This thread is stupid. Can we delete it?
This thread is stupid. Can we delete it?
Second-worst thread ever.
"The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken
I have spoken to the network.
At least 3 more episodes have been ordered, and are forthcoming.
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
I hate this thread. Stephanie is a bitch and a cunt and I wish she was never born. She is evil! At UCSB, there was a feminist anti-fraternity underground organization that used to protest against fraternities anonymously called C.U.N.T.S. (Creative Underground Network of Truth Telling Sisters).
C.U.N.T.S. is not a spoiler. It was a real organization at UC Santa Barbara in the early 1990s.
Chapter 2: The Totem Pole Climb
You all remember that girl from school. She was the fat one with the bad hygiene. The one that all the boys would joke about when discussing their sexual fantasies. The one who nobody -- not even the nerdy, geeky boys -- would want to be caught dead being romantically linked to. That was Stephanie in high school. The girls teased her, the boys were disgusted by her, and she gave up even trying to make herself look presentable. Around high school, Stephanie was best known as "that fat girl with the toothpaste stains on her sweats."
Now 18 years old and nearing the end of high school, Stephanie was about to break free of the daily torment and ridicule. But what would she do next? She wasn't very smart, nor could she concentrate well in school. College wasn't in her future. She had no marketable skills, nor was her family particularly wealthy. And she could definitely forget about bagging a rich man. Given the way most guys reacted to her, she wondered if she'd ever land ANY man, let alone a rich one. And even if she did, what would her life be like? "Who would ever want someone like me, so fat and unappealing?", she thought to herself. "I bet he'd just fantasize about being with prettier girls while having sex with me."
Stephanie wasn't even out of her teen years yet, but she was about to give up on men.
And then came Ken.
Her first conversation with Ken was amazing. He was energetic, funny, and best of all, he seemed to genuinely like her. As the hours passed, Stephanie thought she had finally found the man of her dreams -- even if she was a still uncomfortable to meet him in person. As her head hit the pillow that night, Stephanie dreamed of her future with this new, exciting man in her life.
As school concluded, Stephanie rushed back home to call Ken again. "Think of what everyone would say if they knew," she thought. "All of these stupid bitches fighting over the attention of high school boys, and I've got a grad student who can't wait to talk to me."
Stephanie called Ken, and they began what seemed to be another riveting telephone conversation. All of a sudden, a wrench was thrown into this new, well-oiled machine.
Scott knew Ken from telephone party lines. While Ken had his issues, Scott's life was fit for an episode of Jerry Springer. He had a badly deformed face since birth. Enraged and confused after his beloved father died when he was 10, Scott deliberately set a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage. Now 20 years old, Scott spent his days on the party lines, bouncing from state to state, friends to relatives, leaving a trail of unapid thousand-dollar phone bills behind. Still, Scott enjoyed talking to Ken, whose daily, wacky, sitcom-like predicaments made him forget about his own troubles.
Scott's phone call to Ken happened to coincide with Stephanie's second call. Ken foolishly three-wayed Scott onto the line, despite Scott's tendency to insult him in mixed company.
Scott showed no mercy. He ruthlessly insulted Ken throughout the conversation. He told Stephanie every embarrassing story and fact he knew about the Kenster, and took a pointedly insulting and demeaning tone with Ken throughout the conversation.
Stephanie was initially turned off and disappointed. Her suave grad student was nothing but a horny, desperate clown -- arguably more pathetic than she was. She considered excusing herself from the conversation, planning to slither away quietly and hope Ken never calls her again.
Then Stephanie came to a realization: She had actually found what she had been looking for.
The abused tend to take one of two paths in life. Those with a big heart learn from their tormentors as negative examples, vowing to never abuse anyone else, and often fighting to make the world a better place. Those without such noble intentions look to rise up the social ladder. That is, rather than sympathizing with others in their position, they look to rise in status so they themselves can dole out -- rather than take -- the abuse.
