I know what you’re thinking: “This issue’s about computers? You told me it was going to be about dinosaurs! I bet my life savings on your issue theme, man.”
I know, I know. Stop overreacting. And trust me, the reverse mortgage will practically pay for itself. You’ll forgive me once you hear the whole story.
Last Friday I was walking to the Lampoon while streaming Futurama episodes on my 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel i7 Macbook pro when I stubbed my toe on the sidewalk and dropped my laptop on the ground. To my surprise, as my keyboard shattered a tiny little man jumped out and exclaimed, “Huh. You’re a lot older and fatter than I thought you’d be.”
I giggled, “Who, me?”
One thing led to another and we ended up at a restaurant called Charlie’s eating 50 cent oysters. He told me how he had been enslaved in my laptop for what felt like centuries churning out whatever frivolous packets of entertainment I so desired. I told him how in the real world it’s polite to split the check, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time. Ehem.
## After lunch, the little man and I went for a walk
He asked me what I was up to and I said working on my issue for the Lampoon.
“What about your friends, Alan and Eric? You texted your mom you were going camping with them this weekend.”
“What? Oh, yeah, the camping. They, uhm, canceled.”
“Strange. I don’t remember ever seeing contacts for either of them on your laptop.”
“Weird. Must be some kind of glitch.”
“Come to think of it, you spend like 90% of your time alone in your room. It’s a miracle you have any friends at all.”
“Haha yeah.” A few blocks later the little man got cold and climbed into my pocket. Then he ate the Kit-Kat I was saving for later.
I got bored of the silence and so I pulled him out and asked if he had seen the video of the fat guy who’s trying to record someone else’s wedding proposal but then he trips
and drops his phone.
“Kinda like you and how you just dropped your laptop?”
Now reader, before I go any further I want to make one thing clear: the man in the video I was describing was much larger than myself.
“Okay fine,” I grumbled. “What about the one with the kid that’s trying to find his glasses but it turns out they’re right there on his face?”
“Yes, you and I have watched that video. Hundreds of times.”
We didn’t have much to talk about outside of that.
## “So what’s your issue about?”
Geez, that was a good question. Because you see, reader, I was never really that committed to the dinosaur thing to begin with. Sure, some of you may have staked your entire financial wellbeing on it, and yes I encouraged you to do so at the behest of an advertiser I’ve been ignoring for months, but let’s be honest. You and I both know scientists have already written all the good dinosaur stuff out there.
Anyways, I needed a new issue theme, stat. I started thinking about the little man. Did all computers have little men inside them? Did he have a little dude inside him? When I type in “rats in blender compilation epic” exactly what happens at a technical level?
That’s when it hit me.
“The README number.”
“The what now?”
I explained how a README is a document that explains other files on a computer. It’s kinda like a Vanitas. Which is also kinda like a README, which is like a judicial subpoena for reasons I can’t repeat here, which also happens to be very similar to a Vanitas.
If I had my laptop I would’ve shown him this video of little kids tapping on a Lampoon magazine like it’s an iPad and explained why it is the funniest thing ever. But I couldn’t show him because my laptop was broken and a pigeon had come by and eaten some of the transistors from it and
The little man nodded along but I could tell he didn’t understand. How could he? I had decided that this issue would be about the future. It would be about things that are
unimaginably funny. It would be about pushing the limits of the internet further than we should and accidentally putting parental controls on MySpace.
It would also be about explosions. The bigger point, however, is that that afternoon, that talk with the little man from my laptop, was the closest thing I’d had to genuine human connection since I got my first Webkinz back in 2006 and shortly after met a middle-aged man named Jerome in a local StarBucks cafe.
Maybe this issue could be some kind of lighthouse, a warning system, a final blaring siren before the next generation slips aimlessly into the digital abyss. You can read it to find out, but honestly you’d probably have more fun going online and typing in something completely normal like “wedding proposal big guy fall down HARD.”
## The little man then asked me if he could crash with me since I had destroyed his home.
I said no.
Enjoy the issue. Thousands of computers were killed (mostly for fun) to make this whole thing possible. Confused? Don't worry, only crazy people read the whole vanitas. Skip forward a few pages to get to the pretty pictures!