O tempora, o cheezburgers

“Gramps, was there something you wanted to show me?”

“Come closer, sonny.”

“Okay, I’ll zoom… woah. Please use a shop skin filter. I did not want to see that many pores. And splotches. And —”

“The youth these days. Look at this, boy!”

“What’s it?”

“Guess.”

“Well, I think…”

“I can hear you keying. Well, any hits?”

“It’s a… ‘USB stick’? A Sandisk model 2 TB—”

“Yes yes, I see you are adept in not only using the image capture and search but also well-versed in the amazing skill of reading what’s written on the thing. Son, boy, I thought I’d lost this thing decades ago.”

“So?”

“So what! It had my personal archive of blogs and things on it!”

“Wait… you have a blog, Gramps? You?

“Stop searching; it’s not there anymore. The Great Data Burn of 2021 put an end to it, and I lost interest. Moved to vogging, then to thogging, and finally to schmogging. Even I myself didn’t remember this backup of mine.”

“Seriously, Gramps, there’s no copy of it anywhere I can find. There’s a mention that it existed, but nothing more. This is fucking weird.

“Things used to be that way, sonny. Why, my father was one of the first bloggers —”

What?

“— but he had a conjunction of rm and whisky, and no backups. The work of a year gone without a trace, except a lot of dead inbound links. As I remember he was hoppin’ mad; gave his Ballmer boxing dummy a good workout.”

“Seriously, no copies? No mirrors? No branches? No persies, no freezes, no cachies no nothing?”

“As I said, back in the day. Take a look at this — used to be the top banner of my blog, ‘Stick A Hand Inside’.”

“Gramps, that’s disgusting.”

“Oh, there’s the animated version.”

“Gramps, did you have any readers? Or just flit-retch-aways? At least say it’s a shop and not… not genuine.”

“A shop, of course. Used to be a vogue for being shocking and radical, back in the day, so I took the old pic of goatse and pic of myself looking over my shoulder —”

“Aaah!”

“Knew you couldn’t resist searching the unfamiliar word. What, found the flashing tri-axis rotating hologram version or what? There’s no brain bleach for that one; I should know for the whole of Internet searched all of 2019, and found nothing that worked. Here, have a lolcat.”

“What… Huh? Ceiling cat? Wait, this is one of those religion things, huh?”

“Well, not exactly, though it came close. There was a Church of Cheezburger in Palo Alto, California, but it didn’t last. And there were the Lolcat Bible, Satanic Bible and God Delusion… oh, the days. ‘I can haz the most unpleasant character in all fictionses’. I think dad contributed a line or two.”

“Dad?”

“Not your dad; my dad. All your dad does is crank Thundercloud and drink in Fire Fox News all day long. He lacks the interest in human affairs, he does. All just virtual machines and moonspeak and stuff.”

“Meh; humans are overrated.”

“No no, it’s ‘humanity is overrated’. Don’t use a meme if you don’t use it right. And anyway that was a bad and hoary joke already when I was young. And what’s the alternative to humanity? Well-educated baboons, what?”

“Gramps, keep up with the times. Look here — they have simians up to primary school level in France.”

“What?”

“Says their local parliament will start licensing them as personal companions in a few years. Would you like one?”

“What, me spending time with… with a trained monkey?

“Apes, Gramps. They’re apes. The primate rights people are really touchy about that.”

“Fecking politically correct people. If I take a persocon it better be a machine. Machines don’t need diapers.”

“Real unprejudiced, Gramps. That was fixed three persimp generations ago. Yeah, I can easy see you sitting down with a Karaoke, screaming ‘Breathe, damn you! Breathe!’ — good luck with that.”

“What? I don’t do metal!”

“Eh? Sorry, meant Tamagotchi. That’s the word, right?”

“Before my time, boy. And speaking of karaoke, watch this: from the hoary old age of SeriesTube, me and a Britney Spears medley — just don’t read the comments, they are foul and untrue. I do not ‘crape’ songs; I perform them. All this ‘song crapist’ business is just jealousy talking.”

“This is bad.”

“Well, I —”

“Like real bad. Like a Verdun level of bad. And… seizure?”

“No. Dance.”

“This is going into my feed right now, Gramps. Anyone picks it up, it will be your fifteen minutes in the spotlight, seen by billions.”

“Uh, don’t tell your Gramma about that.”

“She subscribes, doesn’t she? And she knows, doesn’t she?”

“Well, she knows, but I don’t think she remembers. As I recall the reason there’s a year’s gap between your father and Aunt Edna is she saw this vid and got… angry. Oh hey, I have a vid about that too —”

“Oh hey, she’s on the line, emoting red and black. Enjoy the company; I got to run.”

* * *

Sooner or later something like this is going to happen, right? (Also, “Aww crap, sonny. A thirty-year winning streak and now I lost the Game.”)

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