A Poem @aol.com
by John F. Medler, Jr.
Reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Bar Journal

'Twas a month before Christmas
From my wife came the wail,
"Take out the garbage
And go get the mail."

So I trudged to my mailbox
And what did I see?
Why, a miniature disc
And computer CD!

'Twas a limited offer
From America Online,
I knew in a twinkling
That this deal was fine!

"Unlimited" access
for one little fee,
And if I didn't like it
I could cancel it free.

So I plugged the thing in
And it just wouldn't load,
The message said "Error!"
And something in code.

And this is when I
Started getting real nervous
So I waited four hours
For "Customer Service."

This techno-geek helped me
To load and install it,
Then demanded the VISA
I keep in my wallet.

So I gave him my number
And what did I spy?
"Terms and Conditions" screens
Whistling by.

Then I got me a password
Now I'd surf the Net!
But I never hit waves,
Man, I never got wet.

I soon got so mad
I was shaking and dizzy
For my modem kept trying
But lines were all busy!

And all through the month
I kept trying this thing
But all I would hear
Was the "busy" sound ring.

So I called 1-800
And the AOL number
And waited on hold
'Til I lapsed into slumber.

So I tried then to cancel
But where's the address?
Somewhere in Virginia?
It's anyone's guess.

And several days later
I heard on the news
That 8 million people
Were trying to use

This AOL network
At the very same time
And that's when this CEO
Weasel-necked Slime

Announced the solution
On how to log on,
Don't hog the phone lines
And call in at dawn!

As you can imagine
This didn't sit well
With lots of mad users
Who started to yell.

And soon the AG's
Joined them in the attack,
"Give them their money
(Or at least part of it back)!"

And this Weasle-Man leader
Tried to calm down the throng:
"Hey, I wanted those refunds
For you all along!"

So in grandiose fashion
And a big press release
Members were told
How to get back their piece.

"Just call up this number
And ask for your money,"
But then something happened
That's practically funny.

When you call up the number
(Don't get in a tizzy)
You can't get your refund
Cause the damn number's busy!!!