Forever Spam

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I Will Respam

TEASER: A Toronto sidewalk. Luigi the organ-grinder plies his trade, turning the crank on his organ while his monkey Chip-chip collects pennies from a crowd of children. Chip-chip used to be a man, before he became a troll; in our last episode, "Can't Spam, Can't Troll," Natalie raised him from that condition to the lofty evolutionary state of a rhesus monkey. Alas, he still trolls from worldnet.att.net and webtv.net. He expects people to believe that he fakes his e-mail address to protect himself from spam, although his deceptive use of  an AOL address belies that. At least he no longer mispells his forged AOL address.

But at the moment he's unhappy because some of the children are ignoring him. His ego can't take the strain! He capers about in his funky monkey-costume, he chitters and jabbers, he bares his teeth when he thinks that all eyes are not upon him (hey, it's hard to look at such a smeghead when tears of laughter fill your eyes!).

Ah, some new children have taken an interest in Chip-chip!

Buster Brown: Do you really think this will provoke Chip-chip?

Mary Jane: Absolutely! How smart can he be? He'll fall for anything!

Buster Brown: You're right! Once a troll, always a troll!

Mary Jane: Keep up this fake fan-fight long enough and he'll give Bill Thompson new inspiration for the FOREVER SPAM series!

Buster Brown: I *love* that series. And it's 'way past time for episode nineteen! Ready, pal?

Mary Jane: Let's do it, friend!

They laugh at the satanic cleverness of their plot to provoke Chip-chip. Buster holds a penny in a pair of pliers, while Mary lights a match and heats the penny in its flame. The penny glows red-hot, and Buster uses the pliers to hand it to the troll.

And Chip-chip falls for it! He takes the penny in his little paw, then squeaks in pain! He feels rage as he realizes he's been set up! Other people are more clever than he is! (Dead camels rotting in the streets of Timbuctu are more clever than he is!) He can't take it! He goes berserk, snaps his leash, and scampers off to cause more mischief.

And as might be expected, he isn't all that inspiring . . .

Familiar music as the sun rises, then sets over Toronto.

Voiceover:
"He was brought across in 1228.
Preyed on humans for their blood.
Now he wants to be mortal again.
To repay society for his sins.
To emerge from his world of darkness.
From his endless forever night."

 

ACT ONE: The Loft. Nick lies on his bed, dead to the world. Then the phone rings. Groggy, he gets up to answer it.

Nick: Knight . . . yeah, Tracy? I'll look.

Nick goes to his computer and gets on-line, where he looks at a posting. He checks the headers and yawns.

220 18826 <5rh5n5$3v3$1@newsd-105.bryant.webtv.net> article
Path: ix.netcom.com!zdc-e!super.zippo.com!
news-feed.inet.tele.dk!europa.clark.net!
199.0.154.56!ais.net!newsfeed.concentric.net!
webtv.net!not-for-mail
From: CatherineDisher@webtv.net (Catherine Disher)
Newsgroups: alt.tv.forever-knight
Subject: The Defiant(NX-74205)
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 23:03:49 -0500

Nick reads something that's not really relevant to anything, then goes back to the phone.

Nick: Yeah, it's weird, Tracy. This is the first time I've ever seen a spam with most of the words spelled right . . . No, either the troll copied it from a Trek tech-manual, or he had his mommy help him with the big words . . . Yeah, the faked e-mail address is typical, but it's just nx-74205@webtv.net again. Don't lose any sleep over it.

And Nick goes back to bed, where he ceases to lose any sleep over the spam.

 

Across town, Chip-chip sits at a computer, where he giggles at his ever-so-brilliant spam. His twittering of "Chip-chip! Chip-chip! Chip-chip-chip!" translates into this form of more-or-less (less, in his case) human speech:

Chip-chip: I'll show all the vampire-lovers on newsgroup! I'll enrage them with a clever troll! Get them furious because they must know what I'm talking about! They'll post a bazillion responses, and that'll prove I'm more than a dork who wastes his time making pointless spams and talking about a TV show he doesn't like anyway! I'll show them I'm not obsessed!

Chip-chip would say more, but his TV is on and an episode of "Voyager" has just appeared. Neelix fills the screen, and Chip-chip becomes ecstatic. His frantic cries of "Chip-chip-chip!" take on this meaning:

Chip-chip: Neelix! I love you! I want to see you naked!

