In August 2000, my web provider went out of business. My site was down until the end of September 2000, while I was waiting for the new machine to arrive and get configured. In the meantime, I was running a temp site somewhere else that had a "SpinnWebe is down" message; after a while I got bored with just having that and started doing occasional updates with silly or amusing things.
During that time, Dodge introduced me to The Schumin Web, which set me on an ever-increasing path of discovery and amazement through the Land of Suck. What follows are the updates I put for each day for Schumin Week.
My apologies for links to Ben's site not working, but it's just not worth tracking all of them down to fix them whenever he reogranizes things.
|Ben Schumin Week Kickoff||Sep 11, 2000|
Speaking of awards: if you haven't seen the ones I've given, I have Creative, Odd, and Twisted categories. For a while I'd been kicking around the idea of adding a Crap category. If I do, hoo man do I have a taker: The Schumin Web. I have difficulty describing...it's just layers and layers of suck, and it's all self-congratulatory suck. I mean, imagine Ed Wood, with his own web site, and no sense of humor, and a snooty attitude, and less of a clue.
There are many updates, anecdotes, stories, and FAQs here, all of which will be of interest to those in the viewing audience that are directly within a 3' radius of Ben Schumin, possibly less. If I quoted it to the length it deserves, I'd drop a King-novel-length of text here, especially because he goes on and on with explanation after explanation of his site, what's on his site, why he did it this way, what he used to do it that way, pictures of what he used to do it that way, et cetera, et cetera. Here's a sample from his home page under a picture of a ruined building:
See this building? It collapsed because the little man inside was so happy that he switched to Geico! Ha, ha, ha. Just kidding. It's really the result of when all the occupants of the building logged into The Schumin Web simultaneously, and the sheer size of the burst of Schumin Web content rocked their world to the extent that their building collapsed. Okay. Now let's put on our serious face. It seems our friend Mr. Earthquake has struck again...
He reads like a regular columnist in The Onion. So I'll try to let his text speak for itself (because you'll be clicking through his site, dumbfounded, for at least twenty minutes, and see it for yourself) and restrain myself to a few highlights:
Not only is there a Contacting Me page, but there's a Contacting Me FAQ page. The Contacting Me page is headed up with his plea: "please don't harrass me" (emphasis his), and includes several pages of text around his e-mail address, his mobile pager text gateway, and in case you need to contact him IMMEDIATELY (again, his), his AIM and ICQ contacts. (By the way, his AIM user info includes the text: "Note: Sending me something obscene or off-color right off the bat will earn you a one way ticket into my killfile. You've been warned." I can only interpret this as a friendly warning, as he wouldn't want to unfairly deprive us of the full Ben Schumin experience.)
I figured his Contacting Me FAQ was going to be a dissertation on how to use mail, the gateway, AOL and ICQ to contact him (IMMEDIATELY in case of a Ben Schumin Stage Alpha Emergency), but in fact, it's just an oddly named FAQ: "Here I answer your common questions about me, and then some. Enjoy!" This is apparently the hard-hitting, edgy dirt that couldn't be addressed on the About Me page. It includes questions like "Can I get a Schumin Web shirt?" (No, sorry, they were a limited edition, but he lookin' damn fine in 'em); why the site won't load inside someone else's frames ("So... if a media company tries to 'frame' my site with one of their advertisements at the top... there will be some sad people when my site automatically breaks the frame to bits"); "I saw your computer. Nice box! How much did that cost you?" (answer: "If you have to ask, you can not afford it"). At the bottom are those "har har" kind of frequently asked questions that a certain class of dope likes to put at the end of FAQs. These are possibly even less amusing than usual, considering they contrast with the questions he really expects you to take seriously, such as the availability of The Schumin Web t-shirts.
