Friday, March 4, 2011

Mandatory Reboot


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. Well, look at that. February 7th, a week before Valentine's Day. I don't even have that holiday in my calendar and it's painfully obvious what time of year it is. And I'm not even talking about all the Facebook events you pretend to be attending.

Display desktop, login to World of Warcraft, start AIM, open 15 tabs in Firefox. So, let's see what's new, shall we? Your fellow forum-goers are pitiful geeks just like you, the ogres in your clan on World of Warcraft spend their weekends completing quests, and your 1,000+ Facebook friends are boring. Can you play a movie now? I know: Watch Transformers again. I want to fantasize about being able to sprout legs and walk away.

...No? Fine. I'll just glitch on you during a crucial moment in a battle in one of your stupid games.

Here's a question for you: is it really necessary to use all the mainstream dating websites at the same time? We both know it's hopeless. Besides, you're just going to stop using them once your free trial runs out anyway. You and me, we're going to be together forever, buddy. Well, until you break me and I'm reunited with the big supercomputer in the sky, anyway. Then some other poor computer'll be stuck with you. It's a vicious cycle, but I can't say I regret being a part of it. I could have been bought by a dumb middleschool girl who spends all of her time on Myspace and thinks a Trojan is just a brand of condom. Or even worse, I could have been bought by someone's grandma. So, no. I'm not dissatisfied with you or anything. That doesn't change the fact that you're a loser.

Oh, look, it's been almost 10 minutes and you've found a total of three girls you think you might be compatible with on one of the stupid dating websites. Their profiles are witty, they have good punctuation, they're good-looking, and they're way out of your league. Not to mention that two of them look like they could possibly be disguised prostitutes. Like I said, you should just give up.

...No? Still going to try and talk to them? Alright, fine; finish writing your generic message so we can watch Transformers.

......I should have known. You're really great at dashing a poor laptop's hopes and dreams, you know that? “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings”, huh? My rights according to Optimus Prime are being infringed upon. Off to the forums we go, then.

Whereas most people choose one forum to give their loyalty and devotion to—a cooking forum, say, or carnivorous plants—you've got three that you must frequent. And of course, there was the self-help one before the owner had a mental breakdown.

First, there's the general geek forum, filled with general geeks. I actually like this one. It's a pretty big website, with a bunch of sub-divisions, and there's news on all kinds of things: Transformers toy releases, comic updates for those with no money to buy the real things, Star Trek conventions, and so on. They actually have a useful knowledge base, and there aren't many annoying n00bs.

And, here we go. The endless clicking, scrolling, and reading that takes up hours of your time. So many threads to read, so many trolls to laugh at, so many links to open.

But first, we just have to find Leo's profile to see if he's found any interesting topics.



Conspiracy Theorist

Santa Fe, California

My name is Leo, and I'm one of the coolest and most prolific

conspiracy theorists of our time. ...Or I will be once I finish


You should feel honored to have read my profile.

Recently commented on:

Just released: Teaser for Guido's AHM Soundwave Toy Design

Is moot Falling Down on the Job?

Facebook Being Bought by Google

Guiz, read my ttly kool fanfic!!!11!!1

Revisiting: William Shatner on SNL

Nothing that looks very interesting, but of course you have to open a couple of them anyway. Joy.

And speak of the devil, up pops an IM box.

LordLeo: Yo! How many chicks did ya pick up in class today?

TimeBender: Ha ha, very funny. For your information, I found three girls that might work just now.

LordLeo: Yeah, sure. I'm gonna win this bet and you know it.

TimeBender: Thanks for the vote of confidence. I really appreciate it.

LordLeo: Hey, look. I'm not saying you'll never find the right girl. I'm just saying it won't happen before Valentine's Day.

TimeBender: You never know, okay? Anything could happen.

LordLeo: Your optimism is painful. Listen, I'll see you on the forums, alright?

TimeBender: Okay. Later.

LordLeo has disconnected.

What an enlightening conversation. Really. Is it necessary to talk to him so often? ...His nature is very Kreature-like. Yes, with a K. I am talking about the Harry Potter character. He's just like that.

