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  1. Here’s a GI-Joe™ missing an arm, missing a leg.
    There’s a Barbie™ upside down with no head, just a peg.
    There are random Lego™ pieces that are strewn here and there.
    This once was a Chewbacca™, now he’s bald, without a hair.

    This used to be a Slinky™, now it’s tangle beyond mend.
    This LightBright™ has no colored bits through which the light to send.
    This Battleship™ has not one boat to place upon the waves.
    Just one green soldier left, I fear, the rest all went to graves.

    These broken toys upon the floor, no, none belongs to me.
    My things are put away, my dear, whole and sound, you see.
    Do as you wish with what is yours, the chance we all do take,
    but leave them strewn about, it’s clear that surely they will break.
  2. The ones who were bored, they had to be floored,
    so we filled them with cement and lead.
    And the pyros on fire, lit their own pyre,
    so we figured they sought be dead.

    Some poked at bees, then climbed up into trees,
    crying at how they’d been stung.
    And I thought in my mind, neither pleasant nor kind,
    how they’d pretty much asked to be hung.

    If there is a god, she’s a funny old sod,
    and people - her funniest joke.
    Puppy or cat; shit, I’d even pick rat,
    but it’s the last time that I’m picking bloke.

    Perhaps I’ll pick whale, with a bloody big tail,
    diving deep to catch giant squid.
    Or a big kangaroo with a joey or two.
    That sounds like an excellent bid.

    If I were a snake, I’d eat all your cake,
    having bitten you into the grave.
    Or a scary arachnid; don’t get distracted.
    What, your hubby? He was never that brave.

    If I were a possum, I’d lick every blossom,
    then poop on you from way up high.
    Or a bird on the wing, I would soar, I would sing,
    and... also poop on you from the big sky.

    When I am dead, having dropped on my head,
    I pray that this memory lingers.
    That I don’t get took by a sly salesman’s hook,
    “Sonny, what you want are fingers!”
    Mark Burton and Iain Aschendale like this.
  3. The leopard does not change his spots,
    and once decided, twats are twats.
    El mono, por más que viste de seda,
    no importa que hace, mono se queda.


    But let us pretend you could slip from your skin,
    and take a new form, thus blend right in.
    Be that the case and assuming you can,
    the win is still mine, you sad little man.

    Come in your true form, or in disguise,
    one way or the other, the hills will have eyes,
    and noses, and ears, and tongues that do speak.
    twenty-four, seven; all day, all week.
    123456789 likes this.
  4. “Guilty on all counts, your honor,” I said.

    “You understand the nature of your plea, right?” asked the judge, his plain but not unkind countenance fixed upon me piercingly.

    “I do, your honor.”

    Did I?

    “I want to hear in your own words, sir, so that I can be sure.” The judge was certainly giving me every opportunity to sidestep and take a different route, but I was committed.

    “Your honor, I appreciate what you are doing. I do. But I am guilty. I went into their world and was initially intoxicated by what I found. I don’t say that as an excuse, just a reason, an anchor, if you’ll allow the metaphor, for how and why I stayed. I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as I did, but, months later, there I was, still there. I never understood it fully, to be honest. The fervor, the passion, the reason for the level of pathological commitment, and maybe trying to understand that was part of what kept me there too.” I paused, unsure if I was ready to say the ugly things about myself that were fighting for control of my tongue.

    “Go on,” said the judge.

    “They got into the most insane battles over ships and AU’s and I never really understood the meaning of coffee shop, not the way they used it, not the way they kept invoking that term. It never alluded to the same thing twice.”

    The judge nodded.

    “I wanted to know, to understand how these fires could burn like magnesium, to learn the dynamics behind antis and anti-antis, and anti-anti-antis and the proxy wars to which each of them gave birth. And the whole alpha/beta/omega thing, your honor, it was like turning over a rock just to enjoy being grossed out by what you found underneath. But…” And here was the truth. “… I was only ever a voyeur, and worse, my voyeurism was judgie and condescending and dismissive. I mean, seriously though, how does one whip oneself into a murderous rage over het ships vs gay ships? How does that result in arson? Multiple arson? I’m not really asking you to answer that, your honor. Obviously it’s rhetorical. But I saw it time and time again. And you couldn’t ask about these things without actually invoking the very things you were asking about. It would be as if talking about electricity created it, or talking about ice caused things to freeze. And there was a certain voyeuristic pleasure in that too, your honor. I know that doesn’t paint me as the nicest person, but it’s true.”

    The judge tapped his chin contemplatively with the end if a pen. “If you’re released, do you plan on returning?”

    I released a heavy breath through flapping lips. “Probably. Despite all the insanity, the rage, and the colossally sensitive nature of the denizens, there’s also a charm there that I can’t resist. So, yeah. If I’m honest, yes.”

    “You understand that if I release you, if I forgive these charges, and you go back there and get the brickbats, you won’t be allowed to form a complaint against them. You’ll have gone of your own free will, and whatever happens is on you. Understand?”

    “I do, your honor.”

    “Fine. I appreciate your honesty, but, as I’ve already stated, you’re on your own after this.” The judge banged his gavel. “Charges dismissed. You’re free to go.”

    I thought he was done, but his bright little eyes flicked up at me and he said, “One more question for you. Did you write that smutty little Expanse slashfic called [redacted]?”

    “Yes, your honor. That was me.”

    “It wasn’t half bad, but sex between two guys doesn’t work like that in zero-g. A little more research and it would have been a better story.”
  5. I’ve been on the internet since the day it was born. Actually, since before that because when I was in the USAF in the late 80's, in the land of SCIFs, I made use of the communications channels that lent at least part of their code to what eventually became the modern Internet in 1991.

    And it’s never happened to me. Ever.

    Today I get yet another melodramatic message asking me to delete all traces of an account, a thing we do not do, and which not even the GDPR demands of us. Your identifying information? Yep, we’ll delete that. Your thousands of posts? Nope. Not going to happen and there’s nothing demanding that we do it. Sorry. No.

    But that’s not the core of the kvetch.

    I just don’t get what people are doing to cause these things to happen to them. In a fucked up way, I’m kinda’ wondering when and if I’ll ever actually have a stalker that I can’t get away from because I feel like I’m not getting the full experience, the whole ride, the complete park-hopper pass, so to speak. In the fic forums I follow, stalkers and personally appointed trolls are a dominant topic. Everyone’s talking about it, all the time, and me sitting in the corner feeling like the ugliest boy in the room, not even worthy of a stalking, because…

    It’s never happened to me.

    I’ve modded or adminned this forum for a decade now. I’ve banned the living daylights out of many people, some of them multiple times, all of whom thought it was personal, thought I “didn’t like them”, thought I sided against their politics, their gender, their religion, their {fill in the egocentric blank}, so god(s) know(s) there has been opportunity enough for it to happen.

    It’s never happened to me.

    Never.

    Every platform has a block or a hide or a delete feature. Every platform gives me a level of control over my engagement that means someone else only ever has the power over me that I give to that person.

    So what gives?

    Are we just drawing the line in the sand in completely different places? Is it the difference between adhering to a system of internal vs external loci of control? Is it just the difference between “I’ll just block this faff of a person” (click!) vs “I shouldn’t have to do a damned thing!”

    It’s never happened.