Uploading the Unbelievable
“Man, you’ve gotta come over and see what’s happened. It is totally mind-blowing!” Jimmy yelled through my cell phone. Currently I was downing a huge slice of plain-cheese pizza at the local pizzeria-Domingo’s on Main Street. My phone rang so I answered just in case of an emergency, but as it was just my ‘lunatic’ friend Jimmy I decided to get back to my serious Zen meditation approach to pizza consumption. “Yeah yeah Jim. Look, whatever it is can wait, I’m conducting some really important research here bro’.” I didn’t give him a chance to reply. Folding up my phone, I shoved it into my pocket and got straight back into reaching pizza enlightenment. Sprinkling some parmesan cheese onto the already super-thick layer of Domingo’s mozzarella, my mind imagined the cheese to be snow falling onto a glacier in Iceland. The red tomato sauce seeping through cracks in the cheese was lava from a recently erupted volcano.
A little while later as I slowly strolled down Main Street savouring the last few drops of sauce that had voraciously clung to the outside of my lips like barnacles to an ancient tugboat, I felt the vibration of my phone in my pants. The reason I didn’t hear the phone ring was because the volume of my iPod was set to an incredible decibel-blasting level that could have caused many an average person to also have volcanoes suddenly spurting lava from their ears. I was listening to Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s song ‘All along the Watchtower’, something that a lower volume would definitely be construed as being sacrilegious by anyone else on planet Earth who had the slightest inkling of what it meant to rock and or roll. I grabbed the phone with a kung fu grip that would have caused the eyes to pop out of a Cane Toad’s head. “Whattaya want ya big stinky wombat pouch!” (I had seen Jimmy’s name pop up on the screen) I yelled into the phone after reluctantly turning down the music-just before arguably the best guitar solo in the history of guitar solos, unfortunately this act of sacrilege couldn’t be diverted from occurring.
Jimmy’s voice was quiet and calm, almost whisper-soft…not like Jimmy at all. I knew something out of the usual must really have come up. “Get your arse over here you petulant Prince of perfumery.” His use of alliteration meant that Jimmy’s mind was focussed, something that happened very rarely and for good reason, since the reality was that whenever Jimmy did focus his mind, it usually ended up with one of us being thrown in the local jail cell for the night-a by-product of some misled adventure that involved either theft, drunkenness, or just general tomfoolery. I wanted to get to the bottom of this case of Whoopass before it tuned into a ‘lost’ box full of blank CDs. “Alright Jimmy, spill your beans. What’s the big scoop that you actually had to become a serious human citizen for the time being?” You see, I liked the normal off-the-walls bouncing ‘Tigger’ Jimmy much more than the cold, calculating, quiet, calm guy on the phone at the moment. Hey is that alliteration too?
Jimmy whispered, “Get your fat arse over here Monkey Boy. They’ve finally done it. They‘ve uploaded onto my website. This is the real thing bro, the big one, the huge Mama, the fart that could choke a hundred Indian families eating curry while celebrating Duwali. I can’t say more man, someone might be listening. Just get over here now.” He hung up the phone.
OK. Now we’re getting somewhere: the key word ‘website’. By the way, the reason I’m often called ‘Monkey Boy’ has nothing to do with bodily appendages, bananas, or the fact that my mother often tells me I have incredibly bad body odour. The simple fact is I’m good at climbing. I don’t want to sound egotistical but if there’s a wall, fence, or tree that needs climbing, I’ll be half way up the sucker before you decide whether or not you’re wearing the right clothes for the job. Anyway, why the sudden fear of being overheard? He must really be serious about this website thing. Now let me see, Jimmy’s got at least five sites that I know about. Which one could he be talkin’ about?
Well there’s his site dedicated to a forum for people who are studying German, I can’t imagine anyone having any intense information to upload there, unless it’s about some deadly new virus only found in super-fat sausages. There’s his blog about the state of affairs in shopping malls, that’s a weird one-don’t know how many other ‘mall analysts’ there are out there. He did tell me that after scientists discovered over 800 types of faecal bacteria on escalator handrails he had gotten over one thousand page views in one week. Hmm. There’s the site he made with the Google Map mash-up that shows the location of every doughnut shop in North America. Jimmy likes doughnuts. He once went to France and ate a chocolate éclair that he said was so good his tastebuds had passed out for the next three days. Bad luck, he didn’t get to rejoice in the majestic flavour of the famous escargot. Mmm, I love the idea of chewing on garden snails. Who would upload anything crucially important onto a site about chocolate-covered sugar dough?
The site about his old Moped club in Laos…The videoblog he’s put up about the daily life of his pet Howling Monkey. (If you do ever check out this site please remember to keep your volume at a very minimal level, it is definitely not sacrilege.) There’s his site with the podcast that he does with his brother in Australia. That’s a pretty cool one. They get on Skype and record their free International conversations for everyone else to check out later. Too bad they spend most of the time talking about football, girls, and cars. I guess you’d expect that from a site called ‘Macho Couch Potato’. None of these sites gave me even the remotest feeling of being a place where someone might want to export their vital information to share.
After pushing open the back gate of Jimmy’s townhouse and then opening the sliding door to his kitchen my eyes quickly scanned over the poster on the wall. The poster was of an alien smoking some marijuana and the title read, ‘This stuff is outta this world.’ That’s when it hit me-the insight, not the marijuana. I’ve been staying away from that stuff since last time I tried it, it had caused me to break both Domingo’s pizza slice eating competition record (37 slices), as well as subsequently nearly breaking my anus as the avalanche of ensuing cheese came tumbling ‘down the mountain’. The fact that I could hardly open my eyes throughout the whole experience, and had thought that a red dragon was following me home also put a damper on the whole ‘I am the champion’ scenario.
The alien. That must be it. Jimmy had in a moment of random clarity once spoken of a ‘secret’ website that he had set up to contact beings from other worlds. He’d said that on the outside it looked just like any other UFO-watching site, but within his code and page text he had submerged messages for interstellar travellers. Now I was starting to feel quite a strange sensation in my gut. I’ve never seen an alien and I always laugh at the science-fiction buffs that are so sure of themselves, but I’ve never discounted the prospect that our Sun isn’t the only giant fireball in the Universe that creates life.
My thoughts were broken by two cold hard blue eyes staring at me from the bottom of the stairs. “Alright Monkey Boy. Get ready for the ride of your life. I hope you’re wearing undies ‘cause you may just revisit the Domingo’s championship experience.” He turned and we slowly walked up the stairs to his study. Sitting down in front of his laptop he clicked the mouse button. The screen came to life. It was a video created on QuickTime Pro. I wondered where these aliens bought their computers. Then a face like no other came onto the screen. If I tried to describe the strange features on this creature’s face (if you could call it that) I’d probably have to rip my tongue in half. OK, this is what the creature said in plain everyday English, its voice was actually clearer than my next door neighbours’ (Old Man Johnson’s voice actually sounded like he had had half his tongue removed-he was a chain smoker whose chain was soon going to lose the ‘fatal’ link).
“We have come from planet Zepton to share with you a new way to connect with others from the Milky Way galaxy. Now that you have evolved further by connecting your species via Internet technology, you are able to be admitted into the Online Galactic Yellow Pages. Subscription costs are 10 billion energy credits. Become one of the ‘known’ planets, join the Yellow Pages.”
“It’s an advertisement Jimmy.” Yes Monkey Boy, it’s an advertisement.