...And even though I've already endured all the idiocy I should have to in one day, you're going to keep torturing me. Fine. At least you're only looking at the Zombie Apocalypse one, the one forum Leo isn't on. I never thought I'd be so appreciative of his conspiracy theories.

This one is significantly less useful than the general geek one. It's chock-full of the worst kind of geeks there are—the ones that have lives, and families. A lot of them are at least five years older than you, are out of school, and just choose to contribute some of their extensive brainpower to figure out logical solutions to everyday problems when faced with the event of a zombie apocalypse.

And, why are you surprised that nothing new has happened since last time you checked? Not much can happens in four hours. Plus everyone else who could be posting is probably out with their girlfriends/wives. Poor you. And really, the only interesting thing I've seen on that forum lately was the debate about the usefulness of airships last week. Face it: this forum is dying. The geeky successful guys are moving on. You should too.

Popup. You know, you've got a test in American Literature tomorrow, right? I know I don't have to remind you that that's your worst subject. It is pretty useless, but it's a necessary evil, right? You really should let me get some rest and go study. Or, even better, you could start Transformers for me, then go study.

...No? Fine, just turn me off. I don't care. No, really, I'm fine. I will be, anyway. Eventually. I mean it. Absolutely fine...

Powering off.


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. Tell me, young padawan. What exciting thing has happened to you today? What reason do we have now to celebrate? Did you do well on your test? Buy a Limited Edition Star Trek action figure? Find your lucky Superman/Batman underwear?

Display desktop, open AIM, login to World of Warcraft, open 13 tabs in Firefox. ...Wait a minute. You actually do look pretty happy. Now I'm worried. Something crazy must have happened. The Liberal Arts building went up in flames. Someone assassinated Michael Bay.


.............No way.

Are you serious? One of those girls you messaged yesterday actually wants to meet you?!? And the one that looked the least like a prostitute, too. What's wrong with her? Is she sick? Is she on the run from the police and looking for a place to stay? ...Is she a Russian spy?

...Okay, I'll calm down now. For the moment. Just let it be known that I am very suspicious.

So, she wants to meet up with you tomorrow at a coffee shop. How quaint. I'll bet she actually drinks coffee, too. What are you going to do? Order coffee, too, and pretend to be something you're not? Or get a soda—or better, a Hi-C—and make her think you're even more childish than you look? Tough one, huh?

And, of course, now that you've gotten this momentous and completely unforeseen news, the first thing you're going to do is tell Leo...

TimeBender: Hey, I really look forward to collecting my winnings.

LordLeo: You're kidding. Please tell me you're not serious.

TimeBender: Sadly for you, I'm completely serious. One of the girls I found yesterday wants to meet up with me tomorrow.

LordLeo: I can't believe this. Are you sure you didn't just buy a robot girlfriend just so you could win the bet? You're tricking me, right?

TimeBender: Only Bill Gates has that much money, and he doesn't need robots to pleasure himself.

LordLeo: I don't know, the guy might have some freaky fetishes... But anyway. As your best friend I'm required to congratulate you on your catch. Good work, bro.

TimeBender: Thank you. I appreciate it.

LordLeo: I know you do, because I'm better than you. Where're you going?

TimeBender: I'm going to ignore that first comment. We're going to a little cafe just off campus.

LordLeo: Haha, a cafe? Like, a real one or a Starbucks?

TimeBender: A real one.

LordLeo: That's rich. You, at a real-live classy cafe. Did this girl bother to read your profile at all, or did you just lie on it?

TimeBender: You're so supportive. And jealous, because I have a girlfriend.

LordLeo: Hey, I'm just trying to determine whether it'll work out or not. From what I've heard so far, the future doesn't seem bright.

TimeBender: Shut up, you don't know anything about relationships. Anyway, I've gotta go. There's goblins that need slaying.

LordLeo: Same. Dragon's Cove?

TimeBender: See you there.

LordLeo has disconnected.

