By Matt Brault

"Just another normal day," thought Thomas as he logged on to the Internet. He leaned back and closed his eyes as his modem started chattering happily. As Mozilla started to load his start page, he thought about getting high speed Internet. "It would be worth it," he told himself.

There was an unexpected knock on the door, and when Thomas answered, a man wearing a cable companies' shirt invited himself in. "Thinking about cable Internet?" the man asked. "I've got the stuff right here! Let me hook you up for only $29.95 a month!"

Thomas consented, and the man disappeared out the door and returned with a bunch of electronic devices. As he connected them to the computer, he chatted amiably with Thomas, asking about a large range of topics. An hour later, the man exclaimed "Success!" and showed Thomas Internet Explorer, loading a page on the cable Internet line.

"Wow! That's great!" Thomas exclaimed, "but does Mozilla work on here?"

"Nope. It's I.E. only. But you can't beat it for the price!"

Thomas agreed, but with a slight hesitation. He decided until he could afford better service, he'd have to use Internet Explorer. Thomas was still marveling at the speed of the connection when the cable guy left. A few minutes after the cable guy left, a pop up window appeared on screen.

"The AMAZING X2 CAM!" proudly declared the window that had interrupted Thomas. As Thomas moved his mouse towards the close button, another pop up came up on screen, hiding the previous window's close button. He closed that one, and the first, and two more popped up .

He closed these windows, and another one popped up. "NEW HERBAL VIAGRA!" this one exclaimed. Frustrated now, he closed this window, and went to check his email. He was about to click on an email from his aunt when a pop up window appeared right where he was going to click, and he clicked on it instead. Annoyed, he closed Internet Explorer and tried reading his aunt's email again. Even with Internet Explorer closed, he kept getting pop ups, stealing the focus from his applications, and interrupting him. Frustrated, he reached for the power button. The system wouldn't turn off! "Stupid ATX power supply," he muttered to himself, then held the power button in for a full 5 seconds until the machine shut off.

Thomas thought the best way to let off some of the stress from the pop up attacks would be to get something to drink, so he went to the kitchen. Once there, a thin young woman (who obviously didn't belong there) greeted him with "Hey babe! Wanna chat?"

Thomas responded coldly, "No. How did you get in here?"

"You let me in, hon. Come on, chat with me! We can web cam! It'll be fun!"

Again, Thomas responded coldly. "I did not let you in. Leave now."

The girl protested, "But we could have so much fun!"

Forcefully, and with a slight growl in his voice, Thomas said, "Get out of my house."

"Well, okay babe, but you haven't heard the last of me."

As Thomas opened his fridge to get a dnL, a piece of paper fell out and landed on the floor. It said "The NEW FOOD SAVER PLUS keeps YOUR FOOD FRESH for MUCH LONGER than conventional refrigerators! Cl.ick N.ow!"

Irritated, Thomas went to his living room to watch TV. The TV turned on, but there was no picture. Apparently, the cable was out.

"Good" Thomas said aloud. "Maybe I can get something done on my computer!"

He went back to the computer, and found it on. The screen was full of pop ups now, and Thomas knew that even if he closed all of them, more would follow. The only course of action he could take now was to disconnect the equipment.

As he started to remove the equipment, the cable guy invited himself in. In a computer generated voice, he said "You cannot do that. All your base [sic] are belong to us." Thomas ignored him, as he continued, "You are on the way to destruction."

"Just about free!" thought Thomas as the cable was almost off. The cable guy stretched out his hand, and a phosphorescent blue "e" encircled Thomas and pulled him away from the cable. A smaller "e" tightened the cable again.

As soon as the blue "e" released Thomas, he sprang to the cable modem again. "Must... remove... connector..." thought Thomas as he started turning the connector again. The evil blue "e" caught him again, and pulled him away.

"I have sponsors to support! You must visit their websites!" screamed the cable guy.

"No!!!" shouted Thomas, "Take away this evil stuff!"

"I will not do that!" retorted the cable guy. "Now sit and visit their websites!"

Thomas refused, but a blue "e" took him in to its grips again. It forced Thomas to the front of the computer, and made him click on the ads. After an hour of being forced to do this, Thomas started doing this on his own, and the blue "e" loosened his grip.

"I can get away!" thought Thomas, and started clicking on the ads with purposeful vigor. The blue "e" released its grip, and Thomas continued for a few minutes longer. Thomas then got up and started to sprint for the door. The evil blue "e" caught him again, and dragged him back to the computer.

Each time Thomas tried to get away, the blue "e" forced him back to the computer. Thomas was a slave to the blue "e". Nothing Thomas tried could free him from its reach. He still clicks on the pop up ads to this day.