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What do you mean?

Oh come on, you know what I mean. What the hell is that? Why is it spread all over there?

Who the hell are you to be questioning me ? Just exactly who do you think you are?

Who do I think I am! You know exactly who the fuck I am! Maybe you need an example?

Yeah, maybe I need you to spell it out for me.

O.K. moron I'll spell it out for you.


I am not going to pay top dollar for some inspector of manholes to fuck up my house. You were purchased for one reason and one reason only.

So get the fuck over here and bend some ham. NOW!!

Date Written: November 29, 2004
Author: TREE
Average Vote: 1.5

12/6/2004 Will Disney: I have to admit, I'm not sure what to make of this one. Someone, please explain and tell me what rating to give.
12/6/2004 Mr. Pony: A hard thing to come across first thing in the morning; I thought maybe I was having a stroke.
12/6/2004 The Rid: Flummoxed. Did I spell that correctly?
12/6/2004 qualcomm: so dude #1 is paying dude #2 to "inspect his manhole." apparently it's a house call, and dude #2 is spreading some kind of offensive substance all over dude #1's home.
12/6/2004 The Rid: That's all well and good, but in an effort to NOT be James Frey, wouldn't quotes and line breaks help?
12/6/2004 qualcomm: yes
12/6/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs: Perhaps he is spreading ham, but he should be bending it.
12/6/2004 Litcube: I'll bet 500 credits that this is TREE.
12/6/2004 The Rid: Lit, I'd guess, but I realize now that I'm shit at guessing authorship based on style.
12/6/2004 anonymous: Very sharp Lit..
12/6/2004 anonymous: Nice of everyone that viewed/read this short to express thier confusion without casting a vote.
12/6/2004 scoop's ghost: i think this deserves about a one. is that what you want? is it?!
12/6/2004 TheBuyer: I'm still struggling with it. As much as I think contractors should be careful where they spray liquid shit, or spackle, or whatever, and should be summarily bent over a kitchen chair for doing so, the one-sidedness is confusing. 2, 3, what? how about some qc style honour system, what should I rate it?
12/6/2004 qualcomm: i think this deserves about a one. is that what you want? is it?!
12/6/2004 anonymous: Their confusion.
12/6/2004 anonymous: "What the hell are you doing" is a question.
12/6/2004 anonymous: I OWN YOU!! . If this period had a point, it wouldn't require a space before it.
12/6/2004 TheBuyer: yesa.
12/6/2004 anonymous: "Who do I think I am!" is a question.
12/6/2004 anonymous: "Maybe you need an example?" is not a question.
12/6/2004 anonymous: It is really not fair to ask me to suggest a ranking as I obviously thought this short was worth writing so would be biased. Qualcomm since I have been on acme site have seen you give many 1 star ratings so that would not really be a surprise. As to spelling suggestions from anon I would thank you but I really don't care that much. Please feel free to heap whatever abuse you feel is necessary. I will know in the future it isn't so much the writing that generates response it is the controversy.
12/6/2004 anonymous: anon...have you ever been berated by a parent? or perhaps it was a teacher? When a question is said in a specific tone of voice it is a statement. This tone of voice can also be reversed so that a statement can seem like a question. Right? Oh look did it again. I would assume since you spend most of your time writing you may not be aware of the peculiarities of speech. Thanks again for the spelling tips.
12/6/2004 TheBuyer (3): for tenacity and anonusera bullshit.
12/6/2004 qualcomm: i haven't given that many ones! how dare you?!
12/6/2004 TREE: awwwww I think yer sweet on me.
12/6/2004 anonymous: I've offered no spelling suggestions in regards to this short. You've also admitted that you care nothing for polish, attention to detail, etc.
12/6/2004 TheBuyer: who, me?
12/6/2004 The Rid: TREE: Re: Spelling, et cetera, I think that it's our job to write stuff with the best spelling, grammar and puncuation we can. It just looks better and makes us look better by proxy. Or I heard that somewhere. And yes, you can begin sentences with "and" and end sentences with prepositions. Butt eye'm just a dushbag, whut doo eye no.
12/6/2004 TREE: Of course you buyer...however I'm starting to think anon is just to shy to really speak it's (he/she?)mind and really open up.
12/6/2004 anonymous: Oh I completly agree Rid. It makes all the shorts better if puncuation is used correctly. I also am aware that my skills are not top notch in that department. If I changed the puncuation in this short to match anon's the tone would be almost reversed to what it is now. I don't know if that would make it better but it would be different than what I wrote originally. What say you?
12/6/2004 The Rid: Well, it would be more readable. But I'm not sure what would make this short better. Perhaps some kerosene and a match?
12/6/2004 anonymous: You think changing this:


To this:


..Would change the tone, eh? What tone? What change? You mean, from furiously honking “Euuugghhh!” to pleasantly soothing “Oh!”. Perhaps from, “Eye wige dau shaord nenow buth” to “I like the short yellow bus”?
12/6/2004 TREE: Now rid...is that really constructive criticism? Perhaps you should buy your panties a size larger? That will let all that blood flow out of your ass and back to your brain.
12/6/2004 TREE: anon perhaps you should put your helmet back on and stop licking the windows on the bus. Maybe you have been licking the same window as the rid and caught something.
12/6/2004 Litcube (1): Perhaps I should, TREE. However, now you understand the reason for my vote.
12/6/2004 TREE: Of course I can see where your vote comes from. I can also see why so many writers have left the site in the past. I can also see why the site has so few new writers joining. Such a warm feeling I get when I look at comments from the past from so few people. So instructive and fun.
12/6/2004 The Rid: TREE, you have a point. I should not have suggested that burning your short was the only solution to making it better. For that I apologize. But I think that even the bad shorts - and I've written a few - have some basic level of craftsmanship that you don't seem interested in. I think that that's bad for the site and bad for writing in general. I think it's bad that people write "CD's" when they mean "CDs." You know? It's basic Strunk & White stuff I'm talking about here. Just my $.02.
12/6/2004 Mr. Pony: Now, see here, TREE. I think that even you would agree that this short you have written (?) is a little difficult to understand, and I think the first wave comments accurately reflects that. Sure, some of the later comments bordered on harsh, but if you're going to stick your neck out by posting a work, you have to expect that sometimes. One thing I have always valued about criticism on Acme is that while it may be wildly mean at times, I find that critics here tend to at least try to be as accurate as possible. Probably because they know their arguments (and they themselves) will be picked apart if anyone senses that they are just making stuff up. In short, I don't think it's fair to blame the community. The community can be acidic, but it will offer you protection when you deserve it. I'd also like to point out, if it's not crystal-clear at this point, that I am totally blameless in this matter.
12/6/2004 TREE: Can you show me your first few shorts? Maybe something you wrote before acme even? I spend my life communicating verbally to about 200 people a day and have had very little experience trying to write my thoughts down for someone else to read. It appears to be more difficult than I expected. I asked for a rating to see if I was IMPROVING from my earlier efforts. I am not sure if I should have expected to see any but had to try.
12/6/2004 The Rid (1): I have to 1-star this short. I can't tell what's gong on, I can't make heads or tails of who's saying what, and worse, I don't care; it's not that interesting. TREE, if you communicate to 200 people a day, then I'm certain you can do better. Stick with it. I'm new and my shorts regularly get whacked. It only hurts for a little while.
12/6/2004 TREE: Pony as I mentioned already I usually communicate verbally. When I read the short I see the picture in my head because I knew exactly what I was writing down. It is not hard for the author to follow at all. Now when started snarking back at the rid and anon it was directed at them and not at the community at large. But if you look back at the comments on previous shorts you can not deny the useless personal attacks of a few members have probably cost the site some talented writers. also don't think I just called myself a talented writer (not yet anyway) I believe there are enough swelled heads already on acme.
12/6/2004 TREE: Rid I am fully prepared for you and others to "give me the judge" when it is deserved. As I stated it was brilliant inside my head, but many things go on in my head. Soccer game right now is 2-0. I will learn to look from outside eventually.
12/6/2004 TREE: ps: your all bastards except qualcomm...he's kinda cute
12/6/2004 Mr. Pony: Go Denmark Soccerball Team!
12/6/2004 Litcube: TREE, Pony's right. I bordered on harsh with my anon_a bullshit. I think you need to understand that these simple things (like punctuation) are very important, as I'm still disturbed that you've dismissed these minor flaws with your "I don't care". These details are important to a lot of writers on this site, whether you care to acknowledge it or not. I think some of your ideas are good, but all are plagued with neglect for certain particulars.

