It is quite possible that I would not be so cynical if the world would stop
giving me perfectly valid reasons for being so.
What follows is one of those reasons.
DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible, and cannot be held accountable, for any nausea,
depression, or complete and total loss of faith in humanity that may result
from the content of this node. Don't kill the messenger. And, for the sake
of whatever god you may or may not believe in, Read At Your Own Risk!
This shocking exposé has been a year and a half in the coming because, as
the Slovakian exchange student who spent a year at my high school once put it,
'I am suck.' And after uncovering this threat to humanity, I made an executive decision to let it marinate for awhile before
warning the general public.
Basically, what mailpets.com does is allow you to set up an email account
in Fido’s name, including such details as breed, gender, birthday, favorite
color, and, most chillingly, subsistence status. This allows certain members to
register dead pets, which strikes me as roughly the virtual equivalent of The
Great Mittens Taxidermy Project of ’82.
Anyway, after you register (and fill out your pet’s profile!), the
website quickly begins to generate messages from Mittens, and send them at
intervals to your regular email account. Their motto is “MailPets.com: Friend
Who Write Back!” This implies that the members of this absolute travesty of
a website have other friends, who do not write back. But I suppose
that’s a fairly safe assumption.
Some of the gems that showed up in my inbox following my brush with MailPets
Meeeeeow yawn milk! Meow rawr mao, mao meeow raawwr yawn purrrr fidoo! Milk!
Meeow pur catnip!
(Ah. It appears that the
pets have adopted Josh!’s approach to signing their emails).
And then there’s the truly mystifying:
“Prrrrrow? Rawr mew mew
meow meow meow Snapple tsk tsk tsk!
Cya in Dallas!”
Other features include sending messages as your pet (“Have to email that
paper to your Social Sciences prof? Let Spot do it for you!”). These
messages come with your regular email address already filled in, so if you’re
really desperate for an email, you decide exactly what you need to hear from
Spot. I tested this one out by googling erotica,
and lifting a few paragraphs from the first page that came up.
The story was entitled “Squeeze Inn 2:
The Biker Babe.”
Below is Mittens’ translation:
“Purrrr hiss mao mao
screetch, raawwr yawn meeow meeeeeow meeow Cookie's laser pointer. Pur pur mew
mew hiss meeeeeow yawn purrrr fidoo. Yawn yawn screetch milk. Pur pur milk. Meow
mao mao pur purrrr mew, mew rawr mew mew mao mao. Meow raawwr psssst meow meow
meow Roni...Cookie moaned...please purrrr. Purrrr pur meow dogs.
Mew mew 2 tsk, tsk tsk meow meow pur pur mew mew dogs. Rawr screetch tsk tsk tsk
meow, pur tsk tsk tsk. Pur pur purrrr meow psssst meeeeeow meow pur purrrr yawn
screetch mao mao screetch meeow mew mew meow meow meow meow Cookies hiss nap.”
Oh, yeah, baby. Mmmm. Yeah. That’s so good.
In an effort to uncover the ugly truth about this cruel, tragic website, I
went undercover. Posing as a slightly geeky high-school student (considering
that I’m now a totally chill college kid, it was
a persona that required every ounce of my acting
ability, I assure you), I fired off an interview request in the direction of
'Josh,' or The Creator of MailPets. He refers to himself as ‘Josh!’ and
assures me that the exclamation point is crucial for connecting with his fan
And this, my friends, is what I found out.
(All very, very sic)
Geeky High School Student (GHSS): Hi there!! Im
going to be writing an article on mailpets.com for my school paper, and they
said I needed to do an interview so I wanted to do one on you. 1st
question. How many people does mailpets.com have now, and is it growing?
Josh! (J!): Looks like 2000 members with about 3600 pets, and it's getting
about 15 new members a day right now, which is more than before…
Was mailpets.com all your idea?
Pretty much! I came up with the idea of giving our dog Salt an email address you
could send to and he'd reply with gibberish. I did that and then my girlfriend
thought it was sort of cool and I should let anybody do it!
girlfriend. The real culprit.
How’d you come up with it??
I think the idea of giving Salt an email address was somehow related to some
conversation I was having with my girlfriend about how people treat their pets
so much like a real family member or something like that..
Do you use mailpets?
Nah, I really just like developing. Well, I use the reminders actually for
Salt's grooming, heartworm pills, some people's birthdays and things like that!
