And Now, From the 1994 Version of the World Wide Web: A Free Form Essay

As old people do, I was just reminiscing about the very early days of Web, on account of this Atlantic article about the impermanence of the Web, which among other things presented this tidbit of fact:

In 1994, there were fewer than 3,000 websites online. By 2014, there were more than 1 billion.

Which floored me because I had a personal Web site back in 1994, which meant that I was at the time literally a measurable percentage of the whole damn Web. That’s amazing.

(I mean, technically, I’m still a measurable percentage. But you get what I’m saying.)

That particular Web site of mine no longer exists; it was a hand-rolled site on a local ISP in Fresno that was bought out and lost to the mists of time not too long after I left that town in 1996. But trolling through my files I was able to find one piece of it: A “free-form essay” based on questions that I originally found either on Prodigy or the USENET, and then put up as its own Web page. Being 25 and fancying myself a clever lad, I made snarky responses to each question. Oh, I was a card back in the day!

Anyway: Here! Unearthed from the crypt! 25 year old me! In 1994! Being…. “funny”!



Free Form Essay

Something to tell you a little bit about….me

1. Describe your physical appearance and attractive attributes… 
I have these rough, horny pads on my back, which I use mostly to buff fine old wood. I feel that this distinctive quality is of great use to me when I visit people’s homes, especially if they have nice cherry banisters.

2. Briefly describe your personality… 
Dark, introspective, moody…Soren Kierkegaard once told me to lighten up. I hit him. He cried, and then broke up with his fiancee. Wimp.

3. If you could change anything about yourself what would it be? 
I’d sure like to get rid of this extra pair of thumbs I have. Seeing as they jut out from the back of my knees, they’re frankly of no utilitarian use at all.

4. What kind of person would you most like to meet? I’d most like to meet someone tall. Like, 8 feet or so. “Hey!” I’d say. “I bet we all look like ants from up there!” Or, maybe, “Hey! There’s cloud forming around your neck!” Then we would laugh, and we’d go have tea.

5. What’s the perfect first date? 
The perfect first date is plump, sweet, certainly fresh from the tree, and promising of other dates to be consumed. Personally, I enjoy my dates with a just a dab of jam or cream cheese. But hey, that’s just me.

6. What do you expect or hope for on a first date? 
I just don’t want to be hit. Usually when I go out I wear a full complement of goalie pads. This isn’t so bad, except when Gretzky scores off of me in the final minutes of the third period. Man. I hate that.

7. Who do you think should pay for a date? 
Whoever can’t get one any other way, I suppose.

8. Do you have a quiet place to take your date afterwards? 
Well, there’s the cellar right behind the house. Go on in. There’s a light just as you come around that bend. No, I don’t smell anything funny. No, after YOU.

9. Do you prefer large, small, or intimate parties? 
Intimate, just me and my multiple personalities. You’ve never played Twister until 13 different people are using the same body!

10. A long term best friend would have to be… 
Damp. Otherwise they crack. Believe me, I know.

11. Favorite actors/actresses, movies, and tv shows… 
How about that Rod Steiger! If he’s in a film, you know it’s a classic!

12. The groups and music you like most… 
I’m sort of into an atonal thing right now. In fact, I just got this great album: “An Atonal Christmas,” featuring Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Aaron Neville on harmony, of course.

13. What sports do you enjoy participating in and watching? 
Hot oil Parcheesi, Spam hockey, congressional hearings.

14. Any other interests or hobbies? Unusual activities? 
I have a large collection of pre-Columbian remote control units. They don’t call them “clickers” for nothing!

15. What kind of magazines and books do you read? 
Dixie!: The Jesse Helms Quarterly 
Squirmy: The magazine for earthworm enthusiasts 
And Discover magazine, for the swimsuit issue.

16. The most exciting or death-defying thing I’ve ever done is… 
Tell my mother I slept with her Pomeranian. She’s very possessive.

17. The most exciting or death-defying thing I’d like to do is… 
That Pomeranian is still out there, you know. Not that it ever returns my calls. 

18. Do you like to travel? If so, where have you been or would like to go? 
No! I like it here in my room! Don’t come in!

19. What kind of work do you do, and do you enjoy it? 
I’m a repo man for a select clientele of numismatic firms. It doesn’t sound very exciting, just to hear about it, but, let me tell you, when you’re hauling ass down the 405, narrowly avoiding the hot lead being blasted at you by a Latvian crazed by the sudden loss of his ill-gotten 1954 Ben Franklin half-dollar coin, only then do you experience adrenaline rush you can get nowhere else!!!

20. Do you have children, roomies, or someone who depends on you? 
I am a foster parent to the entire town of Delano, just north of Bakersfield. Oh, you should see how the faces of the townspeople light up as I stroll through town, distributing sponges and Pez to all the needy children and dentists. Some people say it’s too much for just one man to do, but so long as there is Pez, I will be there.

21. Are you considered comedic, serious, average, boring or psychotic? 
I think when most people consider me, they consider me as I’d want to be considered; as a roiling mass of chemicals. “Now, there’s a fine specimen of Potassium!” They would say. And they’d be right.

22. Anything else you’d like to say about yourself? 
Just one reminder: Bus fumes are NOT as tasty as they look. Really.

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