About this story:
You are reading a dynamic short fiction. You are invited to participate however you'd like. Thanks for your time. If you're interested in more work like this, please check out the Writing page on my site, shawnrider.com.
last contribution: 01/19/17 10:29 pm
Click here to clean the pool.
by Shawn Rider
November 15, 2005
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After the success of his RADDSTURR book, Morton found it difficult to invest himself in another research topic. The book deal secured his tenure and he began to become the academic he never wanted to be. A year ago he had received a few calls from cable news shows interested in having him comment on the conviction of RADDSTURR founder Berkeley Knudsen. He floundered to answer the inevitable questions about his current research on the first couple of appearances, and began to turn down offers after that.
The experiences a year ago had caused him to rethink his work, and he eventually decided to return to SyntaXX. A lot had changed. Most who wants to add chlorineof the old users were gone. The place felt to him a lot like Vegas in the late 1990s, all the edginess blunted by a newfound user-friendliness and encapsulated into a big virtual wink.
It was this changeover in older web communities that interested him these days. He had been researching the "pee in the pool" trend, or "PiTP" as it was often called. In the era of swarms and tags and keywords, a clever group like SyntaXX could spark brushfires of participatory pranksterism. It started out as a way to prank photo pools on a social image-sharing website. Pranksters took photos that fit the guidelines of the group, but made sure to I don't get it.color them as yellow as possible. If enough users uploaded yellow images, the pool would soon see a spread of yellow tones, creating thumbnail pages that looked as if a paint bucket had been spilled over some of the photos, or, in less elegant terms, like "pee in the pool."
Targeted pools could be identified because participants would tag their images with the very specific and odd "PiTP," which allowed a disparate group to work effectively across great distances. It grew far beyond SyntaXX, as their most successful prank movements often did, and soon beyond the image-sharing website. Yellow became emblematic of the digital prankster, and the notion of sabotaging something while following torn punch cards, torn and multilated, a delicious stewthe set forth guidelines had a quality of rebellion to it that made Morton feel things he hadn't for a long time.
But on this day, Morton pulled up the listing of posts on SyntaXX and saw the familiar "on fire" icon next to the thread about the PiTP questionnaire he had posted the week before. There were a half-dozen responses, a couple of which were comments on the previous posts mostly irrelevant to his research. Buried in the new replies was a posting that sounded completely familiar when he began to read it. But it wasn't until he read the following post that it occurred to him:
"Holy SHIT! Numero!! WTF?!? where looseu been???"
There was a knock on his office door. Morton looked up from his computer and called for the knocker to enter. Two men in suits stepped into his office. Morton clicked his browser window closed.
"What can I do for you?" he smiled.
"OK. Doctor." The short one spoke. He wasn't much shorter than the other. They looked very similar.
"We're here to ask you some questions." They flashed their identification. The taller one placed an envelope on the desk in front of Morton.
"This is the formal written complaint."
Morton opened the envelope and scanned through the pages enclosed.
"What are you talking about? Formal complaint?"
"This is a test. This is only a test.Your research, sir. You have written about RADDSTURR in your books?"
"That's right. There's nothing illegal about that."
"Except for the fact that you divulged information and materials protected by federal law."
The two agents looked at each other, obviously amused.
"I would have thought that a smart fella like you would have been aware of the restrictions we have in place on revealing patented secrets and concepts."
They moved to the sides of Morton's desk.
"I'm afraid you need to go with my partner to fill out some forms."
"Am I being arrested?"
"Only if you don't want to come with us."
Morton left quietly with the agents.
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