Sunday, April 3, 2011

Welcome To Your Turn With Ed209


The world of the Intertubesverse is wondrous strange; and, in my treks out into the uncharted pixelated mindscape contained between http and .com /org/net/et. al, every once in a while I find something that makes me laugh. Like, a lot. Okay, uncontrollably, to the point where I have to ask others to intervene before I pass out from a lack of oxygen.

The last such find was Hyperbole And A Half -- Allie Brosh's Big Blog Of Your Guide To Modern Living. Ms. Brosh also helpfully provided a link to another site, from the world down Under -- land of Foster's, ANZAC Day, Little Rupert, and 'Knifey-Spooney'.

(Incidentally, I don't make jokes about ANZAC Day. It's been nearly a hundred years since all that, but whenever I hear "Abide with Me" it's the first thing I think of.)

This is 27b/6, a blog by Mr. David Thorne of Adelaide, South Australia, who appears to have a surfeit of Wit and a string to swing it with. Whenever he encounters a specimen of humanity, so thick that it can do nothing but take itself too seriously, he pulls their chain. Repeatedly.

Hee hee hee.

The action is captured and chronicled in a series of email exchanges between the said Mr. Thorne and the selfsame Specimens ... and while this is a recurring theme, that's just some of what the blog is about.

Ed, The Impartial And Courteous Robot, Mr. Thorne's Little Avatar.
Remember To Say "Please", Don't Be A Dick, And It Is Very Probable
You'll Leave Alive (Increase Your Chances By Purchasing A T-Shirt)

Here's a sample: Mr. Thorne, who works as a graphic and web designer, is contacted by a friend, Shannon, whose cat has disappeared.

She is sad, and wants her friend, the designer, to stop whatever he is doing as a paid professional and support her in her moment of existential crisis (if my cat can disappear anything can happen), vulnerability and doubt by making a "Have You Seen My Cat?" poster.

It helps to know that Mr. Thorne does not like cats. At all.


FROM: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.15am
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Poster

Hi

I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not to busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be
[Letter Sized, 8.5 X 11 inches] and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon.



This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. missing on Harper street and my phone number.

Thanks

Shan


Mr. Thorne also provides helpful photos of each and every individual he pulls into his virtual tree mulcher encounters in his email adventures, so that we all may have a more complete vision of whom, exactly, he is in the process of "dealing with".

The Unsuspecting Shannon, Who Has Opened The Door (27b/6)

We've all seen films where the director shows us The Monster / Zombie / Thing Going Into The Room; the door closes behind it. Later, some character appears that we've seen before, already established as clueless or bad or disagreeable. They have no idea (as the audience does) that The Thing Is Just Behind The Door.

When the character opens that door (as they must), they pause -- doing something disagreeable, just to draw out the big moment where the camera focuses on their face as their eyes widen; then, the camera cuts away and we hear the inevitable roar, screaming, and big, wet crunching sound.

So at this time, we would request all readers of Before Nine to secure your harness and lap restraints, to bring your tray tables to their full, upright and locked position, and to ensure that your heads are resting comfortably against your seat's neck support in anticipation of acceleration.

This installment is entitled, Yeah thats not what I was looking for. Belt's not too tight, is it? Want a cigarette? A juice box? All righty, then; here we go:

FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

That is shocking news. Luckily I was sitting down when I read your email and not half way up a ladder or tree. How are you holding up? I am surprised you managed to attend work at all what with thinking about Missy out there cold, frightened and alone... possibly lying on the side of the road, her back legs squashed by a vehicle, calling out "Shannon, where are you?"

Although I have two clients expecting completed work this afternoon, I will, of course, drop everything and do whatever it takes to facilitate the speedy return of Missy.

Regards, David.



FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Poster

yeah ok thanks. I know you dont like cats but I am really worried about mine. I have to leave at 1pm today.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

I never said I don't like cats. Once, having been invited to a party, I went clothes shopping beforehand and bought a pair of expensive G-Star boots. They were two sizes too small but I wanted them so badly I figured I could just wear them without socks and cut my toenails very short. As the party was only a few blocks from my place, I decided to walk.

After the first block, I lost all feeling in my feet. Arriving at the party, I stumbled into a guy named Steven, spilling Malibu & coke onto his white Wham 'Choose Life' t-shirt, and he punched me. An hour or so after the incident, Steven sat down in a chair already occupied by a cat. The surprised cat clawed and snarled causing Steven to leap out of the chair, slip on a rug and strike his forehead onto the corner of a speaker; resulting in a two inch open gash. In its shock, the cat also defecated, leaving Steven with a wet brown stain down the back of his beige cargo pants. I liked that cat.

Attached poster as requested.

Regards, David.




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

yeah thats not what I was looking for at all. it looks like a movie and how come the photo of Missy is so small?




FROM: David Thorne
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

It's a design thing. The cat is lost in the negative space.

Regards, David



FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Thats just stupid. Can you do it properly please? I am extremely emotional over this and was up all night in tears. you seem to think it is funny. Can you make the photo bigger please and fix the text and do it in colour please. Thanks.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

Having worked with designers for a few years now, I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism. I don't come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook and look out of the window. I am willing to overlook this faux pas due to you no doubt being preoccupied with thoughts of Missy attempting to make her way home across busy intersections or being trapped in a drain as it slowly fills with water. I spent three days down a well once but that was just for fun.

I have amended and attached the poster as per your instructions.