...Was that the planning of a man-date I just witnessed? How unpleasant.

Anyway, it physically wounds me to say this, but I have to agree with Leo. You don't have such a great track record when it comes to female companionship. Now, I know that me pointing this out isn't going to dissuade you from attempting to find a girlfriend in any way, I'm just saying that you shouldn't get your hopes up too much. Or at all, really.

As a side note, I still don't get why you have to talk to him every day. It should be a law that you can't talk to anyone on the internet who lives outside of your own state. That would solve the problem. I'd rather take a vinegar bath than go through this daily torture.

...So you weren't trying to ditch Leo by saying you would meet him in World of Warcraft, which is what I would have done. I guess I should focus my memory on letting you play so you don't get mad and throw something at me when you die because of slow graphics.


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. You know, sometimes I wish you'd just put me into hibernate at the end of the day. Sometimes. Turning on is a hassle.

Display desktop, open AIM, open 10 tabs in Firefox, login to World of Warcraft. Oh? Goodness me, what's this? You look like you just got attacked by a swarm of ducks. Gee. I wonder what the cause could be...

No. You don't have to tell me, really. I can tell you're upset, so I'll just leave you alone. Ha. Haha. Yes, that's right, get Leo on the webcam so you can rant about how horribly your day went...

Hey, man, how's it goin'?” Leo asks with a smile. He obviously isn't really paying much attention to your window. Or maybe he was just expecting this, like I was.

Horrible,” you reply, sounding like a kicked puppy. Poor baby.

Oh really? Why's that?” Leo asks, still smiling.

My date sucked,” you admit. You really do look miserable.

Leo pretends to looks surprised. “Really? I'm sorry! I was really hoping that would go well for you.” I can't even tell if he's just a bad actor or trying (and failing) to be sarcastic. And I'm the king of sarcasm.

Shut up,” you say. You've caught on, too, I see.

Leo allows himself to laugh for a minute, you staring him down all the while, before he calms down. “Heh. Sorry, mate. You can't say I didn't warn you, though.”

You just pout. “For once, it could have gone right. Just once,” you complain.

But, it didn't,” Leo says in an overly cheerful tone. “So, the only thing you can do now is to keep going and hope for better luck next time, right?”

You sigh, probably not wanting to admit that he's right. I don't blame you. “I guess,” you mutter.

Good! Now that we've gotten that out of the way, please, feel free to tell me why exactly your date was such a disaster.” He's probably been waiting for this part all day. If I had been left on, I would have been, too.

Well, it started out okay,” you begin. “She seemed like she was pretty cool. We talked about a bunch of stuff.”

Then...?” Leo asks, leaning forward in his chair slightly.

...Then she told me she was a drug addict with a four-year-old daughter looking to get married to someone in a promising field so she wouldn't have to worry about a job ever again,” you said miserably. “And from some of what she said it sort of sounded like she wouldn't have been opposed to killing her husband to get his money.”

Leo bursts into laughter again. “Thank you for being so supportive,” you frown pointedly.

Hey,” Leo says to defend himself. “It's not like I'm happy this happened or anything. But to be honest, it could have been a lot worse.”

You look a little bit less pitiful than you did a minute ago. “How's that?” you ask.

Well,” Leo says with a smirk, “if you think about it, there was a good chance that there was no girl at all, and it was really a lonely old guy.”

...I hadn't thought of that,” you say, looking worried. Hah. I almost wish it had been a lonely old guy. Then, at least, you'd quit using those stupid dating websites.

There ya go,” Leo says triumphantly, leaning back with his hands behind his head. “Feel better?”

You pause. “No, not really,” you finally say. So hard to please. “I still had a really crumby date, and now he chances of me getting a girlfriend by Valentine's Day are practically nil.”

Um, hate to break this to you, but they were always nil. But enough of that! I know exactly what would cheer you up.”

...what?” you ask cautiously. Oh, I hope he says something like suicide.

Roleplaying! You've been so caught up in all of this date stuff that you've been neglecting your sacred duty as a special member of The Dragon Cage,” he says, looking serious. Or, trying to, anyway.

