i know this might sound hard to believe, but once upon a time the internet was a novel new thing. i remember when my family first got aol and we had to pay the bill according to how much time we spent online -- there was no such thing as unlimited use. my parents expected us to adhere to a strict schedule of 30 minutes a day by posting a sign-up sheet next to the computer. you can imagine how difficult this often was for a 14-year-old girl who had mtv chat rooms to visit and green day news sites to check. i spent countless hours chatting on instant message with some of my earliest internet friends (who i still know today) who had screen names like "thelowestgear" and "daisyberk9."
when downloading music became popular, beth and i were early into our college careers. we arrived back at my parents house one afternoon after class to an empty house and a puzzling result on the open "kazaa" download list. someone in the house had recently downloaded the song "reelin in the years" by steely dan...but WHO??? who in my family had the gall to download such an atrocity?
"it was probably my brother chris," i guessed.
"nah, i think it was mike," beth admitted.
pitted against each other, we decided to up the ante. only one of us would be right, and the other would have to suffer the consequences: during roll call in our "gender and sexuality" class the next morning, the loser of the bet would have to snort really loud.
mike arrived home first and beth asked him if he downloaded the steely dan song.
"of course," he said, sitting down in front of the computer and turning up the speakers full volume. OUCH.
cut to class the next morning. beth is giddy knowing the task i have ahead of me and how much i'm dreading it. our teacher, whopper, so nicknamed because beth claimed his shaved head made him look like "a malted milk ball, one that dropped on the floor and got dirty" (list # 1983) was taking attendance. i was trying to pick a good time, but really, when IS a good time to snort really loudly when the classroom is dead silent?
people looked around curiously, and i tried to look just as confused as they did so i didn't look guilty. poor marissa looked most confused of all, wondering if this was some sort of personal attack. there's no doubt that the person directly in front of me knew my secret, but i tried really hard to play it off.
and damn you and your steely dan, mike.