Regards, David




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

This is worse than the other one. can you make it so it shows the whole photo of Missy and delete the stupid text that says missing missy off it? I just want it to say lost.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

yeah can you do the poster or not? I just want a photo and the word lost and the telephone number and when and where she was lost and her name. Not like a movie poster or anything stupid. I have to leave early today. If it was your cat I would help you. Thanks.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Awww

Dear Shannon,

I don't have a cat. I once agreed to look after a friend's cat for a week but after he dropped it off at my apartment and explained the concept of kitty litter, I kept the cat in a closed cardboard box in the shed and forgot about it. If I wanted to feed something and clean faeces, I wouldn't have put my mother in that home after her stroke. A week later, when my friend came to collect his cat, I pretended that I was not home and mailed the box to him. Apparently I failed to put enough stamps on the package and he had to collect it from the post office and pay eighteen dollars. He still goes on about that sometimes, people need to learn to let go.

I have attached the amended version of your poster as per your detailed instructions.

Regards, David




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Awww

Thats not my cat. where did you get that picture from? That cat is orange. I gave you a photo of my cat.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Awww

I know, but that one is cute. As Missy has quite possibly met any one of several violent ends, it is possible you might get a better cat out of this. If anybody calls and says "I haven't seen your orange cat but I did find a black and white one with its hind legs run over by a car, do you want it?" you can politely decline and save yourself a costly veterinarian bill.

I knew someone who had a basset hound that had its hind legs removed after an accident and it had to walk around with one of those little buggies with wheels. If it had been my dog I would have asked for all its legs to be removed and replaced with wheels and had a remote control installed. I could charge neighbourhood kids for rides and enter it in races. If I did the same with a horse I could drive it to work. I would call it Steven.

Regards, David.



FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Please just use the photo I gave you.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Awww




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

I didnt say there was a reward. I dont have $2000 dollars. What did you even put that there for? Apart from that it is perfect can you please remove the reward bit. Thanks Shan




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Can you just please take the reward bit off altogether? I have to leave in ten minutes and I still have to make photocopies of it.




FROM: David Thorne
TO: Shannon Walkley
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww




FROM: Shannon Walkley
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Awww

Fine. That will have to do.



(Thorne is not a one-trick pony with his humor. Baiting rednecks and the clueless is good fun no matter what anyone says; and watching Thorne take it right to the edge with rude business owners, officious rule-tending property managers, and cops, is very much like watching Phillipe Petit walk across a tightrope stretched between the World Trade Center Towers in 1974: You might not have the cojones to do it yourself, but your glass is raised when he pulls it off: Cheers, mate.

While living for a time in that part of the good ole USA where Bears are a potential part of the furniture, Thorne was fined by his local constabulary for "leaving trash unsecured", where it might attract said Bears.

After a number of emails back and forth, Thorn sent them photos of a Bear, which he had seen in the woods, found in his car, and eventually sitting on the sofa in his apartment. Although not immediately evident, he said, ...the bear is sitting between myself and the television remote control, located on the cushion to its left. As this effectively cuts off my ability to change channels and The View just started, this should be classed as an emergency situation.

Intruder Alert: Bear More Interested In "Dancing With The Stars"
FROM: Patricia Jennings
TO: David Thorne
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bears

I wont be sending an officer because your not in any danger at all. You have obviously just put a blanket on a dog... If you want to express your opinion on trash collection rules you are welcome to attend the next MPOA community meeting which is held each month. Not understanding the importance of bear safety doesnt mean you dont have to follow the rules. I'm not even sure what your point is.
Ultimately, people like Patricia and Shannon have the gnawing feeling they've opened the door on -- well, something -- and before it comes out of the shadows and can be clearly seen they understand that they should just give it whatever it wants, back away, and close the door.

But (like Brosh), Thorne is a good writer; he's already proven himself as a satirist. He has a good sense of comic timing, and the pain thresholds for site visitors who laugh hard enough to herniate or wet themselves or end up begging their pets to hurt them so they can stop (I have some personal knowledge of this). There's Teh Funny hiding in just about everything on Thorne's site (including a Counter displaying 7,197,824 hits, but is in fact a random number generator).

27b/6 carries a standard disclaimer -- This website contains material for my amusement only, it says. ...Activities and vehicle modifications appearing or described on this site may be potentially dangerous. Unless the word sheep has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this disclaimer, it does not have any purpose and may be ignored.

Then, there's Thorne's version of being interviewed by the Legendary, Squinting, Ever-Expanding Oprah:


(Remember: Widescreen Videos Don't Really Fit On My Dog-
Sized Blog. Try Seeing It Here For The Full Experience)

It also has Ed The Robot, who seems nice, despite the heavy armament. And; hey, hey hey! Mr. Thorne has a book coming out on April 24th, compiling his email adventures in living, and even explains that the whole universe is a lot closer than we think. The Moon, for example, is only about 9 miles away, and about a mile and a half in diameter. Really. No, really.

(That said, I don't know why it took some satellite six years to go to Mercury just to take a bunch of photos. What did it do, stop off to have a drink? Take a sabbatical? Go to work for the Cylons? Impersonate an iPad; what?)

Incidentally; if you don't feel that any of the foregoing is funny in any way, please be aware that you may not have a sense of humor. Your exact species may be in question, and we recommend a trip to the Department Of Biology at any Institution of Higher Learning closest to you so that Real Professionals ( © ) can determine exactly what, if anything, you are.

Also, as a humor amputee you may be eligible for Federal subsidies, grants for the 'levity-challenged' (apply now, before Der Tea Partei removes these funding sources and force us all to live in yurts and lick the boots of our Betters). You may also receive a copy of the Home Game and other prizes.