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Internet Fairy Tales
The Three Little Friend Requests Once upon a time, there was a little pig with very lax Facebook security settings whose mother sent her a friend request. “Let me in, let me in,” said her mother, and the pig said, “Not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin.” Her mother said, “I told you we could go get those waxed at my salon if you want. Now let me in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll get your brother to help me change the wi-fi password.” The pig ignored the request and ran to Starbucks to use the free wi-fi to change her name on Facebook. Her mother texted her and said, “Let me in, let me in, or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll stop going grocery shopping and then you can find out how good you are at feeding yourself without my cooking.” Fed up, the pig blocked her mother and made herself unsearchable on Facebook. “Let me in!” cried her mother on the phone, “Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll kick you out of this house, young lady, because if you don’t want me in your life why don’t you just see if your father and his new girlfriend will let you live with THEM rent free!” And so the pig added her mother on Limited Profile. Rumpltweetskin Once upon a time, a young miller’s daughter was trying to impress her boss, so she butted into a boring conversation he was having in the break room about Twitter. “I love Twitter!” she said. “Rob Delaney Favorited one of my Tweets the other day.” And the boss said, “Oh, great, you can start doing all of our public outreach!” and locked her in the conference room until she turned all of the company’s Twitter page into a sharply funny, on-brand, cross-platform marketing tool. The young miller’s daughter was distraught, for of course she couldn’t even send a direct message. Suddenly, the short guy from Accounting appeared in the conference room. “I can help you spin those pathetic Tweets into a golden Twitter page,” he promised. He worked all night, crafting youthful messages and shortening links to promotional contests. “Now I shall have your first-born child, unless you can guess my gmail password,” the guy from Accounting said. The young miller’s daughter thought this was pretty messed-up, but whatever. She guessed his mother’s maiden name, and he said no. Then she guessed the sport he played in middle school plus the last two digits of his birth year, and he said no. Then she guessed his first name, and he said yes, and she said, “Really?” and he got embarrassed and went back to the Accounting desk cluster. Beauty and the OkCupid Date Belle was the loveliest, brightest girl in her entire Google circle. One day, she followed her best friend into the dark, mysterious woods of OkCupid, in an effort to show her that online dating is a perfectly average thing to do and everyone else also feels weird about it and simultaneously superior to it. Alas, on her first date with a hideous and frightfully hairy OKCupid user, Belle found herself held hostage by the knowledge that they clearly weren’t into each other but were each too polite to end the date early. Little did Belle know that from birth, her OkCupid date had been cursed with cripplingly low self-esteem, and only if she publicly declared her love by deleting her OkCupid account would he transform into a functional human being who could leave the house without being assured multiple times that his feet didn’t look too fat in those shoes. When he returned from the bathroom and saw Belle in his living room, he flew into a rage. “I told you never to enter the West Wing!” he snarled. “It’s already on the DVR. You don’t need to enter it in. It’s my favorite show.” Belle also really liked the West Wing, so they watched a few episodes, and Belle realized that the OkCupid date looked a little like a hairy Bradley Whitford. They started dating, and over time the OkCupid date transformed into a strong, confident man. Then a few months later, they got bored of each other and broke up. Snow White and the Seven LinkedIn Connections Every afternoon after AP Bio, the prom queen logged onto her Facebook page and asked it, “Who has the fairest profile picture of them all?” And her Facebook responded, “You, my Queen, have the most comments saying ‘I love this pic’ and ‘omg you are gorgous.’” But one day, it added, “There is another who will overtake you. Snow White has almost 40 likes on her profile picture.” Enraged, the Queen cajoled the fencing club president to fake-ask-out Snow White that night over AIM. But Snow White charmed him with some solid AIM flirting, and so he warned her of the Queen’s plot. Snow White quickly deleted her Facebook and fled to a LinkedIn account, where she made seven professional connections. One was happy, one sneezy, one bashful, one dopey, one sleepy, one grumpy, and one was a doctor, but Snow White didn’t know any of these things because LinkedIn isn’t a useful way to socialize or connect with people. The Queen, still dedicated to taking down Snow White, made a fake LinkedIn of her own and sent Snow White a link promising 50% off a new Apple computer. When the lovely maiden clicked it, however, her computer fell into a deep frozen state. Only the cute guy at the genius bar could restore it, and he and Snow White stayed “In a Relationship” without going on any real-world dates for several weeks. Hansel and Gretel Visit Wikipedia After Hansel and Gretel’s parents got divorced, their father married a perfectly nice woman who had no particular interest in raising his children for him. One day, wanting some alone time with their father, she sent Hansel and Gretel down to the basement computer to look things up on Wikipedia, telling them not to come upstairs until they had learned how many of every type of tree grows in the largest forest in the capital of the most densely-populated province in Canada. The complicated problem required travel through many Wikipedia pages, and Gretel worried that they would not be able to remember their results. Hansel reassured her that they could simply retrace their steps with the back button. Little did he know that their father had set the computer to automatically delete its Internet history. Before long, Hansel and Gretel were hopelessly lost, wandering through Wikipedia entries from the Tiananmen Square Massacre to Soul Asylum bass player Karl Mueller. Just then, they encountered a pop-up ad covered in images of gumdrops and gingerbread. Hansel clicked it and porn videos filled the screen. Shocked and confused, Hansel and Gretel ran upstairs, where they saw their father and stepmom having sex on the kitchen floor. They stayed at their mom’s house most weekends after that. Tumblrella Cinderella lived in the tiniest room of a tiny three-bedroom apartment. Because she was the last to move in, her Craigslist roommates charged her extra rent and made Cinderella buy all the toilet paper and kill the cockroaches while they sat on the couch and planned their future weddings on Pinterest. Cinderella’s sole source of happiness was her Tumblr, on which she would post David Foster Wallace quotations and lengthy text posts about life as a single female writer in New York. One night, Cinderella ventured out of the apartment for a Tumblr meetup at a dimly-lit bar, where she was overjoyed to meet a handsome young man with all the same interests. The man was entranced by Cinderella, and the two talked for hours. But just as Cinderella went to put her number in his iPhone, she received a passive-aggressive text message from her roommate about cleaning the dishes in the sink. Cinderella fled, leaving behind only a nametag on which was written the URL of her blog, FranzenAndFranzia.tumblr.com. The next morning, the man from the bar traveled to every apartment near the bar, asking residents to show him their blogs. But none matched the nametag. Finally, he came upon Cinderella’s apartment. She opened Tumblr, and he saw that she was the woman he had met. Then she closed the tab, revealing a Recently Watched Netflix page that included 27 Dresses and Morning Glory, and he made an excuse and left.