A History of the Internet
by Charlie Anders
It started with a girl named Tammy who said she knew where Xaxa and I could score some acid. Tammy had a skateboard that she carried everywhere, but it took us three hours to realize Tammy didn’t know how to skateboard at all, she just identified as a skatepunk. She had the hair and the arm-warmers, and the septum piercing with a chain that she said went all the way down and connected to her clit ring. Anyway, Tammy said she knew a girl who knew a girl, who knew a whole bunch of girls who had a lab. Tammy said it was an Internet thing, so Xaxa and I were cracking jokes about alt.sex.fetish.tentacle.porn.on.acid and www.drugzdrugzdrugz.com. Xaxa and I followed Tammy around for five hours, including watching her shoplift bath bombs at the bath and beauty store, and finally she led us to the webd00ds 1.0 conference, which was in a big warehouse with a skylight. (Do you know the “warehouse with a skylight” song? Neither do I.)
One guy had a flame thrower and another guy was using it to light a humongous spliff with the face of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, and there were naked girls doing cartwheels. Which, whatever, Burning Man. But then a guy jumped up in our faces and started telling us about his website, www.ieatyourafterbirth.com, which turned out to be a band he wanted to start but it was easier to start a website than a band, unless you had a drum machine or unless there were DDOS attacks. And everybody else had a site too, like the girl who posted pictures of naked British men smiling, cropped so you could only see their teeth and their penises and it was called britishteethandpenises.org, because it was nonprofit. So Xaxa and I started saying “Hey yeah, we have a website too.” We kept making up fake sites, and we changed the URL around every time we told someone: nasalsex.net or nononotthehair.edu or bucketofthumbs.com and by the time we found out there wasn’t any acid, just blinking lights and NLP, some guy had bought us all those URLs in exchange for a teledildonic lapdance. (Never do those, they suck.)
We ended up with a network of sites, and five years later we were huffing provigil to keep generating content, and the nasal sex fetishists were mad at us because our site wasn’t a one-stop shop any more. We had to blackmail people sexually to write articles for our sites, which is harder work than you would think — blackmail is not a one-time thing, blackmail is a dark flower that requires tending — and then everybody said it was all about blogs, so we had to blackmail people sexually to keep upgrading our wordpress. It got fancier and fancier, all the university hair-pullers wanted to socially network and the thumb-bucketers wanted to twerp us. And finally we were in a hottub with ICANN and people were talking about how the next thing was the internet of bad follow-thru, which was where packet loss was built into the concept. And the KING OF ICANN said that as long as none of us got out of this hottub, we would never get any older. And so we stayed and a thousand years passed, and we had to blackmail people sexually to bring us food and orangina martinis, and finally we got out of the hottub in the year 3007 because the internet was ending, and that meant ICANN’s special eternal-youth protection was wearing off and plus we were getting all pruney. The last day of the internet, everybody celebrated by covering their faces but going around naked from the waist down. We wanted to know why they were so happy the internet was dying, and they said it was because the internet had gotten cyber-rabies in 2937 and started stealing everybody’s identity, so that the internet was everybody, and nobody had any identity any more. And now they could finally be people again, but that meant no more nasalsex.net. Which felt like a huge achievement by this time, a thousand years of nasalsex, now deleted forever, but at least we finally scored some acid.
About the Author
Charlie Anders blogs about science fiction at io9.com. She has stories in a bunch of places, including the forthcoming Best Science Fiction Of The Year 2009, edited by Rich Horton, and the McSweeney's Joke Book Of Book Jokes. She's the author of a novel, Choir Boy, the co-editor of the anthology She's Such A Geek, and the host of Writers With Drinks, possibly San Francisco's longest running monthly reading.
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