Have you ever been out for a night on the lash (britishism - to get drunk) , only to discover that while getting ratfaced (britishism - to be drunk) , you were so off your tits (britishism - to be drunk) , you have attracted all sorts of scum, who now want your telephone number, e-mail address, address, bra- and shoe size, your past three residences, your car licence plate and national insurance number?

Well, it must happen quite a lot, because in New York, some joker set up the reject line - the idea is quite ingenious: it is a telephone answering machine which has a rejection message recorded on it. The idea is that instead of giving out their real telephone number, girls (and guys, but far less frequently, as I am not aware of any guys who don't like getting hit on) can give out the number to the rejection line. When the hopeful guy calls three days later (to not seem too eager etc, see sex in the city for a full run-down of the politics of New York dating - it is far beyond the scope of this writeup), he gets rejected via answerphone message. Isn't that cool?

In this modern day and age, of course, answerphone messages are so early 1990s. Nowadays, people want your MSN, your AIM, your ICQ, your... insert any suitable TLA here - but you are expected not only to have an e-mail address, but also to give it out to people. Which is where papernapkin.net comes in.

When you send an e-mail to anything@papernapkin.net (or anything@paamail.com - if you want to be slightly less obvious about it - imagine the embarassment of giving someone who has read this writeup an @papernapkin.net address), an e-mail is automatically sent back, with a rejection note. The note is rather long, but not actually all that mean.

They do, however, post some of the e-mails to the web site (www.papernapkin.net), which is when the real hillarity ensues. Some of them are rather heartbreaking, but for others, you just think "OMG TEH MORON2K!!111!!" (well, some of you may think that. Others may think "oh my, what a distinctly uneloquent yet overtly desperate young gentleman must have written this".)

The rejection letter itself starts like this:

Subject: Nice to hear from you

Ha ha, just kidding. Actually, this is a rejection letter. The person who gave you this email address does not want to have anything to do with you.

This is probably bad news, and many people cope with bad news in phases: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Of course, the rejection note then moves on to debunking all those phases, to really ram the message home. An item of sheer brilliance.

All in all, the site is worth a visit, for a gigggle, and who knows? You may just need to give out your address to someone. Oh, and if you have any complaints about this writeup, send them to sharq@paamail.com, please ;)

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