Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hello RomanHans! Welcome to, your own Personalized Earthlink Page!

We know you didn't want to come here. You wanted to check your email, but when you logged out we automatically dragged you here to show you a whole bunch of ads. But it's fun, no? It's informative. Is this face cream better than Botox? Learn about the product! Learn about the controversy! Learn that the answer is No, Of Course Not!

Anyway, just relax while the page slowly fills in. It's your page, after all! Sure, there's no way you can get rid of any of these ads, so the whole "personalized" claim is a bald-faced lie. But why don't you forget about that and let the page complete? See, this isn't one of those websites designed by some entrepreneur Mom in Utah that displays some purple text and a picture of a homemade candle or two, a website that finishes loading a tenth of a second after you hit RETURN. No, this site is much more involved than that. We need Java and Flash and C++ and Visual Basic to fill up all the areas on "your" page. We've got applets that start cotlets and cotlets that start DLLs, in a never-ending loop designed to sell you stuff. Sure, after ten minutes you're sitting there wondering why logging out of your email turns your cursor into an endlessly spinning wheel, and has apparently contacted to get something or other, but we're in charge of your computer now so just sit there and let it go. Luxuriate in the fact that hitting a simple "Sign Off" button can fire up enough software to guide the Starship Enterprise to Uranus and back.

You thought you were smart switching to cable internet, huh? Sorry! Don't think we didn't notice all the bandwidth you've got. We know you can download a meg a second with cable, so we figured we'd might as well take advantage of it. Now instead of just one tacky line like "Need shoes? Click here!" we can actually download a thirty-second clip of a guy modeling wingtips, and you've got to sit there and watch.

Let's face facts: we're in it for the money. It's not enough that you pay us $43 every month for internet access; we've got investors clamoring for more. So, we created "RomanHans' Personalized Web Page," and you go there after you sign out of your email whether you want to or not. But c'mon -- it's not that bad. Basically, the page is divided into forty tiny panes, and we're fetching them one by one, but most of them just take a few seconds to load. Look, one's already finished! Now you can know there are scattered showers in Memphis, Tennessee. Wasn't that worth the wait?

Honestly, this is a wonderful service we're offering you, whether you want it or not.

Have you heard about this new Sarah Jessica Parker movie? We've downloaded forty meg of it to Pane #6 in case you haven't. Move the ever-spinning-wheel within eight inches of that little window and we'll fire it up. Look, there's Mr. Big shirtless! Now who wants to eat lunch?

Sorry for the delay here. Pane #18 is taking longer than usual to load. It shows you the hot new trends in fashion today, but sometimes the folks in China don't return emails as fast as they should. We'd skip ahead and start on Pane #19 but we're not so good at multitasking. Chen will probably be back in a second; they dock his pay if he doesn't eat his chicken-foot soup fast enough.

See, there -- he's back. Everybody's wearing leiderhosen! That's important enough to suck up four more minutes of your life.

Just in case you haven't had time to read today's paper, Pane #23 has some headlines from Yahoo news. Did you know in Peru today a donkey was born with two heads? That'll be an interesting tidbit to share with people at work today, provided you ever get to leave.

Roman, we sense that you're getting tense. Why don't you relax and see a movie tonight? Take a look at Pane #31 for all the films playing in your BROOKLYN neighborhood! It'll just take three minutes to load.

Coffee beans, dating services, Geico, L. L. Bean, the University of Phoenix, AT&T, Netflix, the Weather Channel . . . well, as much as we hate to admit it, that's all the ads we've got for you today. Still, we've saved the best for last. Isn't this adorable? A woodchuck is scurrying back and forth across Pane #40, dodging the crosshairs! Shoot him and win an iPod! Go ahead!

Wait, did we say you'd win an iPod? What we really meant was "open a whole new bunch of windows." Now you've done it. Just between you and me, some of those pages are slow.


David said...

Time Warner doesn't give me shit like that. Not that they aren't evil, too.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the generic viagra and on line casino. Or maybe you didn't, and I missed it when I scrolled down the page.

Yet Another Steve said...

Use Mac Mail to read your mail -- it can get it from Earthlink without all their crap hitching a ride along with it.

I'm dying to know what was really playing at the Church of St Paul the Apostle. SO hope it was Almodovar's BAD EDUCATION.