Unfortunately for Ken, Stephanie fell into the latter category. She saw Ken as the one person in the world below her. She could make fun of him, treat him like dirt, and abuse him. Finally, she would be on the superior end of the abuser/abusee relationship. After all, if he would take so much crap from some guy from a party line, imagine how much he'd take from a girl he's interested in!
The tone of the conversation changed. Stephanie joined Scott in poking fun at Ken. As the phone call wore on, she got meaner, but Ken didn't hang up on her. He didn't fight back. He allowed himself to be the butt of all the jokes, never once attempting to turn the tables. In fact, he still kept telling Stephanie how great she was, and how badly he wanted to meet her. Stephanie felt a high like she never had before. "So this is how it feels to have control over another human being!", she thought. "Finally I'm the one holding the cards. The highest one on the totem pole!"
Just as she was basking in her newfound superiority, Stephanie was paralyzed by a chilling thought.
"Ken is taking a lot of crap from me, but he hasn't met me yet!", she realized. "What if he sees how fat and gross I am, and realizes I'm not worth putting up with? What if it's high school all over again?"
She composed herself, and resolved to get an answer to that worrisome question. It was time to meet Ken in person. It was time to see if this wonderful feeling from the phone could translate to a real-life self-esteem boost. With every fiber of her being, Stephanie hoped it was so.
Stay tuned for Chapter 3: Grand Theft Music.
Last edited by Archie Bunker; 05-23-2007 at 01:15 AM.
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
This is riveting stuff!
that. was. awesome.
keep it coming Arch!
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case.
Chapter 3 coming rather soon.
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
I really hate this thread.
They should start a thread about zombies from Fresno, not me.
Note from the Network: After showing "Chapter 3: Grand Theft Music" to the test audience, the general consensus was that the story seemed to be missing some important character development. As a result, that episode has been moved to Chapter 4, and the following becomes the new Chapter 3.
Chapter 3: Can You Tell Me How to Get to Stephanie Street?
Stephanie knew she had to meet Ken. He was her new whipping boy, and let's face it -- she never had a whipping boy before, and probably never would again. Still, bullying someone with your feminine allure is much easier over the phone if your real-lfie sex appeal equals that of a walrus. What if Ken saw what she looked like and changed his tune? What if he decided he was sick of taking her BS and attacked her? Stephanie couldn't take that chance. She needed an escort.
Christy and Jennifer were the types of girls Rick James wouldn't bring home to mother. Trashy, promiscuous, and willing to use anyone or anything to get what they wanted, these two 18-year-olds weren't exactly the salt of the earth. It could loosely be said that they were friends with Stephanie, but that would require them actually liking or caring about her. Instead, the two girls shamelessly used Stephanie for her willingness to spend money on them and be their personal chauffeur. Neither Christy nor Jennifer had a car, and both hailed from poor families that didn't provide them much spending money. Stephanie, spoiled and coddled by her mother, had those resources that these two more attractive and popular girls needed. Stephanie was just happy to have friends willing to hang out with her, despite the fact that she knew deep down the reason for it.
Stephanie pitched the idea of meeting Ken to the two girls, but they weren't too interested. Why should they ride 45 minutes each way in the car with Stephanie, just to meet some geek at Cal State Long Beach? Christy was about to reject the whole idea, until she remembered a friend of hers in nearby Whittier. She and Jennifer could probably browbeat Stephanie into leaving Ken after a short time, and driving them another 10 miles to the place they really wanted to hang out. With that plan in mind, the two girls agreed to accompany Stephanie.
Ken was not a disappointment for Stephanie. He was tall, skinny, and unkempt, with a big nose and awkward mannerisms. If she was looking for a clown to pick on, she most definitely found him. Stephanie wasted no time lashing him with nasty insults, all of which Ken laughed off and simply returned compliments to her. Even better, Christy and Jennifer joined in the fun, making Stephanie truly feel their equal for the first time ever.
