I've had a successful track record in the courts, winning 75% of my cases. After all, while in college I was arrested 23 times for fraud, drug abuse, jury tampering, bribery, blackmail, and gambling. I successfully defended myself in every one of those cases, during which I gained the tremendous amount of legal experience I have today.
[Editor's Note: At this point I popped a couple of Sock-The-Block® pills, which, according to the bottle, "Eliminates writer's block within 24 hours or your money back®. Guarantee not valid in most states."]
Rich: Howdy everyone, I'm Phil T. Rich. I've been hired as Humorix's interrim Book Cooker... er, Chief Accountant. You might recognize my name from the 1998 bestselling book, "Learn Embezzlement & Money Laundering In 21 Days".
Muss: Hi ya'll, I go by the handle "Anon E. Muss", but of course that's not my real codename. I'm the new head of the Vast Spy Network(tm) and the interrim Benevolent Dictator for the island nation of Humorixia.
JCN: Hello world, I'm JCN ("Jerry-rigged Computer Nodule"), the temporary head of Humorix's Vast Research Labs Of Doom. I'm actually a holographic projection simulated by a 512-node Beowulf Cluster of quantum computers that were stolen from the 25th century by way of a temporal anomoly.
Baughn: Well, that's everyone, except for Matt Adair, who couldn't make it. He's become addicted to "Everything2" and hasn't been seen outside of his house -- or away from his computer terminal -- since April. Okay... the first order of business: raising cash.
Mepocketz: I'll field that one. Every other dotcom -- well, every other dotcom that hasn't gone bankrupt -- has already found the secret to success: patent something trivial. We need to do that.
Baughn: But how? Noah Morals has several contacts (read: people easily bribed) in the USPTO, but he's on strike.
Mepocketz: Don't worry about that. We'll just patent the business model of -- get ready for this -- "making a profit". We can't fail.
Rich: Hey, we could also patent the business model of losing money. Every single dotcom would owe us royalties! What a racket.
Baughn: If Amazon can patent "one-click impulse buying", then we should have no trouble getting these patents. So that takes care of our financial woes. Next, we need story ideas, and we need them fast. If we don't publish something quick, our core readership could shrink by 50% overnight (from two people to one).
JCN: I've got it: "Apple Cube Mistaken For Toaster"
Mepocketz: Hasn't that been done before?
Fatz: Er... that's not fake news. My sister got a Cube last month, and I actually did mistake it for a toaster! The CD-ROM drive is full of bread crumbs and hasn't worked properly since then. I don't think my sister is very happy...
Baughn: We're overlooking one thing. That has nothing to do with Linux. Your typical Linux zealot doesn't care about Macintoshes; in fact, Mac users are usually considered lower forms of life sitting just one rung above Microsoft salesdroids.
Mepocketz: How about "FreeBSD To Change Name To Something More Pronounceable"?
Mepocketz: It makes sense. I mean, Linux is two syllables, while FreeBeeEssDee is four. Linux isn't beating BSD because of its technical superiority... Linux is winning because of the cool name. Oh, and the Tux mascot is much more appealing than a Daemon.
Baughn: So what should be the new name?
Mepocketz: Freebs'd. It's all one syllable.
Baughn: So what else have we got?
Fatz: How about "Man Arrested For Using AOL CD As Frisbee"? What with the iOpener and CueCat debacles, it can be illegal to hack hardware. So then it's not a stretch to have AOL prosecute people who use their free CDs in an unauthorized manner, such as drink coasters, paperweights, or frisbees.
Rich: And then there's Microsoft's new financing program for Office 2001: "$500 down, and 0.9% financing for 36 months!"
Mepocketz: Here's a headline: "Counterfeit ring busted for selling fake Linus Torvalds autographs"
Fatz: "KDE and GNOME hackers duke it out on the Jerry Springer show"
Muss: "Warning: Reading Slashdot Can Be Hazardous To Your Health"
Rich: "Will Ziff-Davis Go Out Of Business If Everyone Gets A Life?"
Mepocketz: "A Day In The Life Of The MPAA President"
Fatz: "Could You Get Fired For Firing The Techie That Snuck Linux Onto The Corporate Network?"
Baughn: Well, I think that's enough for now. Now for the last item of business... dealing with the strike.
Mepocketz: No kidding! The picket line outside is a war zone. This morning Noah Morals and his daughter Lucy started hitting me over the head with briefcases. And he kept threatening to sue me, my dog, my limo driver, my gardener, all of my high school teachers...
Fatz: Uh... one point of clarification. Once the strike is over, us scabs will be fired, right?
Fatz: So then I recommend we do absolutely nothing and let the strike continue.
Baughn: That sounds like a plan. Who's up for a swim in the pool?