Everyone But Dane

July 6th, 2009

It is a well-known fact that Slantmouth is a friend to all of humanity. Even if you are a hateful, evil sociopath, there is room in our massive and dangerously over-sized heart for you and your assortment of psychological scars.

That said, words are not enough. We asked ourselves how we could show the world the breadth of our all-encompassing embrace. After some reflection and a few tenuous ideas involving several adult networking sites we came to the only logical answer: Twitter.

We will follow YOU ALL! Muwaaaahahahahahahahaaa

That’s right. We will reach out to the world using the Internet’s foremost tool for informing the public that you just took a dump in the shape of the Lincoln Memorial. It turns out everyone is using it, like blow in the 80’s but now with 54.23% less hooker.

The plan is simple; we will attempt to “follow” anyone we possibly can, until eventually we’re following every single person on Twitter. By everyone, we mean everyone but Dane Cook.

Why doesn’t the embrace of Slantmouth have room for Dane Cook? Simply put, if we need someone to act like a psychotically retarded child, jumping around like a monkey, swinging their arms wildly and making strange noises, we’ll call Dane Cook. If we want to make friends there are several billion people on Earth who are more qualified. However, if a nuclear holocaust wipes out all of humanity except Dane Cook, we might consider friendship, but only as a ploy to later cannibalize his flesh to survive the harsh post-nuclear winters.

Speaking of holocausts, we’ll also be leaving Hitler off the list. His account has been suspended.

Check this space and our Twitter page for updates on our progress to become friends with the entire world. We should be done in a few days.

Day 1 (7/7/09)

Our mission to befriend all of humanity started well enough. Colonel Moses sat down at his Internet box, cracked open Twitter, and immediately began the transformative journey to becoming the friendliest man in the Universe. If you had ever met the man, the myth, and the terrifying legend that is the Colonel, you’d know that “friendly” is not a word that would easily describe him. However, many words describe him perfectly; surly, abusive, and indignant are a good start. He is a man who once ripped the arm clean off a loyal Slantmouth intern for double dipping carrot sticks at a company picnic. Fortunately, we were able to stop him from giving the intern a prostate exam with his own severed arm. This time.

Needless to say, the Colonel followed people on Twitter with the sort of reckless enthusiasm that we heavily encourage here at Slantmouth. He was following everyone and everything. If he had the ability to love buried deep inside his heart, he was determined to shove his callused man-hands inside and yank it out, take a good look, and put it on his mantle, between the mounted elk head and the ashes of a lover long lost.

He was a man on a mission and he could not be stopped. Then something strange happened.

Twitter, you son of a bitch.

Suddenly, the Colonel hit a wall. Not the kind of wall that comes from having to compulsively complete the same repetitive and boring task for hours, like pushing the “follow” button with an absolute disregard for quality. No, this wall was built by Twitter, who would not allow us follow anyone else.

What brand of fascist nonsense was this? Which suicidal Twitter flunky would throw himself at the mercy of the court known as the Colonel’s steal-tipped, orphan stomping boots? Whose arm would have to be ripped off to fix this problem? Who needed a prostate exam?

Day 2 (7/8/09)

The first day of our epic quest to befriend humanity ended in a stalemate. No matter how many thousands of times the Colonel pushed Tila Tequila’s follow button (if you know what I’m saying), Twitter refused to comply. We were left with some harsh realities. Perhaps, our quest of unrealistically epic proportions was over before it even started, like the time we attempted to cover the Statue of Liberty’s torch with enough shaving cream to make it look like a giant ice cream cone.

After some digging, we found that Twitter automatically restricts accounts from adding too many users based on some complex algorithm that we don’t care to understand, unless that complex algorithm understands the far less complex language of violence. (It doesn’t, we tried.)

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and, by clicking the follow button on Tila Tequila’s Twitter page several thousand more times, we were eventually allowed to follow more lovely Twitter folk. It seems Twitter may have discovered the purpose of our peaceful mission and, in a show of support, decided to let us continue. Or maybe our many threats of violence, including screaming outside of their corporate offices covered in goats’ blood, finally paid dividends. Whatever the case may be, by the end of the day Colonel Moses and the rest of the Slantmouth team learned several valuable lessons:

1. Tila Tequila is a raving lunatic. If she were a rabid dog running around on the streets, she would be shot on sight, then the owners of the dog would be asked to repay the cost of the bullet. Fortunately for her, she’s a genuine human being and we get to enjoy the crazy lady show from a safe distance.

