Internet Friend Gradually Getting Creepier

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Vol 36 Issue 33

Slow-Motion Woman Emerges Glistening From Pool

LOS ANGELES–An unidentified woman in her early 20s emerged from a large, backlit swimming pool at approximately one-third normal speed Monday. According to witnesses, the woman, accompanied by sultry saxophone music, began emerging from the pool at sunset with incandescent pool lights highlighting the droplets of water running down her lithe frame. Upon exiting, the woman reportedly closed her eyes and slowly leaned her head back in preparation for toweling-off procedures.

Everything You Worked So Hard For Lying in Splinters At Your Feet

DURHAM, NC–According to a Duke University report released Monday, all of your hopes and dreams are no more than splinters at your feet, swept away by the uncaring wind. "All that you labored to make a reality, all that you saved and sacrificed for, these are but ashes and dust," said Duke sociologist Dr. Edgar Pratt following the collapse. "Not even history will remember these toils and endeavors, for the world never knew nor cared to know of the struggle behind them."

New Hyundai Owner Sort Of Brags About it To Co-Workers

LODI, OH–Days after buying a brand-new 2001 Hyundai Excel, accountant Dale Grich kind of half-lorded the acquisition over his moderately impressed coworkers Monday. "If we're going to Chi-Chi's, I can fit three of us," said Grich during discussion of a lunch outing. "Got the new Hyundai and all." Upon laying eyes upon the reliable, sensibly priced vehicle, co-worker Al Arnot emitted a low, descending whistle to indicate his being semi-wowed.

William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior

NEW YORK–Stopping for lunch at a Manhattan Burger King, New York Times 'On Language' columnist William Safire ordered two "Whoppers Junior" Monday. "A majority of Burger King patrons operate under the fallacious assumption that the plural is 'Whopper Juniors,'" Safire told a woman standing in line behind him. "This, of course, is a grievous grammatical blunder, akin to saying 'passerbys' or, worse yet, the dreaded 'attorney generals.'" Last week, Safire patronized a midtown Taco Bell, ordering "two Big Beef Burritos Supreme."

Media Suffering Through Record Normal Temperatures

KNOXVILLE, TN–Across the U.S., the news media are coping with another week of cripplingly typical temperatures. "It's awful," said Jim Moore, editor of The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "We'd love to run a good lead like 'Dozens Dead In Brutal Heat Wave,' but the temperatures have left us with nothing." Tom Pierre, news director of Fox affiliate KABB-TV in San Antonio, was equally distraught. "Yesterday, it was a pleasant 73 degrees," Pierre said. "How is a 92-year-old widow supposed to tragically perish in an unventilated tenement apartment with weather like that?"

I'm Pretty Sure I'm Not The Fishing-Tackle Serial Killer

Well, I see by the TV that the Fishing-Tackle Serial Killer has struck again. Apparently, this time, he used a spin-casting technique to lay a treble-hook muskie lure right across the path of Brent Parks, a waterskiing tourist from down Illinois way. Ripped the poor feller's throat right open, they say, before the 50-pound test line drug him under. Funny thing is, they found Parks less than a half mile from my shack on Fence Lake, just like all the others. I say it's almost certainly a coincidence, though: I'm almost positive I'm not the Fishing-Tackle Serial Killer.

Bobby Knight Through The Years

Fired Sept. 10, Bobby Knight has been involved in his share of incidents during his 30 years as Indiana University basketball coach. Among the highlights:

Washington vs. Hollywood

In recent weeks, both George W. Bush and Al Gore have stepped up their attacks against the entertainment industry for marketing violent and sexual content to young people. What do you think?

My Moroccan Neighbors Won't Stop Their Damn Ululating

Well, there goes the neighborhood. Last week, the moving van pulls up to the Petersens' old house and--yup, you guessed it--a bunch of Moroccans move in. I haven't even met the Aatabous yet, but already I can't stand them: All night long, they won't stop with their damn ululating!
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Fantasy Sports

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Small Business

Internet Friend Gradually Getting Creepier

DEDHAM, MA–According to Boston-area America Online user Josh Reuss, an Internet friendship between himself and Larry Vliet of Socorro, NM, is "getting a little creepy."

The weirded-out Reuss.

The pair, who first met in a Quake III Arena chat room on AOL, quickly discovered that they share numerous interests and began a pattern of regular e-mails and instant-message conversations, which Reuss described as "pretty normal and enjoyable at first, but soon turned strange."

"One time, we were playing Quake against each other, and he killed my guy," the 31-year-old Reuss said. "A few minutes after the game ended, I get this e-mail from him saying, 'Hey, sorry I killed you, Josh. But at least now you know what it's like to be dead.' I thought that was kind of weird, but then he added, 'P.S.–Did I tell you I'm going to be in D.C. next week? Maybe I'll swing by Dedham to see you.' That's, like, 500 miles away."

Reuss' discomfort grew several days later during an e-mail exchange.

"Larry e-mailed me, supposedly just to say hi, and toward the end of his message, he asked if I had a dog," Reuss said. "I said no. So he writes back and says that's too bad, because he was wondering if I knew of any good ways to keep a dog from howling. I'm thinking to myself: Why is he asking me for help with this? And why is his dog howling?"

The following week, Reuss e-mailed Vliet to inquire if his dog had finally settled down. Vliet responded that he didn't know what Reuss was talking about, informing him that he does not have a dog.

"That was definitely some Twilight Zone shit there," Reuss said. "But then, just as I'm trying to process the whole dog thing, the thought suddenly pops into my head that he'd never made that trip to D.C. he'd been talking about. Why on Earth would someone lie about something like that?"

Compounding Reuss' unease are his repeated attempts to determine what Vliet does for a living.

A recent, just slightly creepy message from Vliet.

"A while back, I asked him what kind of job he has, just to try to start up a normal conversation, and he said, 'Oh, I do a bunch of stuff.' That got me curious, so I've asked him a few more times since, and he's always given these vague, evasive answers like, 'Oh, I pick up work here and there,' and 'Don't worry about me, Josh, I've got my ways of paying the rent, if you catch my drift.' No, I don't catch his drift."

Another font of strangeness, Reuss said, is an ongoing conversational thread he calls "the web-page issue."

"One of our first chats was about how tough it is to find good Half-Life levels on-line. At one point, I said someone should make a really good Half-Life-file web page, but he somehow got it into his head that I was saying this was something the two of us should do. He brings up 'our web page' every week or so, asking if I've made any progress. I keep telling him I don't know anything about web-site programming, but he just says, 'Well, there are books you can get that will teach you how to do it.' It's like, then you learn to do it."

Recently, Reuss has taken to signing onto AOL under a name different from the one on his account and then checking his e-mail via AOL's web page, all in an effort to avoid Vliet.

"I don't want to be rude to the guy, since, believe it or not, I'm still not 100 percent sure he's a psycho," Reuss said. "But just the same, I think I'll keep him at a healthy distance. Especially after yesterday's e-mail, where he went off about how he got drunk the other night and woke up the next morning in a hospital bed with scorpion bites all over his arms. I mean, if that story's true, that's weird. But if it's not true, well, that's even weirder."

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