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Jon Feldspar sat hunched over his computer, tapping at the lifeless keys. The keyboard was not plugged in. And the computer was not even a real computer – it was a Hasbro “My First Computer” that Jon had picked up off the curb a few weeks before.

“Reboot!” he shouted at the computer. “Reboot!”

On Jon’s desk sat a plastic red toy phone. There was a handle on the side of the phone that you could turn to make a ringing sound. Jon cranked the handle.

“Ring, ring,” went the phone.

He picked up the receiver. “How dare you?” he shouted into it. “How dare you?” He belched into the mouthpiece and hung it back up.

Jon looked around the room. “Honey, are you home?” he called out. He waited a few seconds for a reply. Nothing.

Jon scratched his head. He sat there alone in the apartment.

Date Written: April 03, 2003
Author: Will Disney
Average Vote: 4.6

04/3/2003 anonymous (4):
04/14/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan (4): How was this one just passed by like this? It's tragic, yet comic! Can I give four point five, oh Mr. Disney?
04/14/2004 Cabot (4): This is good, even without 'getting' the inside joke.
04/14/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Hmmm, it seems to have received an invisible vote. I wonder Mr. Disney if you might give us some history on the invisible voting systems of the past. Their purpose eludes me thus far. Please, Mr Disney?
04/14/2004 Ewan Snow: It used to be that you could place a vote with no comment and check the anonymous box, leaving a vote with no trace at all. That has now been changed, so you can still vote anonymously, but the vote is visible and it just says "(no comment). Many old shorts have invisible votes. A good portion of them (as I have noticed on a number of my older shorts) have invisible one star votes left by people trying to lower somebody’s average. This is part of our rich tradition of back-stabbing and duplicity here at Acme shorts.
04/14/2004 Mr. Pony: Back in the early, decadent days of Acme, before honor planted its sword in these pages, authors would prance about in lace cuffs and patent-leather shoes attempting to curry favor with one another in fancy voices. Of course, what would such a place be without a way to stab one another in the back? And thus, anonymous voting. It was civilized mayhem. Authors could and would routinely but quietly torpedo each others shorts without having to answer for their actions. When the majority of the authors realized that they were quickly using up all of the dishonor in the Universe, anonymous voting went away. The invisible votes are a stinking remnant of that time. Some shorts still have more invisible votes than actual votes. I wonder what would happen if all the invisible votes were somehow...erased. Would that be a good idea? Who would be on top? Would those who voted before, vote again? Who knows?
This short is so true, by the way.
04/14/2004 Mr. Pony: Institutionalized duplicity isn't nearly as noble as you're making it out to be.
04/14/2004 Mr. Pony: Unless of course, you were just kidding, in which case, I apologize.
04/14/2004 Ewan Snow: Pony, it's interesting that you say that "authors" did the anonymous one-star voting. I had the impression that it was mostly the Frankenslappy crowd. Perhaps you have some damning evidence you'd like to make public?
04/14/2004 Ewan Snow: Yes, I was (mostly) kidding. Apology rejected!
04/14/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Snow, when you speak of the Frankenslappy crowd, do you mean the vilified Frankenstone? Because he actually wrote shorts, or are you talking about guests?
04/14/2004 Mr. Pony: I was including the guest authors, which I guess was technically wrong. But I was more referring to the Scoop Incident, which was a quick and systematic example of what I was talking about. I have no evidence. Just know that something very odd happened in a very short amount of time, for a very specific reason. It'll never hold up in court.
04/14/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: It's best when there's no evidence to back your claims. It makes you feel crazy and right at the same time!
04/14/2004 catfish (4):
04/22/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Also, I laughed out loud many, many times.
04/22/2004 scoop (5): Yeah, shit, never seended this one. Funny.
04/22/2004 qualcomm (5): ha! this feldspar sounds totally hwack!
04/22/2004 Will Disney: he is
09/3/2004 John Slocum (5): So heroic and pathetic at the same time, a truly tragic character.
09/26/2004 Litcube (5): Without understanding the inside joke, I erupted in pants shitting laughter from 2nd paragraph to finish. I really fucking did.
09/26/2004 qualcomm: this is the best short about me on the site.
09/26/2004 scoop: "Ring, ring," went the phone.
09/26/2004 Mr. Pony: I agree. This is the best anything about you, anywhere, I think. I believe this short will be your legacy.
09/26/2004 scoop: "Harvest, harvest," went the wheat.
09/27/2004 TheBuyer (5): Reboot! Reboot!
09/30/2004 Litcube: This is the funniest shit ever.