I love you,
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: TREE: you think verbally communicating with 200 or so individuals on a daily basis is hard? You have no idea how easy you have it. At least you can use words! I have to verbally communicate with a similar number of folks each day...but am limited to meta-linguistic verbal utterances (e.g., coughs, moans, squeals, sobs, whimpers, gurgles, whinnies, throat-clearings and so on). Not that you can't convey a lot of meaning with such noises. But I still find it difficult to sympathize with you, given the dramtically less versatile verbal palette my employers permit me to use when attempting convey meaning to audiences.
12/6/2004 TREE: Actually Matza I think verbal communication is much easier. I am forced to use words but those I speak to usually respond with grunts moans and or drooling into their (see i do pay attention anon) phone. Litcube It isn't that I don't care about the punctuation it's that I didn't care what anon had to say. It is much easier to see the flaws when they are pointed out by someone using their real alias.
12/6/2004 Litcube: Their real alias! Got it!
12/6/2004 TREE: Pony Denmark is playing west ethiopia and are down a goal. You need to cheer louder to have any effect on the game.
12/6/2004 anonymous: TREE, why did you call Matza a fag?
12/6/2004 TREE: I did not call Matza Litcube. Anon b is putting words in my mouth.
12/6/2004 TREE: Litcube if you were to buy a really nice dinner and several bottles of wine to match it I might be convinced to love you to.
12/6/2004 TREE: "6 dead ethiopians will be flown home from the latest soccer riot" reported Danmarks ehrvervsradio " and on the positive side Denmark has tied the game"
12/6/2004 Litcube: TREE, my love is unconditional. Also, what does this mean: "I did not call Matza Litcube"? Because right now, I'm inferring that you've just called me a fag.
12/6/2004 Ewan Snow: Author, I’m going to do something I rarely do, and try to offer a few sincere suggestions that might make your visits to this site a little more enjoyable if you choose to stay. First, this site isn’t about welcoming people and attracting large crowds. It just isn’t. It was started by a small group of writers. Some are professionals, others are just very good amateurs. While some of us like the idea of attracting lots of visitors, others of us don’t. But for the most part, everyone agrees that sharp wit and good writing are more important on this site than kindness. That’s what makes it Acme; there are other sites out there where you can practice writing and get encouragement. This site is not a place for constructive criticism much less positive reinforcement. Everyone is free to post a short or comment on a short, but nobody escapes judgment. So if you aren’t interested in having your writing judged, this isn’t the place for you. Yes there have been several writers who have come and gone because they didn’t like the way they were treated, but with very few exceptions it was because they didn’t like other people’s judgment of their writing. These people very often felt free to offer harsh judgments themselves, by the way. So your statement that “useless personal attacks of a few members have probably cost the site some talented writers” is true. But that doesn’t mean anybody here is losing sleep over it. (Also, the word “talented” is highly questionable in these cases.) The point is, people who make this argument, and there have been a few in the past, usually have hurt feelings because their writing has been trashed. It comes across as desperate, a threat with no teeth. “You guys are mean, so I’m going home.” Okay, see you later.

Regarding this short, it seems most readers, myself included, couldn’t understand it at a basic level. I mean they couldn’t understand what was happening. When that’s the case, it’s hard to get beyond it. Also, as anon_a pointed out, there are a number of basic mistakes in punctuation, style, etc. While these are not horrible in and of themselves, they are very distracting to anybody who is a careful reader. The fact that the first several commenters didn’t one star it was a reflection of their generosity. They abstained from voting, as I did, out of kindness to some anonymous guest.

