AOL User Humor

This file contains three items: "Diary of an AOL User", a satirical look at the lowest common denominator that AOL attracts; "You Have Been Online...", some messages that AOL might send to you if you're on too long; and a supposedly real dialog between a WordPerfect user (or "luser" in computer jargon) and a tech supporter.


Date Received: 11 Jul 1996

Somehow I believe this - there was an article that I read last night in VAR reseller. Apparently the VP of Canon(?) had his dirct phone number published in the user manual so that he would hear complaints about the product directly. He got one call from an irate person who say the printer output some really neat colors, but could not get it to work at home. The VP asked if the cable was securely attached to the computer. The reply? "YOU MEAN I NEED A COMPUTER TO WORK THIS?" *sigh* never underestimate human stupidity.

Diary of an AOL User

July 18 - I just tried to connect to America Online. I've heard it is the best online service I can get. They even included a free disk! I'd better hold onto it in case they don't ever send me anther one! I can't connect. I don't know what is wrong.

July 19 - Some guy at the tech support center says my computer needs a modem. I don't see why. He's just trying to cheat me. How dumb does he think I am?

July 22 - I bought the modem. I couldn't figure out where it goes. It wouldn't fit in the monitor or the printer. I'm confused.

July 23 - I finally got the modem in and hooked up. That nine year old next door did it for me. But it still don't work. I cant get online.

July 25 - That nine year old kid next door hooked me up to America Online for me. He's so smart. I told the kid he was a prodigy. But he says that's just another service. What a modest kid. He's so smart and he does these services for people. Anyway he's smarter then the jerks who sold me the modem. They didn't even tell me about communications software. Bet they didn't know. And why do they put two telephone jack holes in the back of a modem when you only need one? And why do they have one labeled phone when you are not suppose to hook it to the phone jack on the wall? I thought the dial tone sounded funny! Boy, are modem makers dumb! But the kid figured it out by the sound.

July 26 - What's the internet? I thought I was on America Online. Not this internet thing. I'm confused.

July 27 - The nine year old kid next door showed me how to use this America Online stuff. I told him he must be a genius. He says that he is compared to me. Maybe he's not so modest after all.

July 28 - I tried to use chat today. I tried to talk into my computer but nothing happened. maybe I need to buy a microphone.

July 29 - I found this thing called usenet. I got out of it because I'm connected to America Online not usenet.

July 30 - These people in this usenet thing keep using capital letters. How do they do that? I never figured out how to type capital letters. Maybe they have a different type of keyboard.

JULY 31 - I CALLED THE COMPUTER MAKER I BOUGHT IT FROM TO COMPLAIN ABOUT NOT HAVING A CAPITOL LETTER KEY. THE TECH SUPPORT GUY SAID IT WAS THIS CAPS LOCK KEY. WHY DIDN'T THEY SPELL IT OUT? I TOLD HIM I GOT A CHEAP KEYBOARD AND WANTED A BETTER ONE. AND ONE OF MY SHIFT KEYS ISNT THE SAME SIZE AS THE OTHER. HE SAID THATS A STANDARD. I TOLD HIM I DIDN'T WANT A STANDARD KEYBOARD BUT ANOTHER BRAND. I MUST HAVE HAD AN IMPORTANT COMPLAINT BECAUSE I HEARD HIM TELL THE OTHER SUPPORT GUYS TO LISTEN IN ON OUR CONVERSATION.

AUGUST 1 - I FOUND THIS THING CALLED THE USENET ORACLE. IT SAYS THAT IT CAN ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS I ASK IT. I SENT IT 44 SEPARATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERNET. I HOPE IT RESPONDS SOON.

AUGUST 2 - I FOUND A GROUP CALLED REC.HUMOR. I DECIDED TO POST THIS JOKE ABOUT THE CHICKEN THAT CROSSED THE ROAD. TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE! HA! HA! I WASNT SURE I POSTED IT RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 56 MORE TIMES.

AUGUST 3 - I KEEP HEARING ABOUT THE WORLD WIDE WEB. I DON'T NOW SPIDERS GREW THAT LARGE.

AUGUST 4 - THE ORACLE RESPONDED TO MY QUESTIONS TODAY. GEEZ IT WAS RUDE. I WAS SO ANGRY THAT I POSTED AN ANGRY MESSAGE ABOUT IT TO REC.HUMOR.ORACLE. I WASNT SURE IF I POSTED RIGHT SO I POSTED IT 22 MORE TIMES.

