As you our loyal paying subscribers are no doubt aware, yesterday was not this publication’s finest hour. A series of unfortunate posts, reposts, mis-replies and gaffes in judgment on these pages led to much conflict and recrimination, culminating in a spirited staff meeting late last night in the palatial top-floor penthouse of our proprietor, The South Side Cheat. Finding our seats among the sundry jars of urine, viscera and hair (“don’t worry, those aren’t actual human heads in the fridge -- at least probably not of anyone you know”), the authors and editors were berated at length by our reclusive superior for yesterday’s embarrassing performance.
After the customary beatings were administered, it was determined that I, resident Author Dipshit, would be assigned the task of formulating a user-friendly guide to use of this medium. Normally, a mundane undertaking such as this would be beneath the lofty duties of an Author -- one of the many of the site’s Editors (when not busy adding dots to i’s) would typically be assigned. However, given yesterday’s disastrous results, Koba (as Cheat prefers to be called in person) insisted that the duty fall upon one bearing a somewhat more distinguished title. The decision made, Colin was put back in his crate and the rest of us, chastened, were shown to the door by Grûnd, The Cheat’s truncheon-wielding, 8-foot tall albino manservant.
What follows is the result of this assignment. Please note that each of these requirements should be rigidly adhered to in order to achieve optimal use of the site.
Before commencing your use of South Side Sox, please comply with the following:
1. Connect your typewriter to the television component of your computer machine. You may procure wires that are specifically suited for that purpose, but more frugal users may instead make use of string, shoelaces or any tube-shaped noodle.
2. Ensure your typewriter is filled with ink.
3. Remove your telephone handset from its cradle and place it on top of the computer. This step is very important: The computer will not work unless it is connected with your phone.
4. Sit in a comfortable chair facing the computer. No, the other way, WU … oh for Chrissakes, will someone please turn him the right way?
5. Maintain eye contact with the television screen at all times – it will be distracting for other users to be forced to stare at the side or top of another user’s head (or, in the case of contributor MarketMaker, directly into his anus) when using the internet.
6. Turn your television to the Internet channel. Adjust the antenna until the static is at an acceptable level. Some ghosting may appear – this is normal (if you are a ghost).
7. Your computer does not need food – do not attempt to feed it.
8. The internet will only work within the continental United States. Any attempt to transport it for use in a foreign country (e.g., Peoria) is an act of treason.
The following rules and guidelines should be observed when actually “on-line” at South Side Sox:
1. When you wish to emphasize a particular point, do not use “all caps”, multiple exclamation points or bold text. Instead, simply push more firmly than normally on your typewriter keys and your point will be made. For an especially urgent post, try flinging your keyboard across the room or punching the screen repeatedly with a closed fist.
2. If your computer makes use of a spell-checking service, it is not necessary to tip your spell checker. It is considered polite, however, to offer him/her a drink of water or other appropriate beverage. There are various holes or “ports” in the computer into which liquids may be poured for this purpose.
3. Do not feel constrained by the “Reply” button – it is customary and appropriate for users of SSS to post whatever they want whenever they want. Similarly, if the subject of a particular post or thread is not of interest to you, simply change the subject to one which you prefer. No one will mind.
4. Most of the “people” with whom you are sharing SSS are not real – they are computer avatars included solely the amusement of our users. For example, “Chiburb” is a digital creation loosely based on the video game character, Mario. User “Where Triples Go To Die” is based on the left-side paddle in the early video game Pong.
5. Relatedly, even those fellow users who are actual people are often not as they describe themselves online. For example, site editor “larry” is not actually a lawyer, meaning there is actually a chance that he has had sexual intercourse with a woman at some point.
6. “Happy endings” are not available on SSS. Unless you live in the Seattle area.
7. If you encounter difficulties using the site or the internet generally, do not post about them. Simply back away from the computer and raise your hand. A technical support representative will visit you shortly. Ensure you keep your hand raised at all times prior to being visited by technical support.
III. AFTER USE.
When you have completed your session:
1. This cannot be overemphasized: Before switching off your computer, ensure you save the internet file. Failure to do so will result in loss of all data on the internet, meaning everyone will have to start over entirely from scratch.
2. Also before signing out, print out a hard copy of the internet. This will ensure that, in the event of a catastrophic failure, the internet may at least be retyped if necessary.
3. Disinfect your computer thoroughly. While it is not necessary to bathe your computer after each use, you should give it a gentle rinsing at least weekly.
We hope this guide will prove useful. Any questions or comments should be loudly shouted at the computer screen or written in crayon on a piece of paper and glued to your keyboard.