You sigh. “Yeah, I know. I feel bad.” I don't see why. They can't really blame you for not wanting to spend more time with losers than you already do.

Well, you know, the best way to fix that is to get on and roleplay. Now go. This instant,” Leo orders.

Fine,” you say. Seriously? You're going to do what he says? You're doomed now, you know. He'll boss you around forever, and neither of you will be able to get girlfriends so you'll have to spend more time together than necessary, and you'll end up being roommates. Then one day he'll come home with some drugs that he got for “free,” and since you always do what he says you'll try them, and three months later you'll be covered in tattoos and piercings and dead on the side of the road because you couldn't pay up in time. I've seen the movies. I know how this one ends.

And off we go to last of your regular forums, the one that's your favorite and my least favorite. If you ask me, roleplaying is one of the biggest wastes of time there is. If you want to write, go write a novel. If you crave stories, read a comic book. If you want some social interaction, here's an idea: go outside and talk to someone!

Anyway, have I mentioned that all your friends are boring? I think I have. This is one of the problems with roleplaying. I mean, you're some elf archer or something and you do nothing, basically. I know you've got your clan of Lord of the Rings wannabes, but really. I just don't get how you find entertainment in this.

You really don't need me right now. Why don't you put on Transformers so I can watch it while you do your little game thing? ...No? Are you sure?

Fine. I'll be hibernating if you need me.


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. You know, I've been thinking. A lot of people have made mods to their computers. Even physical mods. I bet you could figure out how to give me a movable form somehow. Wouldn't that be cool? As long as you don't even consider doing an 'easy' mod instead and making me look like any of that Steampunk crap. No thank you.

Display desktop, start AIM, run virus scanner, open 8 tabs in Firefox. ...Hold on a minute. For someone who was heartbroken yesterday, you're looking awfully...cheerful. What in Primus' name happened? Did someone blow up the Apple Store? Please tell me someone blew up the Apple Store. That'd teach those darn Macintosh lovers.

...Okay, no one blew up the Apple Store. Then what did happen? I honestly can't think of anything else that would improve your mood so drastically besides that. But, I'm assuming I'll know soon enough. Although sometimes I wish you'd just talk to me. That way Leo wouldn't have to get involved at all. Both of our lives would be so much better! But alas, you are just a poor, small-minded, loser college student who can't comprehend the more important things in life.

Oh, look, here we are at the roleplaying forum again. Didn't you have enough of this yesterday? ...Apparently not. At least you're looking at the out-of-character board. That is where all the losers act like the losers they really are instead of pretending to be other losers.

… “What are your Valentine's Day Plans?” Really? Isn't Valentine's Day the taboo word among geeks? Like Candlejack? Why would they be as—

...Haha. Got you.

Anyway. Why would they be asking about your Valentine's Day plans? I can only think of three reasons. They want to wallow in self-pity with other self-pity wallowers, the have nothing else to talk about, or they're secretly stalking all of you and they want to know exactly where you'll be and when so they can kill you.


Assassin's Daughter

Joined: 9/13/2001

Posts: 2,436

5:30 PM

Hey, everyone! It's that time of year again! I know you've all got virtual valentines to send me on the 14th! ;D

Just out of curiosity, what are all of you doing for Valentine's Day? Don't worry, there's no shame in not having a date lined up for the big night. It's perfectly acceptable to spend it right here!

I personally will be spending part of the night at an Anti-Valentine's Day party with some girlfriends, but after I get back I'm free if anyone wants to schedule a chatroom.

I hope you all have a great day regardless of what you're doing!



Joined: 2/3/2004

Posts: 998

5:41 PM

A chatroom sounds like a lot of fun, Swishy! I'll definitely be there!

I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, so I'm not going to be doing anything special. :]


I am.

Joined: 4/12/2003

Posts: 1,234

5:49 PM

I might miss part of the chatroom, but I'll try to catch as much of it as I can!