Chip-chip prances over to the TV and French-kisses the screen. The TV responds by throwing up.

 

The sun sets and Nick gets up. He drives to the Raven. As he approaches the door he sees someone arguing about something.

Nick: Cool it! Whether you're right or wrong, you lose by going public with this.

Having said all that matters, he goes inside the Raven. At the bar, Miklos and Vachon debate Janette's fate. LaCroix prepares a compare-and-contrast article on vampirism and sex. Urs pens an article about the practical aspects of TV-show production. LaCroix spots Nick and beckons for Nick to join him.

LaCroix: I understand we were spammed today.

Nick: It's baffling. Someone wanted to tell us all about a starship.

Miklos: You have to be pretty stupid not to be able to tell the difference between vampires and starships.

LaCroix: Spammers. Can there be anything more repugnant? More disgusting? More poisonous to the soul? They are almost enough to make one long for the existence of a Hell, so that they might spend eternity suffering for the way in which they have wasted the time of others.

Suddenly Chip-chip scampers into the Raven. He hops up onto the bar and twitters inanely. LaCroix gestures to Miklos.

LaCroix: Give him a beer.

Nick: I thought you hated spammers?

LaCroix: I do, but they're so cute when they're little.

Miklos takes a mug. He turns around and holds it in front of himself. We hear the sound of a fly unzipping, followed by a rush of water. When Miklos presents the mug to Chip-chip, well, let's just say that it kinda looks like beer.

And Chip-chip can't tell the difference between beer and his drink. He belts it down--and then a remarkable Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation takes place. Chip-chip increases in size and decreases in brains. He growls and snarls as he staggers away from the bar, his knuckles dragging on the floor. He blunders around, clearly lost, and finds the door by accident. After a long moment of head-scratching he figures out the purpose of a door, and then unravels the intricacies of operating a doorknob. After that he remembers that he wanted to leave the Raven--but he's delayed when his overinflated ego gets stuck in the frame. He finally gets through the door, after which he pauses to give voice to words of *such* profound eloquence and insight that they should not be allowed to fade into the oblivion of a crudely-forged header:

eold@aol.com: All guilt is relative, loyalty counts, and never let your conscience be your guide!

Urs: Is that supposed to mean anything?

eold@aol.com: Oh, listen to you! Keep it up ladies...I love a good catfight! ;-)

LaCroix: Ah, a smiley face, a symbol so typical of the verbally incompetent. And what of your inability to notice that there are men as well as women involved here?

Nick: He's a spammer, LaCroix. He probably doesn't know there *is* a difference between men and women.

eold@aol.com: I TOLD YOU SO! <heh-heh>

Vachon: Told us what? Be specific.

eold@aol.com: I told you--uh--I told you--uh--oh, you aren't being fair to me! Why should I have to tell you? Don't you believe me? You should, you know, because I'm a terrific person, so there! And anyway I *would have* told you whatever it was I was going to say I told you, so that's the same as if I actually told you so in the first place!

LaCroix: Alas, in the real world--with which you have such a tenuous connection--one is required to prove certain things. What, precisely, was it that qualifies you to say "I told you so"? Can you, perhaps, point to a post in the DejaNews archives? No, you can't, because no such post exists.

Urs: Maybe he was going to tell us he forgot to take his medication?

eold@aol.com: I leave this place in disgust!

And as he goes, the Raven makes a sound of disgust.

 

ACT TWO: The morgue. Natalie finishes some paperwork while Nick recounts events at the Raven.

Nick: It was incredible, Nat. All your work on that troll went for nothing. He devolved from a rhesus monkey into a troll.

Natalie: I'm not surprised. He was obviously unstable.

Nick: And what he drank--

Natalie: We all know that spammers and trolls are full of it. That's what caused the reversion. His drink was almost pure essence of spammer.

Nick: I need to know if he's dangerous.

Natalie: Only to himself. He might try to have a conversation with a person off-line, then get confused, act like he's on-line, and get his pinhead stuffed down his throat when he gets offensive.

Nick: Will he show up again?

Natalie: He's got an ego that dwarfs Mount Everest, so he'll have to do something to gain attention. He can't help himself.

Nick: It's pathetic that he has to troll for attention.