Arf Bone Sarah’s Birthday is on June 29 nap yaaaawn.” That beats a calendar
all to hell.
GHSS: How large is the mailpets.com team? What kind
of work do u do on the site lately?
J!: The team is about
6'5", 210 lbs..
wise guy, eh?
Every once in a while I develop a new feature. I've been meaning to do more
faster but I just sold a house, moved, and am getting married to that
girlfriend in April!
the rumors are true. MailPets.com can convince your fellah to tie the knot!
What additions are you going to make in the future? New directions?
J!: The next
feature I'm working on right now is just a simple pet search, but I plan to add
pet "blogs", a pet-to-pet instant messaging service, a friendster
like thing, maybe even a family tree, and possibly somewhere down the line even
games or some kind of silly multi-player web-based game or something. We'll see!
GHSS: What do you think is the main appeal of mailpets? I noticed
one of the options was to make an account for a dead pet. Do you think people
use this site to assuage the pain that comes from losing
J!: Yeah, I think
some people do like that. And it sort of provides a "diary" thing too I think.. they can write private stuff
to their pets and get it off their chest.
there you have it, folks. At this point I decided to
give up the modern life and go live with the Amish.
And I thought that was the extent of it. But further
horrors awaited me in the final section of the site (creatively named 'The
MailPets Forum'). Whoa. And it's available in both English and 'pet
languages,' for the hopelessly addicted. There's really no way of expressing the horror I felt, so I've decided instead to
include some quotes. The forum breaks down into two basic categories: Stupid,
and Extra Stupid. The 'Stupid' category includes the novice RPers,
communicating through some of the worst fiction I have ever had the good fortune
to run across. The 'Extra Stupid' category was created specifically to give all
the angsty pseudo-philosophical teens a place to describe the indescribable
misery that is their daily existence. Also sic.
":) Don't forget you're not the only labrador family on here. There's us, the Wolfspikes!
Me, Dogdin, Bark, Canid, Natasha, Pepsi and Puppi!"
"*She comes running, as fast as her legs can take her, through the
grasses. She ahd escaped, finally, and brought ehr pups with her. She could, very vaguely, see her
brother, and she sped up, her paws achng. Stones and pebbles flying from her feet, she neared him, and finally skidded to a stop in front of him. She caught her breath. It was great to be back together.* "Seeker! Seeker, it's me. It's
"His eyes open wider. This strange fae. He stretched out his neck to scent ehr nose. By golly, it was a
familiar scent. Suddenly, realization flooded him. It was her, Jade, his very own
blood sister. His tail wagged in circles. "Jade? Oh my gosh, how'd you egt out? Where are Minnie, Lola and Trinity?"
"i would like werewolves. but hey, noone listens to me. Well, non listeners,
you will work for me someday!!"
"So. Fucking Bored."
(With at least three inches of white space between each word.)
"Um. Why are all my guy friends etheir being jerks or leaving me? :'("
(Ah. One of the tough ones.)
"IM LK KEWL!"
(What does it mean??)
And, my personal favorite. This one is an entire
conversation. Sort of.
"I want my dogs dead. They are stupid, horrible killers! I thought they would never even
hurt a fly! I hate them. They tortured a possum last night. They bit holes in it and paralyzed its back legs. And one of them shook a bandicoot, and bit it, and it died. I hope they rot in hell!
Stupid, stupid, stupid things! Mums worried they might do the same to the cats. I swear, if they do that to my cats, or any other wildlife animal, I am going to strange them! And I'll whack them with something very hard which will cause much
"Ah. Cats kill things too. They kill mice and rats and rabbits, andf killing is anatural instinct. And, anyway, you can't say humans never kill. People don't always kill for food, sometimes for
money and clothes, they don't need.You shouldn't blame your dogs."
"I'm stuck between decisions. I mean, possums are ugly and that, but the doggies shouldn't have MURDERED it! I hate dogs, because one bit Lil' Mog's (one of my cats)tail off. He had to go to the vet. Oh, people laugh at him. And what's more we're getting a dog in eight days...oh someone help me. I think Rhodesian Ridgebacks eat cats.."
And finally, unavoidably, some poetry to round off the
"Evan knows me the best.
And after I finished liking Evan.
My lifed screwed up."
Node numero dos. 1/9 of the way