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 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 “ 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 include:

“Meeow meeeeeow meeeeeow nap.

Pur pur! 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 base.

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 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 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…
GHSS: Was all your idea?
J!: 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!

Ah, a girlfriend. The real culprit.

GHSS: How’d you come up with it??
J!: 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..
GHSS: Do you use mailpets?
J!: 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 Arf Bone Sarah’s Birthday is on June 29 nap yaaaawn.” That beats a calendar all to hell.

GHSS: How large is the team? What kind of work do u do on the site lately?
J!: The team is about 6'5", 210 lbs..  

Oh, a wise guy, eh?

J!: 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!  

Ladies, the rumors are true. can convince your fellah to tie the knot!

GHSS: 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 a pet?
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.

Well, there you have it, folks. At this point I decided to give up the modern life and go live with the Amish.

The Forum

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 Jade!"

"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?"


Extra Stupid:

"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.)

(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 pain."

"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 writeup:

"Evan knows me the best.
And after I finished liking Evan.
My lifed screwed up."

Node numero dos. 1/9 of the way there, daddy!

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