Natalie: I know, but he doesn't have the creativity to do something more worthwhile. Of course, pushing a peanut up Pike's Peak with your nose is more worthwhile than trolling, but some wankers can't even crack open the Guinness Book of Records for inspiration.

 

And, indeed, as we look upon eold@aol.com we see that he looks singularly uninspired and uninspiring. He slouches in front of his computer and snivels to himself.

eold@aol.com: I made a post! I deserve a response from everyone on this newsgroup! They need to show their awe for me by devoting their attention to me! They aren't being fair to me! Where are all the replies? I want to see people acting even dumber than me! And I want it all to happen right now! I've gone on-line and checked a dozen times today, and there hasn't been anything! Nobody should be allowed to ignore somebody as important as me!

And he keeps whining in this vein, interminably. Then, as if recalling that there is life beyond the internet (not that he has a life of his own) Oldakowski turns from his computer and does something to prove himself a man, as he understands the concept. That proof leaves a tiny, sticky spot on the floor, and that leaves him dissastisfied.

eold@aol.com: That would be better with--with--with a picture of a woman with no clothes on! But where can I find a picture like that? I know how to spam and troll, but I can't figure out how to do anything else! It isn't fair that people won't immediately tell me everything I want to know, especially when I'm generous enough to talk to them and teach them some real clever dirty words like "nut sack!"

The troll leaves his lair and prepares to do deeds unspeakable.

 

ACT THREE: The Raven, where LaCroix and Urs are engaged in some mutual fang action in the back room. Out on the dance floor Nick and Nat do the Lindy, and a certain troll would die to see the way Natalie's skirt wisps around her legs (ah, now there's a doubly inspiring thought!).

The festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Reese, who looks a bit bewildered by what he sees in the Raven. Then he shrugs it off and goes to Nick and Natalie.

Reese: I know it's your night off, but there's been a complaint about spamming.

Nick: That wank from webtv.net again?

Reese: Yeah, he still thinks he's on the bridge of a starship. Keeps babbling about phasers and warp drives. He's doing it in Dieppe Park, and--well, he's trying to do it, too.

Natalie: By himself, of course.

Reese: And he's done it so much that he's really overdeveloped the muscles in his right wrist. That's how you can recognize him. Get on it.

Natalie: I'll have the autopsy report ready as fast as I can.

Reese: But the troll isn't dead--

Nick: Yet.

Natalie: Drop me off at the morgue. I need something special.

 

Meanwhile, at Dieppe Park, we see our troll as he struggles to amuse himself--although "amuse" isn't the exact word to describe the situation. He looks unhappy as he sits naked on the grass. He's trying to draw inspiration from a picture of Marie Osmond, a picture which shows--he can barely contain his excitement--the picture shows her--her--her ankle! Her skirt has lifted just enough to reveal that much leg, and he quivers in ecstasy!

Alas, something is wrong. He can't quite put his finger on the problem . . . perhaps because it's such a *small* problem. He tries to coax some action out of his little problem, using the sort of language you'd expect from someone who is psychotically preoccupied with the starship Defiant:

Troll: Energize! Engage! Fire phasers! Shields up! Up! I said up! C'mon, beam it up! Blast out those wiggly little photon torpedoes! I order you to work! Resistance is futile! Ahead warp factor sixty-nine, heh-heh!

It's nae use, cap'n, she canna take any more! Meanwhile crowds of panic-stricken Canadians flee the scene. Can you blame them? If they keep looking at the troll, they'll die laughing. What a way to go!

Nick and Tracy drive up in the Caddy. Tracy gets out and sums up the troll in one word:

Tracy: Ick!

Nick: Nicely phrased. Let's arrest him.

Tracy: But--but--wouldn't we have to touch him to do that?

Nick: Well, we don't have to touch him in the same way that he's touching himself.

Tracy: Good--but--is that the troll from webtv, or is it the one that uses the clumsily-forged AOL address?

Nick: I can't tell. It's like asking the difference between Sodom and Gomorrah.

And as we watch the troll's antics, we get a good impression of what Gomorrah did to deserve that rain of fire and brimstone. Then it notices that people are present.

Troll: You have exposed your character!

Nick: You've exposed yourself, too--
{words which cause the troll to check its fly}
--with your own postings. Look at the comments in your headers from your eold@aol.com postings. "Revenge is its own reward." "Never again," a promise you immediately broke with another posting. "Never let your conscience be your guide."

