Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fighting The Worms And Maggots (2001)

FROM THE ARCHIVES, AUG 25 - This posted on vermiform.com, 8/13/01. The bit about Dave's bass guitar still stands (although his address has changed) - if you see it somewhere, send me a postcard.


Last month, while I was out of town at the Mordam Convention and thus defenseless, a stranger named "Terri" sent the following email; Hi! How are you? I send you this file in order to have your advice. See you later. My lone employee opened the attached document and I don't blame him for the hubbub that followed. Not many people know the golden rule of ouija boards and file attachments; clumsily spelled names are a telltale sign of the evil wraith attempting entry into the human world. "Terri" turned out to be the popular W32.SirCam virus (technically a worm). Sir Cam proceeded to roll its little shopping cart down the dusty aisles of my computer, no doubt whistling a hateful little tune as it plucked items from their proper places. It sent random documents from the hardrive to random friends in my address book. In my browser cache it found more addresses and proceeded to email more random documents to absolute strangers. When I returned on the 31st, I noted dumbly that the little green DSL light on the back of the unit was chugging away, even though I wasn't online.

On the 1st, I started receiving returned email from nonexistent persons. It took a few hours to grasp the severity of the problem. If 57 letters were returned from bad addresses, how many were sent to good addresses? Several strangers wrote demanding to know why I had emailed them the paltry "plopgate" column from last February. A friend in Seattle was sent a spreadsheet of people's birthdays (I checked and hers made the list). The webmaster at "nofx.com" was sent a list of potential short story first sentences I'd written over the years. The office of the governor of West Virginia was sent a file I'd rather not discuss. Computer sickness inevitably draws metaphors with human sickness, especially the ugly belief - usually unspoken with humans - that the infected must've been careless to get infected in the first place. But this one's not my fault! When Napster posted that the only virus one could catch using their service "is the one that will affect your mind, body and soul", I took great pains not to catch that one either! And this is the thanks I get?

Consequently: my August site revisions are going to take a while. Until I get the harddrive scrubbed clean and rebuilt I stay offline. Just the act of posting this very update will cost me. Last week I logged on long enough to correct a few live show dates, about six minutes. Later that day I found another 4 messages from infected users, including a "DIE MOTHERFUCKER" from someone I've never met. It's strange writing this, knowing that an evil intruder is in here somewhere, peering over every keystroke. Why, Terri?


Dave from the Rah Bras reports that his bass guitar has gone missing. It was last seen on July 7 and foul play is suspected. Dave describes the disappeared instrument as "a total rip off viola bass Paul Mccartney hofner look-a like thing. It says 'Royal Artist' up where you turn the things to make the strings tighter. It has gold screws where the neck hooks up to the body on the back. And it is a hollow body bass. It has a reddish-yellowish sunburst look... and has some black on it. The volume knob is big and silver and could be mistaken for a old TV knob." Dave adds, "If you run into the person that has it... and you can't take it by force... just nicely ask them to return it to me (COD if they like), at David NeSmith, PO Box 4934, Richmond, VA 23220." This is where it seems appropriate to add a quote from the insert sleeve of the first Blast LP, sound counsel even fifteen years later: "COMPLETE HATRED TO THE FUCKING MAGGOT THAT STOLE DAVE'S BASS (FROM THE BALBOA THEATER IN L.A.) BURN IN HELL YOU SON OF A BITCH!!"