As a faithful fan of AHEMM, you may or may not know that I, Alias J. Pseudonym, am in fact a student in a disreputable institute of higher learning. This particular institute is not concerned with teaching at a higher level, but teaching at a level that is understandable to higher students. High on what? It doesn’t matter. The motto is ‘If you can smoke it, we can teach you afterwards.’ Keeping true to this motto is a lofty goal indeed.
My alma mater is a model of diversity in education. There are all shades of imbecilic students to be found in those hallowed halls, as well as in the not quite as hallowed dormitories and the slightly hallowed lecture halls. One could line up any random sample of the student body to be awed with a veritable rainbow of skin color, hair color, and body piercing color, to say nothing of cranial tattoo color. The diversity of the student population is assured through a very stringent admission process. Among the many requisites for admission to this venerable school are a high school diploma and the ability to drink one’s own weight in beer in a single sitting. To assure equal opportunity to less gifted students, the beer requirement can be overlooked provided the prospective student in question is willing to smoke copious amounts of marijuana in place of the beer, and enrolls in a class to help him or her overcome this disability.
Even with such high standards, it is inevitable that a few bad apples will slip through the cracks. This semester, I enrolled in a computer science class in an effort to widen my horizons (my current horizons rarely spread beyond my own computer monitor, so I effectively doubled them by looking at a computer monitor belonging to the school). The class is entitled ‘CSC 190, Preprogramming.’ This class is intended for inexperienced computer users who have an interest in wasting time learning things that they could have just as easily learned by consulting the nearest five year old. The class has twelve students, give or take. Many of these students are freshmen, some are seniors, and some, such as I, are ‘super seniors,’ or what I prefer to call ‘lifelong learners.’ We lifelong learners spend as much time in colleges and universities in order to discover as much about the world as possible, and to avoid having to get a real job and moving out of our parents houses. Many of those privileged enough to be lifelong learners are over 35 years old, have dreadlocks, ponytails, full length beards, or any combination of these, and have refused to wash their clothing in decades, resorting to the legendary magic power of patchouli, which makes them all smell like angels, of course. But I ramble.
In this course, this CSC 190, Preprogramming, are several youths who are no doubt the future leaders of America. In these young geniuses I see a Ted Kennedy, a Bill Clinton, and perhaps a Marv Albert. On the first day of class, from my vantage point in the rear of the room, I could see the activities of these gifted young men (for there are no breasts to be found in this particular class of students) as they sat through the lecture. Each student in this class sits at his own computer, with access to the Pornography and its accompanying internet. Some young men took this opportunity, as I did, to check their email, perhaps do some research on the merits of breast implants vs. natural breasts, and the mating habits of college coeds. Others decided to blatantly waste their time by taking notes and looking at the professor.
One enterprising young lad, who I shall call Billy Bob, rose above the rest. He did not stoop so low as to take notes, nay, nor did he flog the dolphin over the hilarious antics of Dolly Dicksucker and her cadre of Huge Black Cocks. This young man instead navigated the web to a website far superior to all others in the world, possibly even in America. Billy Bob spent the 75 minutes that is one class engaged in rampant and wholesale-two dimensional slaughter. Splashed across his computer monitor was the blood and gore resultant of the violent disassembly of stick figures wielding machine guns and chainsaws. Billy Bob’s own stick figure, strangely reminiscent of his appearance in real life, stalked back and forth across a gray killing field laying waste to hordes of insanely rampaging attackers who, no doubt, wished to take from him his Game Boy.
One might think that mass murder would be enough for an ambitious young fellow like Billy Bob, but this is not the case. Billy Bob did not only feel the need to kill, as he certainly did feel, but he also required witnesses to his carnage. As many witnesses as possible, watching as continuously as possible, were required to satisfy Billy Bob. Every few minutes, Billy Bob would look around to be sure that his audience remained enraptured by his onslaught of black square machine gun bullets. Finding a lack of faces pointed at his screen, Billy Bob would begin to mutter ‘whoa…’ or ‘cool’ until such time as people began to turn to see what it was that was ‘whoa’ and ‘cool.’ Upon realizing that it was only more blood and stick figure limbs, the surrounding geniuses in training would return their attention to the Outdoor Fantasy in Real Life website on their own screen. (The Outdoor Fantasy thing, which involves people in full wizard garb and women wearing lioness costumes, is a story for another day.) This lack of attention was remedied by some elbowing, nudging, and ‘hey, check this out’-ing. And so passed the first meeting of CSC 190, Preprogramming.
Prior to a subsequent meeting of our band of jolly geeks, Billy Bob, another student I shall call Albert, and I had arrived early, and were awaiting the arrival of the professor to unlock the vault-like door to the computer lab. (What sort of world is it in which one cannot trust a room full of expensive computers to a school full of youngsters who only want to learn?) I was standing, in my typically anonymous fashion, in the hallway, listening to the conversation between Albert and Billy Bob. Good old Billy Bob, never one to bore, was requesting the assistance of Albert in reading some electrical diagrams. The purpose of these diagrams? Billy Bob was interested in building a brown box. Such boxes are used in the secret art of phreaking.
Phreaking, for those uninitiated few ignorant to the electronic ambitions of today’s youth, is a method of royally fucking with people via phone lines. This requires a number of skills and a significant amount of knowledge, and can provide the endeavoring young felon with free long distance, anonymous internet access, illicit phone tap capability, and low voltage electrical shocks. Practitioners of phreaking can be found skulking around backyards at night, equipped with a laptop, a poorly constructed box with wires dangling, and a screwdriver. The phreaker approaches the house to be phreaked, and more or less uses the phone lines of the victim to do whatsoever the phreaker pleases. This not only violates several federal laws, but apparently sexually excites young men who are criminally inclined but too stupid to break into the FBI’s computers and too cowardly to hold up 7-11s.
As Billy Bob lacked the required intelligence and skills to break the desired laws, he sought out the assistance of somebody who knew what the fuck they were doing, as is often the way of such wayward young men. In the tradition of 12 year old ‘hackers,’ Billy Bob wanted somebody else to build his toy for him, so he could go about flaunting it and getting free calls to 1-900 numbers, blithely ignorant to the workings of his tool (by which I mean the brown box).
Albert apparently agreed to show Billy Bob how to construct the required components in order to assist Billy Bob in his phreaking. Billy Bob, this young man clad in army surplus camo fatigue pants, combat boots, and a Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt, no doubt has a future as head of the CIA. He looks as if cross dressing would suit him. As for Albert and the rest of us toiling in anonymity, we strive only for the ability to make games such as those enjoyed by our old pal Billy Bob. We’ll leave the phreaking to the phreaks.
(This message sponsored by the Association to Kill the Dirty Hippies in conjunction with the Common Sense Initiative. Please, save America, Kill a Hippie. All acronym-type uses of the word ‘hippy’ are intentional, and the two spellings of hippie/hippy are both valid, as stated by Webster’s Imaginary Dictionary. Bad grammar used within this piece is intentional, and is used to set tone, so please, please, please, please don’t email me with corrections or any of that crap. © 2003 me.)