Tracy: And you act like *everyone* on this newsgroup is squabbling, instead of a very few people. You get some sort of sick kick out of seeing that little fuss, like it's the biggest thing in your weaselly life--

Enraged, the troll goes berserk! It screams and roars and bellows! Nick and Tracy move to arrest it. Unfortunately the troll's constant onanistic practices have so overdeveloped its wrist muscles that the cuffs won't fit around its wrist. The troll escapes.

 

ACT FOUR: The 96th Precinct, where Reese addresses a crowd of cops and detectives.

Reese: Listen up, people. The latest spam from eold@aol.com, which was really posted from worldnet.att.net, includes an offer for soundtrack and video tapes. It's obviously another one of his jokes. It's a bad idea to get involved with this offer. You'd have to give him your name and snail-mail address as part of the "deal," and it's hard to trust a troll who has always posted from a faked e-mail address. That's the oldest trick in the spamming book.

Tracy: Gee, he *could* be sincere this time, Captain.

Reese: You think so, detective?

Tracy: Stranger things *have* happened.

Words which propel Nick into a flashback . . .

 

Tombstone, Arizona, 1881. The OK Corral. The sun has just set and the Clantons are ready to square off against the Earps and Doc Holliday. Nick steps in between them.

Nick: There is no reason to fight.

Wyatt Earp: Hey, who do you think you are, "Bat" Masterson?

Ike Clanton: This is our fight, strangest! I ain't a-gonna let no tin-starred varmint run me outta town!

Yosemite Sam: Varmint? Varmint? Where is that varmint? I'll a-clobber him! I'll a-murderize him!

Elmer Fudd: Hey, dat wascally wabbit is *my* wabbit, and you can't have him!

Yosemite Sam: If'n he shows up, he's mine!

In a fit of hot-tempered irrationality that will not be seen again until spamming comes into vogue, Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd begin to shoot one another. Their gunfire obscures the OK Corral with a cloud of gunsmoke. James Arness emerges from the gunsmoke, followed by Nick, Doc Holliday and Bugs Bunny. The rabbit is totally baffled by his presence at the historic shoot-out, and consults the nearest physician for advice.

Bugs Bunny: What's up, doc?

So Doc Holliday shoots him.

Flashback over, Nick returns to the present and shakes his head.

 

Nick: Tracy, I've seen strange, and *nothing* could be stranger than this spammer making a sincere offer.

Reese: And I've noticed a pattern here. First our "Defiant" wank from webtv.net posted his request for nude photos, got flamed, and posted an obscene response to the flames. This was followed by Eldon Oldakowski's first posts, the ones where the header contained a line that said "Revenge is its own reward." Revenge for what?

Tracy: And in one of these posts, he made a comment about, quote, *your* little vampire show, unquote. What sort of fan would call it "your" show, not "my show" or "our show"? And in that same post, he still had the gall to ask where to look for nude pictures.

Reese: So whether we have one troll or two here, we're still dealing with a nut-cluster. There's one other matter.

He gestures at the door, and Luigi the organ-grinder walks in to address the force:

Luigi: It's my little monkey, Chip-chip. He's lost and nobody can find the poor little thing. I'm afraid something terrible will happen to him. I want him back on his leash.

Nick: We all do.

Natalie walks in.

Natalie: I think I can help, if we can find our troll.

Reese: Better fly, people.

 

ACT FIVE: The Skydome. The stadium's retractable roof is rolled back, and under the night sky we see Nick, Natalie and Tracy standing in the center of the field. They've set up a computer on a portable stand.

Tracy: Why do we have to use the Skydome?

Nick: Because it's the only thing in Toronto big enough to hold a troll's ego.

Natalie: And ego is the key to this trap. Our troll hasn't been on-line to check the newsgroup in at least ten minutes. He must be getting desperate for his ego-fix. Look!

Natalie points at a glob of slime that oozes over the rim of the stadium. She, Nick and Tracy hurry away as the gelatinous mess begins to fill the stadium. Pretty soon it looks like God has knelt over the Skydome and puked into it. Once the troll is entirely inside the Skydome, Natalie pushes a button to roll its roof into place. The dome's arches are designed to support fifteen feet of snow, so they're just barely strong enough to contain our troll's ego.