2. If you are active enough on Twitter you will begin to be followed by strange women with random strings of consonants for names. They don’t speak like normal Twitterers, normal being a relative term. Instead, they speak strictly in advertisements for car insurance. When the Colonel stepped away for a moment to use the bathroom, an intern attempted to proposition one of these strange women by direct messaging her using the company Twitter account. She replied, “Get HUGE savings on your car insurance!” Our textual analysis has yet to reveal if this is, in fact, a euphemism.

However, based on our psychological analysis, we have come to the conclusion that all of these women are battered housewives with heavy psychological trauma. We hope they get the help they need.

3. Accidentally following Dane Cook on Twitter is probably worse than following him on purpose. In a clicking frenzy, Colonel Moses nearly followed Dane Cook, the mouse button depressed over his follow link, before realizing the potentially devastating mistake. The amount of palpable dread in the moments following our close call was like we had been thrown into a lion’s cage while wearing meat underpants. There was a feeling of sickness growing in the pits of our stomachs, expanding out and seeping through our pores. The feeling subsided only after we followed a hundred other people not named Dane or Cook or meat underpants.

During a split second the fate of the entire project was in jeopardy. That’s the danger that comes with breaking the single rule of this endeavor: don’t follow Dane Cook. Fortunately, we survived so that Colonel Moses can continue to fight the good fight and show the world that, when he’s not threatening it with violence and yelling at it angrily, he’s a really swell guy. This time no one has to get internal bleeding to figure it out.

Not you, Dane Cook. You're terrible.

Day 3 (7/9/09)

What follows is a transcript of a conversation that occurred on Day 3. We join the Colonel, hunched over his computer, as he repeatedly clicks the follow button on random accounts, while Julius Serpentine looks over his shoulder.

Colonel Moses: Oh, hell. This is boring.

Julius Serpentine: It sure looks terribly boring. Who convinced you to do this?

CM: You did, you bastard!

JS: Oh, right. Well, someone had to bite the bullet and become friends with the entire human race.

CM: Why me? You know how I feel about the human race.

JS: I think it’s time to shed your bitter roots, Colonel, and move into this new Internet age where everyone is everyone’s friend.

CM: Seriously?

JS: No. You actually fit in perfectly with the Internet, you bitter, hateful man-at-arms. It is highly entertaining to watch you try otherwise, though.

CM: I’m glad you’re entertained.

JS: It’s not all bad. I appreciate your flair for the theatrical, but there are worse things in life than hugging humanity rather than hunting them.

CM: You have no idea how much this burns, do you?

JS: Come on, you don’t have an STD (I think). There has to be one positive thing from all of this. One. Just name one.

CM: Err… well, we’ve recently been followed by an incredible amount of Asian women with very Asian sounding names, like Ling Something-Or-Other and Nissan Toyota. It’s flattering in a strange way.

JS: Asian women? Let me see that.

Julius Serpentine grabs the mouse and looks at the list of Slantmouth followers. His eyes scan the page before stopping on a cluster of the before mentioned Asian female followers.

JS: Damn. Look at these pictures. It’s like going to a buffet and the only item on the menu is a whole lot of ugly!

CM: That probably wasn’t necessary.

JS: Who cares? None of these people are real, anyway. It’s a clever ruse to get us to click on some advertisement links. The robots have come home to roost and they’re wearing the flesh of homely Asian woman.

Wow. That sure looks enticing. I'll take three!

CM: That just makes me a little sad, but mostly angry as hell! I hate being tricked.

JS: Why don’t you soothe your anger by following the rest of the Internet via Twitter?

CM: Yes. That might help. Everyone but Dane Cook, obviously.

JS: Of course. That goes without saying.

The Colonel attempts to follow a Twitter account. He clicks once, twice, and then completely snaps. He furiously attempts to click the same follow button over and over again. Suddenly, he stops completely and lets out a sigh.

CM: Unfortunately, Twitter’s not letting us follow other people. Again.

JS: Damn you, Twitter! You bastard! Colonel Moses will have have his revenge on you, while I casually walk out of the room!

Julius Serpentine walks towards the door and, as he’s about to exit, turns his head back towards the Colonel.

JS: Give ’em hell, Colonel.

CM: I’m already there.