The inside of his dormroom is fully documented, including the 400 mhz PII he's so proud of ("MY computer, and I do mean my"), but as he was obviously unable to contain the Inside My Dorm Room page to the actual confines of his dorm room, it includes pictures of the tazo ad and his big URL banner on his front door, the hallway outside, and the laundry room, which finishes with a picture of a poster he put there. I suppose he felt like his site would be incomplete without each tiniest bit of paper he's ever touched. I can't figure why there isn't a full catalog of "While you were away" phone messages he's written, as well. Do you think he maybe tries to pay his bills by signing his autograph on napkins?
Of course there's the Webcam where I got the big meaty wave, above. But in case he's not there and you need a fix, there's the suprisingly skimpy webcam archives, which I expected to be indexed by date, moon phase, color tint, smell, effluvia, overall scratchiness, and verve, but are only three pictures, one of which illustrates that he is the only person on God's green Earth over the age of seven who uses the phrase "Shiver me timbers!" (I was always the geek in school, and there was hardly anyone I could've bullied, but man do I want to push this kid in some mud.)
Speaking of archives, there are several pages of quote archives (here is one, but there are many)--apparently he changes a quote on the front of his page on a semi-regular basis, and there are reams of explanations behind the quotes, and he's all too happy to tell you the story behind them (geeks: for bonus fun, find the Ben Schumin definition of "killfile" in the previous link). Also archived are many of his high school and college writings. Sorry, I'm about to quote here, but these things are not to be missed:
From The Dead Man's Headset, about a headset he uses at work that used to belong to a guy who killed himself, and inexplicably sung (badly) to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme:
The dead man used to know how to, But now he is no more. He blew his lover's boyfriend 'way, Then took eternal tour.
That was for an AP English class in high school. I know I've been out of high school for a while, but...AP does mean "Advanced Placement", right? Right?
Day 2 of a trip to Canada begins with this flowery gem:
The second day of the trip, and the first full day in Canada, Mom woke up early, and then woke me up. We then went down to the Market Garden, the restaurant at the Delta Chelsea, and got their standard breakfast platter. That entailed some eggs, toast, sausage, and potatoes. Then of course, we got coffee as well as some juice. And that was a fine meal, and it left us full.
Geez, it's almost like being there, isn't it?
And here's a bit from Love For All The Wrong Reasons, a "blank verse" about how he got dumped by a girl after a month ("Our three dates took us to Pentagon City Mall, movies at my house, and historic Martinsburg, West Virginia"), and I think was the page that finally pushed me over the edge and got me to typing all this:
I'm one of the most sociable folks that Do work at work. I'm there for all the times They need some help from me. I'm nice to all The souls at work, much more than we can say For you. You are a shameless hussy, yes, A floozy through and through. We know you are A heartless wench with no regard for those Who really care. We ought to lock you in A room and throw away the key. I will Not speak to you again. Now please don't let The door hit you when you exit my life.
Also, you can get your own @ben-schumin.zzn.com e-mail address, ready for printing on business cards and stationery. I've already picked up email@example.com, so don't bother. Here are a few suggestions, if you're looking for one:
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Okay, that's it, I have to stop talking about him now--this is getting as unwieldy as I feared it would be. (And when I start talking about defiling the ass of Ben Schumin, it's time to wrap it up.) And I haven't even gone through his whole site myself. But I'd like to finish by pointing out his essay on fire drills where he spends five sentences defining the difference between "announced fire drills" and "surprise fire drills"; The Great Hall of Humor [no longer online --spinn], which, as you would imagine, is almost entirely devoid of same; a photo essay of a Wal-Mart visit with his family, which is the action-packed, thrill-paced roller coaster ride you expect from a photo essay of a Wal-Mart visit with Ben Schumin's family; and of course, the inexplicable list of awards he's won. Why, people, WHY?!
Oh, but finally, I suppose I'd be remiss if I didn't direct you to The Schumin Web's Terms of Service. Can't have you grabbing up his clunky 'Twas The Night Before Christmas parody without fair warning of the dire legal consequences.