Jennifer spied Ken's extensive collection of music. He had been collecting this music -- in the form of cassettes -- for many years. Ken's library of music consisted of over 300 albums, and aside from politics, it was his greatest passion. It was also Jennifer's passion to take what she wanted from people. She summoned over Christy and Stephanie, who went through Ken's collection with interest, already selecting the "gifts" they would give themselves.
Ken should have been angry about this, but he wasn't. He was blinded by the attention being given to him by three teenage girls. While the three were distracted by the planned pilfering of his music collection, Ken decided to give me a call.
That sounds like a simple thing to do, but I wasn't a local call, and Ken didn't have long distance. You see, when he'd want to talk to me, he would send me a free "collect call signal" by making a 1-800-COLLECT call to me using some funny name. I wouldn't accept the call (thereby avoiding the charge), and call him right back. The name he would choose would usually have something to do with the subject he wanted to talk about. In this case, the operator asked me if I wanted to accept a call from "Stephanie Street". I declined and dialed his number back, but not before quickly pondering the ridiculousness of the situation where a grad student from a well-off family couldn't make a simple direct call to me....
It was another cold, rainy day in Southern California. Thankfully, my high school kept the library open during lunch, and the librarians didn't mind if you ate your lunch in there. Whenever the weather outside was frightful, I would quickly buy my hot lunch, head straight for the library, and settle in for the next 40 minutes with the Los Angeles Times. On this stormy day, a particular story happened to catch my eye near the back of the main section.
I had always had an interest in 976 numbers. In fact, I had always been fascinated by telephones in general. I was already a part of the then-growing "phone/computer hacker" community, and was proud of my ability to dial any 976 number of my choice for free. Rather than spending my time repeatedly calling the sex lines, I was more fascinated with the sports and movie trivia numbers, where I could win prizes while basically playing for free. Despite the fact that I didn't have to pay for my calls, $2 per minute seemed quite excessive to me, and I wondered how high some people would rack up their bills calling these addictive new numbers.
I got the answer to this question while reading the Times. Apparently, a kid from Tarzana, about 40 miles from me, made $17,000 worth of calls to phone sex lines. I was floored. "How the hell could anyone make $17,000 worth of phone sex calls?", I wondered. "How is that even possible?" This had apparently been done over a period of about a year, but it still amazed me. And how did this teenager get away with this for so long? Wouldn't his parents have confiscated the phone and punished him severely after receiving the first bill? Little did I know that I would meet and befriend this very peculiar individual just 4 years later.
That kid was Ken. And he was addicted to phone sex lines. His parents tried everything. They yelled at him. They hit him. They bought locks for the keypads on the phones. Still, Ken found a way to make his calls late at night, whether it involved purchasing cheap phones of his own and plugging them in, or finding his parents' hiding place for the key to the keypad lock. Month after month, the bills rolled in, and Ken's parents were pulling their hair out. Short of kicking him out of the house, they felt powerless to stop these calls from being made. Even worse, the phone company was of absolutely no help.
"Block our access to these sex numbers," Ken's father demanded. The phone company refused, telling him that it is was responsibility to manage the numbers dialed from his phone. Finally, as the unpaid bills mounted, and their phone line was threatened to be shut off, Ken's father took action. He made a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, demanding both a way to block 976 numbers and forgiveness for his existing bills. After a number of hearings, the CPUC ruled in his favor. The $17,000 in 976 debt was wiped off the family phone bill, and Ken's family was the first in the country to receive the new 976-blocking feature -- something still available to consumers 20 years later.
Ken's life with telephones was relatively problem-free for the next 3 years. After completing 2 years at local Pierce Junior College successfully, he transferred to UCSB in the fall of 1990. Ken's parents were careful about his telephone access, arranging with the dorms to block his phone from both long distance and 976 access. Unfortunately, Ken was able to exploit the new, untested PBX system by reaching an operator and placing countless operator-assisted calls to friends back home in Los Angeles. After receiving their first bill -- a tidy sum of $1200 -- Ken's parents again had to complain loudly to get the charges removed. They also decided that he would never again have a phone with long distance or 976/900 access...
