Read the previous tales here.
By Hallie Cantor
Little Reddit Riding Hood
Once upon a time there was a sweet little teacher's pet whom everyone loved, and whose teachers always wrote A on her papers in red pen. One day Red (as she was called) decided to venture into the dangerous wilderness of the Internet to bring her social studies teacher some extra credit research on current events.
She clicked around for several hours before finding herself on a site she didn't recognize, surrounded by strange and mysterious acronyms: FTFY, TIL, ITT. She posted a comment asking for opinions about Obama's performance as President and immediately saw a helpful comment from the user 3wolfmoon.
"What high karma you have, 3wolfmoon!" Red wrote back. "The better to upvote you with, my dear," he typed.
Then Red posted a link to an article about gun control, and 3wolfmoon left a thoughtful rebuttal. "What convincing rhetoric you have, 3wolfmoon!" she said. "The better to engage you in an intelligent discourse with, my dear," came the response.
Then Red posted her own opinions about drone strikes, and 3wolfmoon commented with a link. "What enticing links you have, 3wolfman," Red added, clicking on the link he had posted. "The better to troll you with, my dear!" he cackled. The link led to a truly upsetting porn video.
Red closed her browser and didn't go on the Internet for the rest of the week.
The Boy Who Yelped Wolf
There once was a boy who would get really bored on Sunday afternoons after he came home from brunch with his friends. To make himself feel better about having gorged himself on maple cream-cheese stuffed French toast, he started leaving negative Yelp reviews about the restaurants he had just visited.
He would spin tales of a confused waitstaff, omitting the fact that he had changed his order from an egg-white omelette to a vegetable frittata and then back to an omelette but now with only egg yolks. He lamented the tiny drinks portions, when in reality the mimosas flowed like water. And perhaps most irresponsibly, he repeatedly claimed that his eggs Benedict were underdone. After a while, other Yelp users began to agree that his reviews were neither Useful, Funny, nor Cool, and they were widely ignored.
As fate would have it, one Sunday the boy actually did have a terrible brunch, full of obnoxious patrons and overpriced bacon. But the more he complained, the more his friends dismissed him. "My eggs really were undercooked this time," he said, "I swear!" But the boy's friends refused to listen, and he had no choice but to return to the awful brunch place the following weekend.
The Emperor's New Instagram Filter
Once upon a time there was a vain young man whose only goal in life was to come across as popular and cool on social media. He would routinely double- and triple-post pictures of himself with attractive women to his Facebook and Twitter, and he made nightly Vines that were wholly uninteresting. Like, just six seconds of his TV screen showing a basketball game. That kind of Vine.
One day, he received a promotional email for a new Instagram filter called Surando. This filter promised to auto-caption photos with an ironic joke that could only be appreciated by those cool enough to "get it." He downloaded the filter immediately and took a quick picture of the turkey sandwich he was about to eat. "Get that #ducktaleswag like Gosling," read the automatic caption.
The vain young man didn't really understand why that was supposed to be funny. Gosling like Ryan Gosling, but also like a baby duck, and Duck Tales was a nostalgic 90s reference...but was the "swag" supposed to be sincere or ironic? And what did it all have to do with his turkey sandwich? Not wanting to seem uncool, though, he posted the photo confidently. It got 27 likes.
Jack and the IMDBeanstalk
Once there was a young boy named Jack who lived with his widowed mother. Jack logged off his computer one day and announced that he had just traded their Netflix subscription for a
"magic" IMDB subscription. "You idiot!" cried his mother. "Only suckers and weirdos pay for IMDB. Now how are we going to watch the new Arrested Development episodes?" "Trust me, mom," said Jack.
He signed on to IMDB that night and made a post in the message boards on the page for HBO's The Newsroom entitled "This show's depiction of women was not AT ALL sexist." By morning, the post had magically sprouted hundreds of angry replies and grown into a lengthy thread. The activity woke a a feminist blogger with a giant online following. Her response post began, "Fee fi fo fum, I'm offended by the roles of Olivia Munn!"
Jack leveraged the controversy surrounding his IMDB thread into appearances on several morning shows. Dozens of supporters mailed him checks to continue his misguided crusade against political correctness. With the money they sent, Jack purchased a new Netflix account AND Hulu Plus.
Goldilocks and the Three Tinder Pictures
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Goldilocks. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her and she had neglected all her friends once she got into a relationship, so she had no one to hang out with. She decided to sign on to Tinder and meet a stranger in her area.
The first guy Goldilocks saw was way too good-looking. He had a jawline like Jon Hamm, a hairline like Patrick Dempsey, and a waistline like Tom Brady. She knew he would never like her picture, and she didn't think she could handle that blow to the ego.
The second guy Goldilocks saw was not at all good-looking enough. He had a jawline like Zach Braff, a hairline like Donald Trump, and a waistline like Danny DeVito. The thought of kissing him made her want to scrub her entire body with sandpaper.
But the third guy Goldilocks saw was just right. He had the jawline, hairline, and waistline of a moderately attractive man in his early twenties. She liked him, they were matched up, and they started messaging.
Just then, the third guy's girlfriend borrowed his phone to look up the correct pronunciation of Joaquin Phoenix. She saw the steamy messages and cried, "Someone's been flirting with MY boyfriend!" The third guy deleted the Tinder app from his phone and when Goldilocks didn't hear from him she signed up for an OKCupid account instead.