Blogs feel our pain so we don't have to
THERE'S really only two reasons the Web exists. First, there are a lot of stupid people out there who need to be told they're stupid, immediately, en mass, and e-mail is a cost-effective way to storm their castles.
Second, in between making losing bids on eBay, we all yearn for some way to publicly chronicle the minutia of our lives. For this, there are blogs.
And like many Digital Slobs, whatever signs of life I've exhibited revealed themselves years before the Internet was around, and for those, I created my Digital Slob Retroblog. So enjoy these painful-memory updates (just like I almost did):
March 28, 1972 (4 years old): Got a good lesson in scarcity economics today. With five of us eating dinner, Mom put a platter of nine pork chops in the middle of the table. We all got one, leaving four in the neutral zone.
My 72-inch tall, 175-pound, 17-year-old brother (benefiting from 12 more years of math) quickly figured out that not everyone could get seconds. So he immediately snared a second piece of meat before dinner had officially begun.
If he had taken physics, however, he would've realized that I'm only 35 pounds and 36 inches tall, and can't even cut my own food, let alone compete on a level playing field for pig meat, especially when the regular chair I'm sitting in puts all of my body and most of my head below said field.
But then, pecking orders are more about conditioning over the long term, I suppose.
May 28, 1980 (12 years old): I have to permanently switch over from taking baths at night to taking showers in the morning. I'm suddenly secreting this strange pubescent oil from my pores that's causing high-octane bed hair.
Yesterday I walked into homeroom looking like Squiggy from "Laverne & Shirley," and that's a tough look to pull off without the leather jacket.
Besides, everybody knows Lenny's the cool one.
April 28, 1986 (18 years old): As a rule I skip school on Mondays, and this one started out as no exception.
But as editor of the school newspaper, I have responsibilities beyond beauty sleep. If I missed sixth-period journalism class today, we'd miss our appointment with the printer, and May's edition would be online-only.
And since I have on double-secret deep background that the Web's not going to get going until the late 1990s, this is what we in the newspaper biz would call "blowing deadline big time."
Complicating matters further, you can't check into school past third period, and as a truant I refuse to wake up earlier than half-past fourth.
So, to make deadline I had to sneak on campus, which proved deceptively more nuanced than simply sneaking off campus in reverse.
Vice Principal Powell nabbed me with the "Do you have a hall pass?" indictment. I pulled out a blank ad contract I keep on hand for emergencies and said I was out failing to get a hobby store to buy an ad for the next edition.
Smelling fear, he escorted me to class for confirmation.
"He says he was trying to sell an ad," Mr. Powell said, with a strong whiff of sarcasm.
Without missing a beat, my newspaper adviser said, "Curt, I told you not to come back here without selling that ad!"
She covered for me. Cool. That settles it. I'm majoring in journalism at college -- especially if none of the classes meet on Mondays.