Fortunately he doesn't know that he's trapped. He's fascinated by the computer, which appears to be connected to a newsgroup, and which scrolls out message after message addressed to him:

DEAR EOLD@AOL.COM:

    U r sew rite! What4 dont peepl on this-here noosegrupe treet ewe with respec? Just because you are sow ignorant thatt hew canned find newsgroups what give free naked pitchers, and just because you get rude and obnoxious, that don't mean nobody shood B mean 2 yew! Yew are so speshul you should be treated special, even if u dont have the guts to ooze your reel name & e-mail adress!

DEAR EOLD@AOL.COM:

    Here is a joke for you. Nobody else likes it, but I know you will like it because you are so kewl.

    Two guys are walking down the street. One says, what is the difference between a troll and a brain-damaged gopher on LSD? The second guy sez, I don't know, tell me. The first guy says, The gopher is still smart enough not to troll!

DEAR EOLD@AOL.COM:

    I didn't think that joke was funny. In fact I think it's a trick question, because there's no difference between a troll and a brain-damaged gopher on LSD. Or maybe I'm wrong. I'd like to see you debate that gopher. All my friends would put their money on the gopher being smarter, but I wouldn't. See, when I bet I always put my money on the longshot, so if it pays off I can get rich.

DEAR EOLD@AOL.COM:

    I really like the way you talked about Adolph Hitler being dedicated to the nasty party! Did you know that Nick and LaCroix met Hitler? Honest! It really happened, just like the Defiant is a real starship! It was in 1919 and it was on a train. When you're old enough to go to high school be sure to write that on a history test, so your teacher will see that you know a whole lot about hysteria.

DEAR EOLD@AOL.COM:

    You want to see Catherine Disher naked? Look behind you!

So the troll looks behind him, just in time to see Natalie sneak up behind him and jab him with a syringe.

Nick: What did you give him?

Natalie: It's a thorazine derivative. It will keep him calm and leave him open to therapeutic suggestions.

Tracy: Therapy? You really think you can cure him?

Natalie: I can try. Okay, troll, I want you to imagine that you're in a place where you will be very happy, where you will be happy without needing to make a fool of yourself by trolling and spamming.

And the troll enters a vivid hallucinogenic state. He imagines that he's naked in a locked room, where he's surrounded by six naked women . . . except the room is a dungeon, and the women are all seven-foot Amazons with whips and chains. The troll drools in excitement as the leader smacks her palm with her riding crop.

Dominatrix: You've been a naughty little boy, haven't you?

Troll: Yes, yes, oh, please discipline me!

Back in reality, Natalie shakes her head as the troll simultaneously yelps with pain and smiles in delight.

Nick: I have an idea. Troll! You can make yourself happy by doing something useful. Imagine that you are in a world where you are putting your talents to work.

Unfortunately, the center of attention has only one talent, and he knows it. He imagines himself standing by a busy road, dressed in grungy old clothes, dirty and unshaven, holding up a cardboard sign that says WILL SPAM FOR FOOD.

Tracy shakes her head at this failure, and gives it her best shot.

Tracy: Okay, troll. When was the last time you did anything useful? Anything at all? Imagine you're back in that position.

And an amazing transformation strikes the troll! His body begins to change; his brain grows to the point where it might be visible in a magnifying glass, if it's a very powerful glass.

Natalie: It's a psychosomatic effect. It proves that the mind can have a powerful effect on the body.

Nick: Whatever. It's going to make Luigi very happy.

Indeed it will. As the transformation ends we see that our favorite flame-bait has turned back into Chip-chip the monkey.

 

TAG: A street in Toronto. Luigi the organ-grinder plies his trade, turning the crank on his organ while his monkey Chip-chip collects pennies from a crowd of children. Nick and Natalie approach and see that Chip-chip now wears a new costume. It's black leather, lined with lace and festooned with silver studs, buckles and chains. It's obvious that Chip-chip enjoys his new garb, and he loves being kept on a leash. I'd say more, but we don't want to get the real Chip-chip *too* excited, do we?

Luigi sees Nick and Natalie, and calls to them.

Luigi: Signore Nicolas! Signorina Natalie! Thank you for returning my little Chip-chip to me!

Nick: You're welcome, Luigi. Has he been behaving himself?

Luigi: Yes, he's a very good monkey now! Watch this! Chip-chip, show the nice bloodsucker what you do when you're a bad little Chip-chip!

The monkey spanks himself.

 

Fade to end theme and credits.

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