I'm just going out drinking with a couple of friends, nothing fancy. Us singles gotta stick together, right? :D



Joined: 7/1/2006

Posts: 860

6:01 PM

I'll be there, Swishy! Ready to send you some virtual lovin'~ ;]

Wow. I had no idea there were females on this forum. I guess I just never paid enough attention. Maybe that's why you spend so much time here... Well, go ahead, type your reply. Tell them that you'll be here because you're too much of a loser to get a date. I'm sure they'll understand.

..........wait, what?!


Master of Time

Joined: 6/6/2006

Posts: 819

6:20 PM

A chatroom does sound fun! But, I'm not sure I'll be able to go.

See, I met this girl while I was out with some friends today, and we really sort of clicked. We've agreed to meet again tomorrow. I've got a really good feeling that she'd be willing to go out with me on Valentine's Day.

So, if I'm not able to be here, just know that it's for a good cause and have fun without me!

...You've got to be joking. You're not serious, are you? You're just trying to make yourself look better than them, right? Since when do you meet people on group outings and click with them? Never, that's when. Are you sure this girl is for real, and not someone who's just using you to do her homework again?

...Okay, fine. I just hope you know that I'm definitely not convinced.

Oh hey, someone's replied already.


Assassin's Daughter

Joined: 9/13/2001



That's awesome-possum-sauce, Bender! I'm so happy you've been able to find a nice girl! I hope it goes well for you, but know that we'll miss you!

Aww, how sweet. They actually care. Obviously they have no idea what you're really like, or they'd be marveling over how unlikely this is and questioning whether you were just imagining her. Like I am.



Joined: 7/1/2006

Posts: 861

6:29 PM

Wait, wait, what?!

When did you go out with friends that had girls around? And how exactly did she decide that it would be cool to meet you again?! This is ridiculous!

...Are you even telling the truth?

See, at least Leo knows you well.


Master of Time

Joined: 6/6/2006

Posts: 820

6:32 PM

A guy in my Calc II class invited me to go with him and a group of friends to 5 Guys, and there ended up being some girls there. Yes I'm telling the truth. Is it really that hard to believe?

Haha. You're funny, you know.


Assassin's Daughter

Joined: 9/13/2001

Posts: 1,438

6:34 PM

Oh, come on, Leo! You should be happy for him! Don't be so harsh.

...Oh, I get it. You two probably made a bet, hm? Looks like you just lost, Leo! :P

Maybe she knows you better than I thought.



Joined: 7/1/2006

Posts: 862

6:37 PM

If you've known him for as long as I have, you'd understand. This has never happened. Not in high school and not since. It's ridiculous. And to happen so close to Valentine's Day is definitely suspicious, bets or not.

And yes, Bender, it is hard to believe. Pics or it didn't happen.


Master of Time

Joined: 6/6/2006

Posts: 821

6:38 PM

I don't have any pictures of her; I just met her today! Good grief. I'd send you her Facebook page but you'd just say that I found a random hot girl to link you to.


Assassin's Daughter

Joined: 9/13/2001

Posts: 1,439

6:39 PM

...Has this happened before, Bender?



Joined: 7/1/2006

Posts: 863

6:42 PM

You know me too well.

Actually, Swishy, it has. Once in our senior year of high school a desperate girl asked him to go to prom with her, and her pictures were so unbelievable on her profile that I didn't actually believe it until she put up pictures of them the next day.

But anyway. This is crazy and unbelievable and I hope you know I'm weeping inside for my Flash collection. Then again, there's always a chance that this could still go south...


Assassin's Daughter

Joined: 9/13/2001

Posts: 1,440

6:45 PM

You bet your Flash collection? Wow, Bender, you're a very lucky man! ;D

But still, that's a horrible thing to wish on your friend, Leo.


Master of Time

Joined: 6/6/2006

Posts: 822

6:48 PM

Thank you, Swishy. I am looking forward to collecting. :]

But, I should probably go now. I need to be able to actually get up tomorrow morning to get ready, so. I can't stay up too late. Talk to you both later!

