Scr00ge: Alright, let’s just log on-line quick… see what the internets are up to. Oooo, a n00b. TinyTim1337? OMG, this guy is an uber n00b! And going by his profile a total fanboy! I know just the way to welcome him… *begins typing furiously* Wait, backspace… ALL CAPS. *continues typing furiously* And send! Ahh, I just wish I could see his face… Or her… eh, who am I kidding, there’s no girls on the internet!
(Intro: I’m sure you’re all familiar with Charles Dickins’ A Christmas Carol. It’s the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge changed from being cruel and heartless to kind and compassionate. But in this age of technology, does the old tale still stand? Perhaps it is in need of a reimagining. “An Internet Carol”.)
Ghost of Internet Past: *dial-up connection sounds*
Scr00ge: Whe-where is that sound coming from?
Past: *finishes connecting* You’ve got Spirit!
Scr00ge: What? Who’re you? And how did you get into my house?
Past: I am the Ghost of Internet Past, Scr00ge, and I’m here to show you the error of your ways.
Scr00ge: Yeah, you do that. I’ll just call the police and…
Past: I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.
Scr00ge: Why not?
Past: Well, for one thing, I’m using dial-up. Now come along, there’s much to see- *reaches for Scr00ge, freezes awkwardly* e-e-e…
Scr00ge: Umm, what’s going on?
Past: I’…m… just…ha..vi..ng…tro..ub…le…loa…d…ing. J…ust a… m…ome…nt *”scene change”?* Here we are, do you recognize this room?
Scr00ge: Yeah, this is my room when I was a kid! There’s my N64, and my Zelda posters, and my Pokemon bed sheets… I was really into Nintendo.
Past: That’s what it says on your floppy disc. And there you are, at the computer.
Scr00ge: But… I look sad. Wait, let me look at this screen… The Mobius Forum? Oh yeah, that was the first message board I joined! Those guys were jerks!
Past: Well, you were a young, energetic Mario fan on a Sonic the Hedgehog message board in the 90’s. What did you expect?
Scr00ge: Well, I didn’t know what to expect. Besides, I made some friends.
Past: According to the floppy, you only had one account on your Mobius Forum friends list. And we both know how that turned out.
Scr00ge: What do you mean?
Past: Well you met that girl who liked Mario and Sonic, and you became good friends.
Scr00ge: Her username was Belle-sprout, right? ‘Cause her name was Belle, and there’s Bellsprout the Pokemon and…
Past: Yes, I understand. But it didn’t last of course. Soon you found 4chan… and after that it was nothing but memes, and bad jokes and… images. And Belle didn’t want to be friends with you, and soon the moderators grew tired of your behavior and you were…
Scr00ge: OK, that’s enough out of you! *grabs cord*
Past: What are you doing?
Scr00ge: Terminating your connection! *pulls phone line out of Spirit*
Scr00ge: Ahh, back in my room. Alone.
Ghost of Internet Present: *Bing!* O RLY?
Scr00ge: Who was that? *glances up from screen* Oh great, another one. Are you the Ghost of Internet Present?
Present: I 4M T3H 1337 H4X0R!
Scr00ge: I’ll take that as a yes.
Present: *reading on iPad* K, teh Wiki page on you sayz u liek mudkipz… *pauses with strange expression*
Scr00ge: … What?!
Present: No, wait CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE JUST WON A FREE… no, that’s wrong too, Ah! I haz to teach you the error of your ways. K!
Scr00ge: You know, Wikipedia isn’t always that accurate.
Present: ROFLMAO! Teh Wiki is always right. Even when it says it isn’t. Let’s go! *grabs Scr00ge and warps* This is room of n00b you troll earlier.
Scr00ge: He’s just a kid!
Present: Yeah, that Tim Cratchit is a pretty poor guy. Eh barely has dial-up and doesn’t know about teh interwebz.
Scr00ge: Then this is gonna be awesome! Watch, this kid’s about to get pwnd.
Tim: Ooo, a message from one of the older members! Wow, new Sonic game footage! *clicks link*
Video: *singing* “Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down!”
Tim: Thi-this isn’t Sonic…
Scr00ge: What… a… n00b! *bursts into laughter* RickRoll’d!
Tim: …it’s kinda catchy. “Never Gonna Give You Up.”, by Rick Astley. Cool.
Scr00ge: FAIL. He doesn’t get it!
Present: NO U. If things keep happening like this, he’ll be headed for an EPIC FAIL. And, well, I’ll let my friend finish. KTHNXBAI!
Scr00ge: Wait! What friend?
Ghost of Internet Future: *appears*
Scr00ge: L-l-let me guess. The Ghost of Internet Future? W-what are you going to show me… I mean, It’s not like I’m gonna die…
Scr00ge: I’m gonna die?! Because of the internet?! Isn’t that a little extreme?!
Future: *waves hand in dramatic fashion*
Scr00ge: Wait, aren’t those… the guys who run the message board I go to?
Mod1: Too bad the new guy got banned so quickly.
Mod2: Yeah, he seemed like a nice kid in his intro. He just fell in with the bad crowd I guess.
Mod1: Maybe he’ll come back one day, after he’s wizened up.
Mod2: Hopefully, but I don’t see that happening.
Mod1: But look on the bright side, at least that troll is gone.
Mod2: Yeah, I’m glad they figured out a way to completely ban people from the internet.
Scr00ge: Sp-spirit, who are they talking about? Who got banned?
Future: *dramatic hand wave*
Scr00ge: TinyTim1337 and… Scr00ge?! No, I can’t get banned from the internet! That’s impossible. And, as sad as it sounds, the internet is my life! Spirit, is there any way to stop this from happening? You wouldn’t show me this if I couldn’t change it would you?
Future: *final handmotion to signal disappearing*
Scr00ge: Wait! I’m… I’m back in my room. Quickly! I need to set this right! Good, he’s on! *typing furiously* Dear TinyTim1337, Sorry about RickRolling you. I wasn’t quite thinking straight and decided to pick on a new guy.
Tim: That’s okay. The other members said you were a troll, but you seem pretty nice.
Scr00ge: Well, I have been a jerk in the past. But I just had an interesting night, to say the least, and I’ve decided to change my ways.
Tim: That’s great! I’ve been looking for someone to teach me about all the different internet jokes and sayings.
Scr00ge: Then I’ll be your mentor till the day my connection dies!
Tim: And God bless us, everyone!
Scr00ge: What was that for?
Tim: It just seemed to fit.
Scrooge: That it does; that it does.