Ken's phone rang, and he quickly answered. I asked him the meaning of "Stephanie Street". He responded smugly, "I kind of have a visitor right now."
"Who you on the phone with, you idiot?!", screamed a familiar voice in the background.
"Is that Stephanie?!", I asked him. I was surprised the two of them were meeting so quickly, especially after I heard how poorly she was treating him on the phone.
"Yeah. She's here. And she brought two friends."
Quietly talking in code, Ken let me know that her two friends were more attractive, but that Stephanie was still a "7" -- probably the most generous looks rating she has ever received, unless we're using a scale from 1-to-100. He then put Stephanie on the phone.
"Hi. Come on over, I want to meet you, too," she said in a friendly voice.
I was a little afraid to do this, given her weird obsession with me a few months earlier, but she seemed to be over it. Besides, I was bored on this Sunday afternoon, and I figured the whole thing might be an amusing spectacle to watch. Stephanie quickly put Ken on the phone, and I started to hear discussion about which tapes the three girls were going to take from him.
"No, not Smashing Pumpkins!", Ken protested. "I really like that one!"
"Too bad," responded Stephanie. "It's ours now."
"What's going on there?!", I asked. "Are they stealing your tapes?"
"Oh, it's no big deal," Ken calmly responded. "I said they can have a few of them."
My earlier amusement turned to concern. In the three years I knew Ken, I always tried to protect him from himself.
"Don't give your music away! It's yours! They're just using you! I've got to come over and put a stop to this."
"Okay, but I heard them talking about leaving soon," answered Ken. "Let me put you on with Stephanie."
I told Stephanie that I wanted to come over, but that I was concerned they might leave before I could drive the 45 minutes to get there.
"No, we'll stay. I want to meet you," responded Stephanie. "I promise."
Christy shouted in the background, "Hey, let's get outta this dump. We want to go hang out with David in Whittier."
"See," I told Stephanie, "Your friends want to go."
"I have the car, not them," assured Stephanie. "We're all staying here."
I asked to speak to Christy about the matter. Christy agreed to wait for me to get there before leaving. However, I could sense the lack of sincerity in her voice, and I already got the idea that she and Jennifer could push Stephanie into leaving before I got there, regardless of what anyone promised. I firmly told Christy that, if I'm going to drive 45 minutes there, they had better keep their promise to not flake on me.
"Dude, you can trust me," says Christie. "We won't leave."
"Do you and Stephanie promise to pay me $10 each for my gas and time if I get there and you are gone?", I asked, hoping that this token commitment might make them think twice before breaking their promise.
Stephanie agreed to the same thing. I got in my car, driving as fast as I could, hoping to arrive in time to interfere with the "theft" of Ken's tapes and restoring some semblance of order.
I arrived at Cal State Long Beach in 40 minutes, pulling into the dorm parking lot. A frantic Ken came sprinting toward my car.
"They left! They left! I tried to stop them, but they left! I even tried to block the door, but they pushed me out of the way, and left!"
"Why did they leave," I asked. "They promised me they'd stay. They even put $20 on it."
"They left 3 minutes ago," said a panting Ken. "I tried to stop them, I really did."
"Did they get any of your tapes?"
"Maybe 10 or 15 of them."
It was odd to me that Ken cared more about the girls breaking their promise to wait than taking 10-15 of his tapes.
We walked back into Ken's dorm. 30 minutes later, the phone rang. It was Stephanie, calling from David's house in Whittier. I picked up the phone.
"What the hell?! Why did you leave when you promised you'd stay and wait for me to show up?", I angrily asked.
"Jennifer and Christy wanted to leave to go to Whittier, so I took them. They didn't want to stay anymore."
