The best thing about the internet is all the boobies and websites that sell overpriced novelty lamps. Plus ICQ. Remember that? Apparently it still exists. Retro fun! But that aside, the internet has also served as an hilarious platform for pranks against the gullible, and sometimes not so gullible as crafty site designers have tried to pull a fast one on the rest of us. Often times they’re completely transparent and easily identifiable as bullshit, like Glenn Beck
’s site, but other times the joke is a little harder to figure out.
Because if there’s one thing people all over the world love it’s kittens, and if there’s another thing is the insanely cruel and perplexing skeletal manipulation of those same kittens, the website Bonsai Kitten.com took the world by storm and convinced pantloads of people that someone, somewhere out there was putting tiny cats into oddly shaped structures so that they could grow their own pyramid shaped cats.
According to the spiel on the site, you just jam your kitten in a vessel shaped like a cube or a boot or Jessica Alba’s rack and then insert some tubes into the cat so it can eat and go to the bathroom comfortably and, with a little time and patience you’ll have your very own novelty freakshow pet.
While the idea of growing a carrot shaped cat to use as a decoration in your house sounds quite stupid typed out like that, enough people believed it that the FBI investigated the site and found out it was put together by some MIT grads. The Feds had to subpoena the site subscriber’s list in an effort to determine just how easy it is to waste tax dollars investigating something completely ridiculous while people continued to complain that the site advocated animal cruelty until it was finally banned, putting an end to our dreams of one day having a monkey shaped like a gun.
In 2001 the world was all caught up in cannibal fever. We assume. Who can remember any more? But ManBeef was at the forefront of the eating other people craze.
The gist of ManBeef was that it was willing to sell you choice cuts of human meat and, because they were swell guys, they even gave you recipes. Oh man, don’t eat the sausage! Ha ha…ah. But seriously, it was probably a penis, watch out for that.
The site offered a wide range of meat products from soup bones to bouillon to stock and caused such a ruckus that the FDA had to investigate, which makes one wonder why the FDA investigates cannibalism ahead of law enforcement agencies who should probably have some issue with the mass slaughter of human cattle. But that’s neither here nor there.
At the height of its awesomeness, ManBeef was pulling in a half million visitors per day even though the site only sold mouse pads and coffee mugs and there was actually no way to get ahold of the purported man beef.
As a fun capper to the story, once it was revealed to be a hoax and the site ownership lapsed, it was picked up by a pornographer and remains a den of smut to this day.
On the one hand it’s easy to understand why so many people fell for this site, because it crammed so much scientific sounding jibber jab up your ass it started oozing out of your pores shortly afterward. There were news stories and articles and doctors notes and EKGs and swabs and pictures and all sorts of other stuff that all served to show off some pregnant looking dude. Nasty.
The entire process was described on the site in a way that seems scientifically plausible and, in fact, coincides with what doctors have theorized they would do if they had to impregnate a man at some point, should medical science ever develop a field of study dedicated to useless shittery or terrible pranks.
The pregnant dude in question, Lee Mingwei, was supposed to be ready to give birth at an indeterminate point in time. That was 1999 and the dude still hasn’t popped the kid out. Instead, Lee, an artist, labeled the site an art installation, and everyone immediately lost interest because the only thing worse than street corner art consisting of a fat, shirtless guy is virtual art consisting of a fat, shirtless guy.
Our First Time
You should never f*ck with people’s porn on the internet, it’s just totally uncool, which is what made Our First Time so epic. It was like if you went to a store that sold something awesome like jetpacks, and then you found this really cool new jetpack, and you got in line to buy it with 10 million other people, and when you finally got to the head of the line, instead of getting an awesome new jetpack, some shithead told you about how jetpacks are dangerous and tried to sell you a nice pair of walking shoes instead.
Our First Time claimed to be set up by a pair of 18 year old virgins who planned to do the deed for the first time, live and on webcam, for the internet smut-loving public to watch. This was back in 1998, when half of all internet porn was ASCII porn and the other half was scans from old issues of Swank. The prospect of watching 18 year old virgins get it on was amazing.
The site actually chronicled all the build up to the big event, including HIV testing, something most virgins tend to overlook but is absolutely necessary if you’ve been spending your time becoming blood brothers with junkies in dark alleys.
As millions of people tuned in to watch the boring details of two people preparing to have sex by doing really hot shit like telling their parents, some began to suspect all was not as it seemed. For instance, the two 18 year olds looked a little long in the tooth, in much the way all 18 year olds from 80’s sex comedies seemed to be in their mid 30’s. Also, they were crappy actors.
Indeed, it turned out the whole site was a big lead up to the two actors deciding that they should wait to have sex, because abstinence is party everyone can be invited to! The hatred that followed was entirely predictable.