So, if you want to stick around on acme, feel free. Try writing another short, read it carefully before you post it and make sure it is correct grammatically and otherwise. Then make sure that it gets across what you think it is getting across. Is your short funny because one of the speakers is wearing a bunny suit? Then you should have put it in the short, otherwise there is no way for us to know. And above all, if you want to keep trying, don’t get too upset if somebody doesn’t like your short. And if you do get upset and decide to fight fire with fire, don’t be surprised by the results. But if you decide you don’t want to stay, that’s okay too. Just don’t think that you’ll make anybody feel guilty about it. The truth is, nobody will even notice unless they already think of you as a good writer and miss reading your shorts.

12/6/2004 Ewan Snow: Wow, I can't believe I actually bothered to write that. Slow day at work. Also, I'm a great guy, probably.
12/6/2004 The Rid: What Snow said.
12/6/2004 Dick Vomit: One star off because it makes no sense to me. I can take guesses. I think Man A paid Man B to inspect/play with Man A's asshole. Maybe? Regardless, never will I learn what Man B is spreading "all over there". One star off because there is nothing in this but dialogue and the dialogue lacks structure. Star off for excess of grammatical/punctuation/spelling errors. Star off for not laughing and being made to feel sad and plus also no names of characters even it feels lazy or something I dunno. A NOTE: Acme can be a brutal place, but there is thoughtful consideration of all writers' work beneath all the vitriol. You're receiving this kind of feedback in comments, too. Whether you recognize that is debatable.
12/6/2004 Dick Vomit (1): OOOOOPS!!!!
12/6/2004 The Rid: What Dick Vomit said.
12/6/2004 TREE: Snow. I want to thank you for your carefully worded comment. I also understand that the site is not a training ground for new writers or a place to get my ego stroked. I don't think my feelings were hurt but I will admit to some frustration. I actually prefer to recieve a one star rating as opposed to no stars at all. This means people took the time to read what I wrote and express themselves. If no one votes on a new writers short it gives the impression that the "old boys" on the site will not let a new writer even get acknowledged. I am going to continue to submit some very bad shorts for a while but I would hope they improve over time. I notice already that I outrank OSS so at least I am not last.
12/6/2004 TREE: Mr Vomit has included a very concise list of reasons why this short failed (very unlike acme) I am pleased to see the outpouring of warmth towards a bad writer (is something else pouring out as well) I also think Litcube is concerned that I think he is gay. I want to be clear I don't know Litcube at all and can't really make a determination as to his prefered partners. Can anyone else offer him some reassurance in this regard? He seems like a real nice guy that has a few effeminate qualities but I can't make a judgement.
12/6/2004 TREE: Litcube it's good to love. Do you see the confusion created by anon postings? I look in the short and someone used anon postings to wack me previosly. I perhaps wrongly assumed the same person as anon a tried again. I think I will stick to my real alias so as to avoid any confusion. ps: I luv u more when I'm drunk
12/6/2004 Dylan Danko: Disney, can we limit the number of consecutive comment exchanges among Canadians, Pacific Northwesterners etc?
12/6/2004 Dick Vomit: TREE: think first. post second.
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: Hey, what about moving Snow's discourse below--possibly reworded slightly--to the 'about acme' section? It'd provide guests with something along the lines of the disclaimer/warning-to-new-guests I once volunteered to, but didn't, write.
12/6/2004 Mr. Pony: Watch, as I defend the decision not vote! Often I can be seen withholding a star rating because I feel I don't fully understand a work. Mostly, this comes more from an awareness that I am not appreciating or capable of appreciating its nuances, and less from me simply finding the work totally impenetrable. But in both cases, I can be seen not voting. Sometimes, no comment is needed. I'll leave four stars and move on. If I've nothing more to say, why say it? Hey? The same goes for not voting! Sometimes assigning something a value, even a personal one, is a meaningless gesture! And who hates meaningless gestures? You do! Also me!