"But I came all the way down here for nothing. You promised you would wait for me to show up. Why would you make that promise if you aren't going to keep it for even 45 minutes?"
"Oh well, that's what happened. Too bad. We're gone, and we're not coming back there."
"You owe me $20, then," I told her, suspecting that she wasn't planning to honor that obligation, either.
"We owe you nothing. We're not giving you $20. We can leave whenever we feel like. Say all you want that we owe you $20, but there's nothing you can do about it. What are you going to do, sue us?! What a loser..."
The other two girls laughed in the background. Before I could protest further, she hung up the phone.
When I got home that night, I calmly called Stephanie again, who was now at home.
"You and Christy each owe me $10. Am I going to get it, or not?"
"I already told you no. If anyone owes it to you, it's Christy, since she was the one telling me to leave." She gave me Christy's number. "I have nothing more to say to you. Bye." She hung up on me again.
I called Christy, who like Stephanie, refused her obligation to pay me what they had originally agreed upon. I three-way called both girls, and both agreed I would get nothing, and told me there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. But that's where she was wrong.
I turned on my computer, and loaded up a particular program that interfaced with my modem. I set it to dial Stephanie's number endlessly every 30 seconds, for the next 10 hours. I called up my friend Robert, who had the same program, and told him to do the same to Christie. This sounds like something trivial, but it is incredibly effective at driving people crazy, especially if they use the phone a lot like Chrstie and Stephanie do.
Think of your phone ringing every 30 seconds, with dead silence on the other end every time you answer it. While this is annoying enough, you feel powerless to stop it. While a human prank caller can be deterred by simply leaving your phone off the hook for an hour, a computer doesn't care if it reaches a busy signal. The second you put your phone back on the hook -- even after leaving it off for hours -- it rings again. In addition, nobody calling you can get through, as the phone is constantly ringing from these repeated calls.
I turned off the machine after about 5 hours, and called Stephanie about 10 minutes later. She was crying. "Please, make it stop!", she said. "I'm sorry, I'll pay you. Just please make my phone stop doing this." Stephanie agreed to mail me $10. I called Christy. Apparently there was only one phone line in the house, and her father was really angry that this was going on. I told her father that I did this because his daughter refused to pay me money she owed, and that I would stop if she simply paid up. He confronted her and she admitted that I was telling the truth. He promised to send me $10 on her behalf, and was yelling loudly at his trashy daughter as we got off the phone. Indeed, I received two separate envelopes with $10 cash within the next few days. It was the hardest I had ever worked for $20, but it was obviously about the principle, not the token sum of money.
Stephanie was shaken up by this. Her parents spoiled her and rarely disciplined her. This was the first time someone forced her into a consequence for her actions. She called Ken and told him that she wanted to see him again, but that he needed to keep their future visits a secret from me. Ken agreed, only allowing himself to seek further into the depths of this sick new friendship.
Coming soon: CHAPTER 4: GRAND THEFT MUSIC
Last edited by Archie Bunker; 05-24-2007 at 06:12 PM.
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
ooooohhhhh Archie...you've made my night (and i haven't even read it all yet!)
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case.
hahahaha! this is the trashiest thing ever. i dig it. now i know where sociopaths come from.
hmmm, ok, after reading the entire text i gotta say that i'm a little disappointed in this one Archie....i mean, really, the majority of the story was about you and your ridiculous $10 bets
i want more Ken in the story! more drama! this was your weakest effort to date...
I'm a reasonable man, get off my case.
now this I would put on primetime.
Stories are no good if they entirely focus on the main character. It was important to set up some premises for the future chapters.
Also, you got to learn all about Ken's part in the creation of 976 blocking. How could you complain about a story that included such a tale?
Everybody Wang Chung tonight.
which one's ken? let's start casting this thing.
Last edited by mob roulette; 05-24-2007 at 06:44 PM.