#139: New Mail

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

The boy sat in front of his computer, staring intently at the blue screen in front of him. He was on the net like usual at this time every Tuesday night. For the past year and a half, he had locked himself in his room on Tuesday night, awaiting new mail from one of his mailing lists. This mail was different however.

Once every week, mail came through informing him of what was going to be considered fashion, what was going to be cool, and what was trendy the following week. He was one of the elite few who got to find out half a week in advance what to dress like, what to do, what to think.

Two weeks ago, liking the movie ‘Assassin’ was in. Dressing like the main character was cool, having the double pierced left ear like the assassin in the movie was hip. That week was also a week of wearing your pants low, with one leg raised above the Nike high-top. Necklaces with silver beads were in, backward hats were out.

Last week was basically the same, except necklaces with silver beads were out, backward hats were out, and two pagers were in. The second pager was a status symbol more than anything, but it defined that you were one of the elite few. Last week was also a time of blue shirts, black pants, and white shoes. An update that same week informed them that white shoes were no longer good, but black ones were the thing.

It was about this time each night, when mail was dumped to his account. The mail always came from an anonymous account in Finland, but it didn’t matter. It always had the PGP signature showing it was real, and that it was indeed part of the elite mailing list.

‘New Mail!’ Flashed across his screen and he pulled his chair up ready to read it. Yes, it was the mail he was waiting for, PGP signed to show it was real, from the same address. He never actually checked the signature, but he didn’t have to. He read on:

“For this week: Radical changes in what’s cool. Sagging is back in, make sure to buy large. The bigger the sag, the better. Shirts on backwards, but not inside out. Necklaces that dangle with gold pendants. Make sure the pendants resemble a hockey team, not the other sports. Red high-tops are in this week, and try to get one endorsed by a basketball player. Carry your portable CD Player with last weeks music (no change), and keep the headphones on all the time. That’s all for this week.”

The boy captured the mail to a file, and put it in a directory where all the other updates were held. Looks like another week of him helping to set the trends.


As the boy finished reading, the sender of the mail stood up, turned off his computer, and headed downstairs. His friend was waiting where they were ready to go out. Both were wearing blue jeans, plain shirts, tennis shoes, and baseball caps.

“Did you send it?” his friend asked as he walked down the stairs.

“Yup. Not like anyone reads it anyways…” he replied.

“Who cares, its hilarious either way, I bet some poor losers actually follow that crap you feed them.”

“Yeah, maybe, lets go”

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