Rise and Fall of a Sockpuppet: The j_wilkin Saga

nom de pomme
if I may do this Roman style…..

thumbs down. too violent. not enough of the funny.

I’m gonna vote against this guy… Just not good enough.

Yeah, I’m just not too keen on him. It’s a close call though. I mean, he’s written some very funny things and at least made some useful attempt. I’d be all for hiring him except when he’s not killing black people he’s just not funny.

Then the thread derailed into a lengthy discussion of the Roman method of signaling for the execution of a gladiator, and a side discussion of whether declining our first unknown auditionee would have a chilling effect on future auditionees (it ultimately didn’t).

It slowly began to dawn on me that my writers were taking this very seriously. That the critiques they gave were coming after much deliberation, that their thoughts about rejection’s precedent were carefully-thought through. I began to wish that I didn’t have to reveal to them that nobody had ever discovered our website and spontaneously decided to submit–not until a couple of months later, anyway.

My big reveal was posting a random string of characters (a310h4nt23) as Tanzmetall in the invisible administrative forum, and then again as j_wilkin. It was supposed to be the Kaiser Soze moment, where people said to themselves, “But how could j_wilkin know… oh… my God…”

Instead, it only confused people, so I had to actually say I was j_wilkin. It was the least graceful reveal in history. nom de pomme’s Faith Meter registered an all-time low, Burpen rolled his eyes loudly enough that I heard it through the Internet, and Grabass_Champion was palpably disappointed. I felt like an asshole. I spent the next few days apologizing over myself, saying, hey, you laughed, right? Doesn’t that mean it was worth it?

By not preparing an endgame, I botched it. The j_wilkin saga ended with a whimper, not a bang. It ended in decaying dreams and overwhelming disappointment and murmurs of rebellion.

And I began to realize that the joke didn’t have a punchline. And that what joke there was, was on me.

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