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Article, Comedy, Think Piece

What is the internet?

Author: Danny Robertson

Illustration: Chris Hollis

What is the internet?

Some time ago, in a galaxy far far awa…. wait sorry, let me start again.

Some time ago, a friend (I believe it was Mr Plews) jokingly asked “What is the Internet?” I, perhaps only half-jokingly (or maybe quarterly, I lose track of the maths) suggested that “The Internet is kinda like being in a doctor’s crowded waiting room, where everyone has a loud speaker and Tourettes.” To this day, I’ve held on to that view.

I find myself sitting in this same waiting room quite often, perhaps too often to be considered healthy (but then, would I be sat here if I was healthy??), often sat g(l)azing over with a cocktail in hand (they have lax rules in there), perusing the crowd, many armed with photos of their cat, eating bacon. On one side, the well-meaning but ill-advised comedian, a Fozzy Bear-like character whom I don’t know whether to laugh with or throw tomatoes at. Or both. Didn’t I tell him that joke? One the other side, there’s a bizarre cabaret act, singing this odd little ditty:

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like wait, are these vegan gluten-free cheeky Nandos zombie shakes? Were these made by immigrants? You’ve spelt my name wrong. Look at my beard though.”

Rang a few bells. I congratulated her on addressing the elephant in the room. She thanked me whilst escorting her bell-laden elephant out. I then wondered if I’d let the metaphors run away from me somewhat.

A young lad bursts in, yelling something which sounds like “Classic bants!”, whatever that means. Could’ve been “Classic pants”? We could see his pants. It’s tragic that our younger folk can use a phone but not fasten a belt.

One hungover-looking guy keeps showing me identical-looking photos of a pizza he ordered, but seems bemused by the concoction in my hand. Not wanting to cause a scene, or indeed a god damn arms race, I let him continue on his way, whilst he throws fruit at someone inexplicably stuck in a pout-faced pose. Cheeky mangos.

There’s an older looking couple in one corner, judging everything whilst reading a battered old manual from the 70s. Cheeky nans though.

Then there’s one person who keeps shouting bittersweet slogans and misquoting famous people in an almost Forrest Gump-style. Cheeky ‘nam flashbacks?

It’s odd how we keep finding ourselves back here, in some instances in the exact same Groundhog Day-style loop. I’m not quite ready for the padded room which I believe is only down the corridor, but please excuse me whilst I go for a shout.