How the Grinch stole AOL
Every newbie in Newville loved Steve Case alot.
But the Grinch who lived just north of New-ville did not.
Oh he hated the service--all 6 million users.
The lame and the looney, the lonely, the losers.
Some say he'd struck out in his chat room romances
That even the NetGirl had spurned his advances.
It could be its logo was making him dizzy.
A dial-up number perpetually busy...
Or strange disconnects, but most likely of all
Was the time he spent waiting on hold when he called!
But whatever the reason, the bumps or the waits,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating Steve Case.
Staring down at his screen with a sour, net scowl,
While Case sunned in MacLean with a monogrammed towel
And he knew every newbie in Chat Rooms tonight
Would now gather in private rooms clean out of sight.
"And they're sending their IM's!" he snarled with a sneer.
"While they tie up the phone lines, and buy Case's beer!"
Then he scratched his green face in the monitor glowing,
"I MUST find some way to stop AOL from growing."
..All the AOL vandals
Tomorrow, he knew...
Would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their handles
And then! Oh, the spam! Oh, the Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
That's one thing he hated! The SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!
They would forward chain letters and Dr. Seuss rhymes,
A new virus-warning, that they'd dubbed "Good Times"
And totems for luck or a new snowball toy.
They'd collect business cards for a poor dying boy...
They'd launch with their modems that AOL call
They'd do something
He liked least of all!
They'd rush to their chat rooms, the old and the young
the clueful, the clueless, the smart and the dum,
And after they finished their e-mail reading,
then IM to IM--the News would start breeding!
They'd breed! And they'd breed!
And they'd BREED! BREED! BREED! BREED!
"It's all Steve Case's fault," the Grinch said with a tisk,
"He's sucked up the market with all of those disks."
And the more the grinch pondered the AOL thug--
"I must stop the whole thing! I must pull the plug!"
"Why I've suffered their spam since at least '94!
And I won't suffer one piece of e-mail more!"
"I know just what to do!" he said, stroking his chin.
"I'll pull out their 19-hour routers again!"
It was dark in Virginia, the home of the spam,
As he crept past their now-silent parking lot cam.
He passed a grey chimney, and quick as a whisk,
he stole each and every last white floppy disk!
As he reached the grey buildings, quite slowly he crept
toward the humming computers where chat rooms were kept.
And as up onto AOL's mainframes he climbed
A well-known and tinkly sound file chimed
He spun round to confront their security guards,
But a Grinch-to-Case showdown was not in the cards.
That morning a local school's tour passed through,
and the Grinch stood called out by CINDY432!
This Case fan stared accusing with watery eyes,
and said "Why are you shutting down AOL? Why?"
And so needing a dishonest answer to thrive,
He said, "I'm on staff here, and I work for Tech Live!"
"See, a sector near here will consistently fail.
There's a sound file here that won't say "You've got Mail"!
"And I merely stopped in to re-service this POP.
(And on Wednesdays we schedule maintenance stops...)
"So we're fixing the service with all our tech powers.
The whole thing should just take a mere 19 hours."
Then he roamed through the office park stealing their files--
their CD's, and floppies, their modem and dials,
Then the last thing he did--which they ill could afford--
was to scarf up the service's last router cord!
Then he ran to Virginia to gloat from a hill
And he listened for Steve Case's crying so shrill.
For he knew in the morning Case sat down to write
his Community Update to send from the heights.
Steve will find out his service was stripped in the night.
His mouth will hang open, with nothing to write!
And his stock options worthless, he'll cry "I am through!"
Then the AOL users will all cry "Me too!"
And they'll rush off to ISPs, all at one time
and they'll savor the thrill of unlimited time
On a POP with a dial-up that actually answers
And with users besides just the chat room romancers.
But instead the next morning, despite all his lies,
the Grinch read in the papers they'd doubled in size.
Though his newbies couldn't dial-in, they did something funny:
They continued to give Steve Case all of their money.
And he sulked in his Grinch cave, Virginia skies snowing--
He hadn't stopped AOL's service from growing.
"It came without UNIX.
It came without phones.
It came without chatrooms.
Or Steve Case's tomes."
All the New's kept on using those floppy disks pale,
installing the software that came in the mail,
Convinced that a service just couldn't be that bad
(And deceived by blind faith from that George Jetson ad.)
The Grinch pondered in horror the spams still to come.
"Maybe newbies--real newbies--are just really dumb".
"Maybe god made the clueless for Steve Case to fleece."
Then he set up a filter and left them in peace.