Also, I second Matza's motion to use Snow's thoughtful, honest, moving, and surprisingly erotic post as the core of a new "About Acme" page.
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: In my opinion this isn't nearly heated (or lucid) enough to be a controversy & illustrates precisely why the overly excitable guest authors shouldn't be entrusted with a latest controversy vote. Then again credibility's a small price to pay if we can avoid sparing guests the horrifyingly cruel, elitist humiliation of not having all the exact same priviliges as authors. Isn't that right?!? (You f'ing bunch of gender studies majors)
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: change 'avoid sparing' to 'spare'. apologies to the acme community.
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: my error doesn't make you all any less of a bunch of f'ing gender studies majors
12/6/2004 Mr. Pony: Behold, as I defend my pick for latest controversy! One of the most incomprehensible shorts in Acme's thousand-year history appears on the guest page! The author quickly and boldly reveals himself to be TREE, the guest user with the otherworldly accent! An anonymous blackguard corrects TREE's Grammar, as it relates to larger context of the site! In another odd twist, Litcube almost immediately reveals himself to be the anonymous corrector! TREE calls Litcube gay! TREE challenges the Acme community with accusations that we chase off talented authors with our vast egos! Snow provides a reasonable and totally sexy defense! Need I go on? I know that it cannot be that you are upset that your heart/head conversation never got off the ground...I know that's just not your way. What happened to you, Matza, to make you so jaded? What does it take to excite you?
12/6/2004 Jon Matza: I think I see what's going on here...honest mistake. Folks, it's 'latest', not 'lamest' controversy.
12/7/2004 scoop: I like how the title pf the short inadvertently foreshadows just how inscrutable this thing tunrs out to be.
12/7/2004 scoop: "pf"
12/7/2004 Mr. Pony: Jon, were you maybe trying to hurt my feelings there? Because you did, kind of.
12/7/2004 scoop: Hey Pony isn't all of life just a string of "meaningless gestures" that we impose a fraudulent layer of meaning to after the fact in order to prolong this racket that we really are different then other animals? If so, I don't hate them, meaningless gestures that is. I think they're fun, like a plate.
12/7/2004 Mr. Pony: Your life, maybe!
12/7/2004 Mr. Pony: KUH-Zing!!!
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: Pony--no, sorry...just kidding, mostly. I can see the case for it being a controversy, I guess. Maybe it was--I just don't think it was a very good one. All the worthwhile and/or substantive points that came up were made in a reasonable, civilized tone (mainly by you & Snow) while the heated stuff consisted mainly of age-old accusations and low calibre insults. But now that I hurt your feelings and you made that viciously barbed taunt against Scoop maybe it's bona fide!
12/7/2004 TheBuyer: pussy
12/7/2004 Dick Vomit: Jon Matza. I just want to be up front here and apologize. I voted for this as latest controversy. I am a guest. I think your "elitist humiliation of not having all the exact same priviliges as authors" comment was directed at me. I am so very, very sorry.
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: I understand that a insincere apology is the best a sensitive soul like you can manage, vomit--and I accept.
12/7/2004 Dick Vomit: I can try to give you an sincere one, if you'd like.
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: I stand corrected, guest author.
12/7/2004 Dick Vomit: Occasionally, even the mighty fall, Author.
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: Yes, guest author. And even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: As for the sincere apology you offered, it's not necessary. On the other hand it would mean a lot to me if your next short was in the form of a written apology to me, Matza.
12/7/2004 Dick Vomit: Was that an insult? Can you translate into Guestese for me?
12/7/2004 Jon Matza: Let's not get ahead of ourselves, vomit. There will be plenty of time for that. You've already made great strides today!
01/14/2005 Dick Vomit: Last word here!
02/15/2005 Mr. Pony: This thread is pretty amazing.
02/15/2005 The Rid: Yeah, Pony. I just skimmed it. TREE is a serious dick. Not that we aren't, but still.
02/15/2005 Mr. Pony: What? How so?