I think it was a Wednesday night when I finished my Masterpiece.
It was a beauty of a node — just the right length, with simple yet elegant formatting... It revolved around an interesting subject, described with full, eloquent sentences and some quirky turns of phrase to keep readers on their collective toes. It hinted at the motives behind its own creation, but left any conclusions to the reader.
I had only to find The Perfect Title. A nodeshell, hopefully; a blank electronic canvas on which to paint my chef d'œuvre. It must be eye-catching. It must pique the curiosity of all who notice it. It must compel the chatterbox-dwellers to spend their valuable time poring over my words.
What title shall promulgate my precious node-to-be to the masses? What nodeshell deserves — nay, could have the honor of containing my soul, my very being?
It took time, but I discovered it. The perfect title for the perfect node... It was a match made in heaven.
But such a glorious node deserves its own day. Could I bring myself to disgrace my own work by posting it at the end of the day? Surely not — my magnum opus merits no less than to be the first out of the gates. I debated postponing its birth until Everything's own anniversary, but I cannot keep such a glorious node to myself; I must let the world enjoy my creation.
I have the Statistics nodelet on as I peruse Everything. It's way at the bottom, though — Chatterbox, Personal Links, Epicenter, New Writeups, and then Statistics. I'm only interested in myself, though, so I only have the "Yours" part of the Statistics nodelet expanded.
Stuck at the bottom of each pageload, I don't look at it much. It's just a bunch of numbers, anyway, and I only understand about half of them, so why bother keeping a close eye on it? Especially those numbers under the "E2" section — they don't even change that often. I mean, that number by "hits" has been in the 200-million range as long as I've been here. And what's this about "firmlinks"? I don't even know what that means.
Today, however, was different. Today was to be the birth of my node-child, the crowning point in my life when my writeup would watch the sun rise over Everything for the first time.
Midnight approached and I readied my blessed node. My pipelinks were in place; my grammar had been double- and triple-checked; it had been copied-and-pasted into the textarea where it would spend its grand life. All that stood between now and its birth was that midwife of immortality, the "submit" button.
As the clock struck midnight, I watched the "writeupstoday" count roll over to 0. It was time! Just a click, and my masterpiece would be ready for the world's eyes!
What a wonderful event today was! It would surely be remembered for ages to come. I imagined, years from now, Everything's old hats fondly looking back on today, wondering how they ever got by before reading my —
Klaproth says I ate your writeup meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles FUNGUS FUNGUS. Everything is not the place for bad writing nor for empty witticisms. Try putting some time and effort into your work before you post it here. Maybe you should think about getting a mentor.
There must be some sort of mistake.
Is this someone's idea of a sick joke?
Are the E2 editors using their God-given power to further their own sinister personal agendas?
No. Something's not right here. Maybe the database hiccoughed, or the server's hard drive got corrupted and accidentally set the "deleted" boolean to TRUE. I turn to the chatterbox, with an appeal for the Powers That Be to help fix this horrible mistake —
<some god> If your node was eaten, it was eaten for a reason. Don't complain about it in the catbox.
<some editor> my dead grandmother writes better nodes
<some other god> Are you serious, interrobang? That was a mercy killing. You're welcome.
<some other editor> seriously, IB, if you're gonna type the same sentence over and over again, at least have the decency not to stick it all in a PRE tag.
EDB has eaten interrobang. URRP. Bad noders taste good!
— it was no mistake! My writeup had actually been deemed Not Worthy... how could this be? Who could regard the words of my heart and soul to be unfit for union with Everything? Who could have so cold and black a heart necessary to massacre my monument to the Art of Noding?
Perhaps the editor was having a bad day. I can understand the need to vent. Perhaps my node-killer hit the button by accident? Surely he or she could not have had the time to read every carefully-constructed word of my intricate writeup, and then to muse over the many personal, societal and moral quandaries my node presented and addressed, and then to judge it — stamping it with the scarlet M of "marked for destruction"? I couldn't bring myself to believe it.
Wha — what's this? Only fifteen minutes into the day, the birthday and deathday of my prized writeup, and already Everything has grown by nine writeups? Why, the idea's preposterous. If not a place in the world of Everything, surely my node deserves at least a day of silence? Who dares to violate the sanctity of life itself, and the divine power of death by submitting their own miserable, deplorable writeups? Why, the very idea's unthinkable!
Foul temptress, you have deceived me for the last time! Your empty promises of literary recognition and peer review shall fool me no longer! Everything is supposed to be quiet after a massacre!
An unchallenged nodeshell challenge from your friend and mine, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.