Jan 30, 2002

Scat Magazine

Eric's brow, furrowed into numerous crap lines, was covered by his sweaty red forelock. His hands shook. He mouthed the words “hoooh boy” silently as he began a steady hyperventilation.

Finally, after waiting for weeks and weeks, he had what he'd gone to sleep thinking about every night: the first issue of SCAT!, the magazine for poop fanatics everywhere, had finally hit the stands.

Eric's heart burst with pride, as he had taken the last of his money made when VA Linux Software had gone public and invested in this private project of the Slashdot staff.

Running quickly to the back bedroom of his one-story shanty (and being careful not to trip on the heavy 386 PC cases or the myriad of cables, cords, dongles, and wires running in various directions across his dirt floor), Eric slammed the door and laid stomach-down on the bed. He opened to the boilerplate and read his pal's names with delights, kicking his feet back and forth against each other. He couldn't believe his dream had come true! But just as he was about to flip to the pictorial section (to examine how the GIMP performed at the cropping and scaling, of course) the phone rang. It was Jon Katz.

“Eric, you son of a bitch! Where the Hell is my story? You promised me you'd publish my story in your God-damned worthless shit-fag mag! You double-crossing–”

ESR interrupted Katz. “Whoa, whoa, I don't know what you're talking about. We agreed that I'd pick an article and have it be the cover story. I never said it would be yours. It just so happens the bois at Slashdot picked mine instead!”

With a strangling, gurgling scream from Katz, ESR hung up the phone and sighed. He scratched his beer belly and thirsted for Jägermeister. Why did people always harass him? From RMS calling and reminding Eric that he was not a good a programmer as he, or Larry Augustin calling emailing death threats regarding petty cash theft from VA's offices after Eric's visits, or the trolls on Slashdot writing about his and his friends' personal lives, the Jäger was his only release. Perhaps after a few fifths of it he'd be calm enough again to dive back into his magazine.

Waking up hours later, ESR realized he'd drank too much (again) and had slept away– Well, what had he slept away? He couldn't even remember what time it was when he'd woken up or fallen asleep last. Between the early Winter Pennsylvania nights and his “hacker's” schedule it was so hard to keep track of what time of day, week, or month it was he might as well have been living in a cave. He remembered when he was, though, and thought warmly of his shanty, built by hand from 55 gallon drums harvested from his local landfill. Over the drums ESR had filled clay, mixed from a nearby creek, and painted it brown to make it look like a log cabin. How proud he was indeed! Wouldn't you be?

ESR picked up the SCAT! magazine, unzipped his pants, and sat at his kitchen table—humming with a cluster of 386s running Linux—and enjoyed the rest of his freetime the way God intended: masturbating furiously to pictures of pale, skinny young men eating turds and smearing shit all over each other.

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