AUGUST 5 - SOMEONE TOLD ME TO READ THE FAQ. GEEZ THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO USE PROFANITY.

AUGUST 6 - SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME TO STOP SHOUTING IN ALL MY MESSAGES. WHAT A STUPID JERK. IM NOT SHOUTING! IM NOT EVEN TALKING! JUST TYPING! HOW CAN THEY LET THESE RUDE JERKS GO ON THE INTERNET?

August 7 - Why have a Caps Lock key if you're not suppose to use it? Its probably an extra feature that costs more money.

August 8 - I just read this post called make money fast. I'm so exited. I'm going to make lots of money. I followed his instructions and posted it to every newsgroup I could find.

August 9 - I just made my signature file. Its only 6 pages long. I will have to work on it some more.

August 10 - I just looked at a group called alt.aol.sucks. I read a few posts and I really believe that aol should be wiped off the face of the earth. I wonder what an aol is.

August 11 - I was asking where to find some information about something. Some guy told me to check out ftp.netcom.com. I've looked and looked but I can't find that group.

August 12 - I sent a post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. hopefully someone will help. I can't ask the kid next door. His parents said that when he comes back from my house he's laughing so hard he can't eat or sleep or do his homework. So they wont let him come over anymore. I do have a great sense of humor. I don't know why the rec.humor group didn't like my chicken joke. Maybe they only like dirty stuff. Some people sent me posts about my 56 posts of the joke and they used bad words.

August 13 - I sent another post to every usenet group on the Internet asking where the ftp.netcom.com is. I had forgot yesterday to include my new signature file which is only 8 pages long. I know everyone will want to read my favorite poem so I included it. I'm also going to add that short story I like.

August 14 - Some guy suspended my account because of what I was doing. I told him I don't have an account at his bank. He's so dumb.

Selected by Jim Griffith.
Attribute the joke's source if at all possible. A Daemon will auto-reply. (ie. jokes which won't be funny if not given immediate attention.) For the full submission guidelines, see http://comedy.clari.net/rhf/


Date Received: Wed, 12 Mar 1997

Hi Harold,

This came through today from another friend. I immediately thought of you. On AOL we get the first message and then in 10 minute increments we are reminded that we are still on line.

You have been online...

#1--- You have been online for 45 minutes. Do you want to stay online? Please respond within 10 min. or you will be logged off.

#2--- You have been online for 135 minutes. Not to put any pressure on you, but there ARE other people in the world who would like to sign on.Let's show some sorry consideration for our fellow members and sign off, whaddya say?

#3--- You DO realize that you've been online for 184 minutes, right? when was the last time you went outside?

#4--- OK. This is getting ridiculous. Frankly, you're starting to piss us off! If you sign off now, we'll bring back your Buddy List OK? yep finally

#5--- You have been online for 360 minutes now!! We promised you unlimited time, we know, but can't you just finish up NOW and go read a good book?

#6--- You have been online for 467 minutes. Do you remember your family members' names?

#7--- You have been online for 513 minutes. Your husband has left you and your dog is starving. Do you wish to remain online?

#8--- You have been online 724 minutes. Steve Case is coming personally to your house to yank the phone cord....

#9--- You have been online 852 minutes, do you KNOW how many HOURS that is???"

#10--- You have been online for 921 minutes. Do you realize that AOL averages 921 complaints per hour about busy phone lines? Do you realize that AOL receives 9.21 lawsuits per day due to busy phone lines? Please sign-off to reduce these averages, or go to keyword: CLASS ACTION to join a lawsuit.

11#--- You have been online for 967 minutes. When AOL went unlimited they didn't think you would take it literally. No get the H*ll off before we go broke!


Date Received: Tue, 23 Sep 1997

Actual dialog of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee:


"Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

"Went away?"
"They disappeared."

"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"Nothing."

"Nothing?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"

"Can you see the C:\ prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"

"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"
"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"

"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. "Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."

"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
..."Yes, I think so."

"Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
..."Yes, it is."

"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
"No."

"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
..."Okay, here it is."

"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."

"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"No."

"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's because it's dark."

"Dark?"
"Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

"Well, turn on the office light then."
"I can't."

"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."

"A power... A power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

"Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"

"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."

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