Day 4 (7/10/09)

Dear Twitter Users,

Most of you have been a pleasure to interact with. We’ve enjoyed the banter and bizarre comments posted by many Twitter denizens. However, there are a few of you we’d like to take into a corner, give a stern talking to, and maybe slap around a little bit.

You see, we’ve been putting ourselves out there, attempting to follow everyone on Twitter as a genuine expression of friendship towards the world. How could something so pure be blemished? By people blocking us.

Why would you do this to such a gentle, loving man?

It’s true. After following certain individuals, they deemed us unworthy of following their completely public thoughts that they’ve posted on the Internet. They’re like a stripper who gets on stage and tells everyone to stop looking at them because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Also, they have gonorrhea.

We really can’t comprehend the reasoning that would cause someone to not want us to follow them. Is it because they feel less special, since we’ve lumped them in with the rest of humanity, making no distinction between them and everyone else, like some ancient Lovecraftian god? Did we threaten them with violence and completely forget we’d done it because we threaten just about everyone, like we kind of did in the first paragraph?

The real tragedy is that this was an opportunity for Colonel Moses to experience some personal growth but instead he’s turned despondent as a result of these cruel and heartless individuals. If only you could see the look in his eyes as he sharpens his bowie knife on a human skull, then you might understand the pain you’ve caused, not including the pain of the guy who donated his skull for knife sharpening purposes.

Don’t worry. We refuse to mourn long for the loss of our brief micro-friendship. We’re really not concerned about throwing you back onto the scrap heap of the Internet and digging deeper for those who’d willingly like to be part of our project. And, just so you know, Ashton Kutcher and his COOLPIX camera didn’t pull this blocking crap.

To those who have allowed yourselves to be part of our mission to become friends with the entire population of Twitter, thank you. The rest of you can take a hike. Off a cliff. With Dane Cook*.

Gleefully Yours,

*When you’re pushed, mocking Dane Cook’s as easy as breathing

Day 5 (7/11/09)

The Colonel took his position at his desk as he’d done for several days. He was ready to click through a few hundred Twitter feeds. After the experience of the first few days, Colonel Moses had worked out the supplies he’d need to efficiently complete a day of Twitter following: a case of bottled water, a whole roasted lamb, and an empty jar to urinate in. The best laid plans of mice and very angry men…

The Colonel was only a few clicks in before Twitter threw up one of its patented roadblocks. Twitter had stopped us several times during the course of this project, telling us we weren’t allowed to follow any more people for a while. These were arbitrary stops that gave us a chance to rest from the grueling task of being friendly all the time. Usually, we could wait it out and, before long; we’d be back on our way to befriending humanity. This time was different and not just because no one had to empty the Colonel’s urine jar.

The Slantmouth team went into this project with high hopes. We really believed that we could show the world our towering embrace through the grit of sheer will. Twitter had other plans and a follow limit of 2001. Unfortunately, we had filled all our space, and so it seemed we had reached the end of our odyssey. On the plus side, we could stop coming up with synonyms for “quest” and “journey” to describe the project.

It was a fine [insert word meaning journey] and we were glad to have taken part in it. We made many friends along the way, like Lefty, the one-armed violinist, and ElfMage23, the patron magical elf-saint of basketball, but it’s now time to tie this thing in a rug and throw it into a river.

Twitter will let you follow more than 2001 people if you have enough followers and maybe that’ll be something we can work on, but for now we’re going to give ourselves permission to stop the tremendously tedious task of following the entire planet. In fact, you may see us retracting our follow list to a more manageable size. What if we want to follow someone we love and care about, like Tom Selleck, who we’re pretty sure is not dead? Right now it can’t happen, so someone is going to have to get dropped. If you’re following us it’s safe to say that we’re keeping you around. However, if you’re a B-List celebrity we added for our own amusement, you may not be so lucky. Consider it another insult in a long line of insults you must already bear with in your life as a B-List celebrity.

Colonel Moses has already gone back to his normal routine of bench-pressing interns. While the personal growth we had hoped for didn’t occur, it has reinvigorated his love for all of the things in his life that he had been taking for granted. Since he’s been back on his beat, he’s been intimidating interns until they cower under their desks with fear. This level of passion in the Colonel’s eyes hasn’t been seen in decades. Some of the interns even tried to throw themselves out of the barred windows! It’s all really life affirming stuff, all thanks to the “Everyone but Dane” project. If managing to not follow Dane Cook and realizing the virtues of inducing fear doesn’t make this whole thing a huge success we need a new scale of measurement. Or medication.