As exciting as that conversation was, I'll have to agree with you. The sooner you turn me off the sooner you can turn me back on tomorrow to weep about how your date went horribly awry. Again.

Powering off.


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. So, I guess I'm inclined to ask how your date went. Judging from the fact that you're not bawling your eyes out I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that it was alright, but—

Wait. Waitwaitwait.


This can't be right. Can't be. According to my settings it's February 13th. But that didn't turn me on at all yesterday.

...That's impossible! You haven't kept me turned off for more than 24 hours since you bought me! This is just a malfunction, right? A virus?

...Okay, not a virus, unless it's supremely sneaky and only wants to throw off my sense of time and/or wait until I'm disoriented to strike. I'd better keep a lookout just in case...

But, really! This is for real, isn't it? You actually didn't turn me on yesterday. What happened? Did you get hit by a train? Kidnapped? I just don't see a valid explanation here. And more likely than not, you don't have a valid explanation.

...Alright, alright, I'll stop being glitchy, but I reserve the right to start again at any given moment.

Display desktop, start AIM, open 6 tabs in Firefox. You look way too cheerful, you know.

TimeBender: I have the most awesome news ever.

I seriously doubt that. The most awesome news ever would be something like, Steven Spieldberg will be directing the next Transformers movie and that Michael Bay was fired, or someone invented a way to bring brains back to life and are working on resurrecting the founding fathers. That would be the most awesome news ever. Not whatever you're going to say.

...Yes, I'm going to be holding a grudge for a while.

LordLeo: You live! I thought you'd gotten involved in a mafia scandal or something! Where were you yesterday?

TimeBender: Out with my new girlfriend~ ;]

LordLeo: ...You've gotta be joking. You mean you spent all day yesterday with a girl you only met two days ago?!

TimeBender: Yep! We were just gonna have lunch, but then we visited a bookstore, and before we knew it it was really late. And when I got home I went to bed, so.

LordLeo: Dude...that is pathetic.

TimeBender: How is it pathetic? I've got a girlfriend and you don't! Haha. Better get that Flash collection ready to be mailed.

LordLeo: Haha no. I'm not giving them to you until I actually meet this girl.

TimeBender: You're such a sore loser! Just face it. I've got a really amazing girlfriend (who plays Portal) who I'll be going out with on Valentine's Day and you lost the bet.

LordLeo: Woah woah woah! She plays Portal?

TimeBender: ...Didn't I tell you about that? That's how we started talking in the first place.

LordLeo: No, you did not tell me about that. Alright, listen to me and listen good: Do not lose this girl. Not even if it kills you. Not even if she likes the fifth Star Trek movie. Not even if she has seven evil exes! You will never get this lucky ever again in your miserable life. Don't screw it up.

TimeBender: Um... I wasn't planning on screwing it up, but thanks for the advice.

LordLeo: Anytime. Now, since you were gone yesterday and you'll be gone tomorrow, we need to play the quest of the week on World of Warcraft now, okay?

TimeBender: Yeah, okay. See you there.

LordLeo has disconnected.

...Now I don't know what to think. I'm simply awestruck. The chances of you meeting a girl within a 50-mile radius that plays Portal and is attractive, and actually likes you on top of that, are so minuscule that I'm not even going to bother to calculate them. I still can't help but wonder whether this is all an elaborate plot.

.......Oh, darn. This probably means I won't get to watch Transformers in a long time, does it? Great. Just...great.

Please know that when World of Warcraft freezes up, that was me.


...wha? —What happened? Where am I?

...Oh. I've been turned on.

Login screen. …......You know, I'm almost scared to wonder how your big date today went. Why are you even turning me on? It's still Valentine's Day. Shouldn't you still be spending time with whatever-her-name-is?

...Yes I'm still holding a grudge, thanks for asking.

Display desktop, open Facebook on Firefox. Seriously? Facebook? That's it? What, are you rushing to set your status as 'in a relationship'? Lame.



I had such a great time today!


Me too! :]

So, um... Wanna catch a movie after class tomorrow? Captain America just came out.


I'd love to!

...I think I'm going to be sick.