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11. My Worst First Chapter
Johnny Hard Drive was a really good hacker.
Do you ever get tired of being, like, good?
Okay so one time, inspired by the efforts of a bunch of Internet nerdgeek cult famous celebrities like Jonathan Coulton (musician behind the Portal/Portal 2 end themes), my partner and I decided to write our own ‘Worst First Chapters’. It’s pretty much what it sounds like.
Then we got the chance to perform these to a live audience. On a cruise ship.
Here’s a video of the event!
My rendition starts at 3:22. Please ignore my hair, even though I’ve just drawn specific attention to it. The whole video is worth a watch, but I’m gonna specifically shout out my partner Mike’s version, which starts at 12:11 and is a fucking banger.
Huge thanks to Joey for filming and Dave for running the event (hi Dave!) :))))))
I 10000% believe that watching the video is the superior way to consume this literary masterwork, but for those with accessibility considerations, here’s the piece in text form. Enjoy!
Johnny Hard Drive was a really good hacker. Reddit. 4chan. Yahoo Answers. He was known everywhere it mattered and was wanted by fifty-eight different intelligence agencies around the world, and three of the same ones. They hated him with a burning passion because he kept taking down banks and leaking the directors’ dick pics, which his legions of adoring fans would then write reviews for and also turn into merch. Johnny Hard Drive’s Etsy shop was doing very well.
He had fanbases on all of the social medias, especially Tumblr, where hordes of tax-paying adults with day jobs would post speculative fan art of what he might look like, accompanied with tags such as ‘more like daddy hard drive’ and ‘johnny hard drive can drive hard in me any day.’
But nowhere was he more loved than on what some people call the last bastion of free speech: Twitter.
Through a narratively implausible miracle, Johnny Hard Drive didn’t know about Twitter. He was a happy man.
These two completely definitely absolutely unrelated facts were about to change.
It was Friday night and Johnny Hard Drive was waking up. He was nocturnal because he was very cool, and because it was too hot during the day to wear his long sexy leather trench coat, which was needed to hide his long sexy body because otherwise a walk down the streets would cause far too many hydroplane-induced traffic accidents from passers-by losing all their fluids in a riotous torrent of sexual fervour.
Johnny yawned out of bed and checked his emails on the big black glassy screen that hovered in his bedroom like in science fiction movies. All the text and lines on the screen were in fluorescent green, because the most important part of being a l33t h4x0r was the #aesthetic.
His emails looked normal. There were the cease and desists from companies he was tormenting. There was the fanmail, from all the guys, gals, and non-binary pals who wanted to be more than pals, who wanted a slice of the ol’ Hard Drive. There were the Etsy sale notifications from people buying embroidered patches, enamel pins, and risographed zines of the dick picks of the top brass of the FBI, CIA, MI6, FSB, KGB, NKVD, ADA, PUG, and YMCA.
Then a new email pinged through. It was from one of Johnny’s bits of code he wrote that would notify him whenever a platform mentioned his name more than a million times (Johnny liked to keep tabs on his lovers and haters).
Johnny read the email with interest. It was from a site called Twitter.
He grinned widely, like a shark at a dentist whom he was also in love with, because he was a trash connoisseur at heart and had just found the motherlode.
But then he found some other comments, and these other ones didn’t like Johnny Hard Drive at all. Not because he was a computer hacker with a flourishing side hustle based on sexually harrassing powerful men (though there were some threads arguing about if this was good praxis for the progressive left, or actually just creepy), but because they seemed to think that he was a joke account who wasn't actually a real person.
Johnny’s brain short-circuited from this existential affront. He keeled over on his desk and immediately started snoring, like in a cartoon. With the little high-pitched squeal at the end of each nose rattle and everything.
After some time, Johnny Hard Drive sat up again and continued reading.
And then, like a particularly brooding and intelligent chicken who had had enough of eggs and wanted to diversify its range, he started hatching a plan.