So you think you know all there is to know about MSN Messenger, huh? You keep telling youself that buster, and maybe someday you'll start believing yourself. MSN Messenger (from now on referred to as "MSN") can at the best of times be a handy program that allows you to chat with friends, transfer files conveniently, and even show off cool display pictures. When the other side of the toast shows up, however, you have a deranged sub-culture festering with loonies who think the Nudge button is the greatest thing ever invented, embarassing nicknames, 50MB file transfers, and what-have-yous.
Knowing full well of the growing number of problems faced by disillusioned MSN users, our resident MSN expert (who also happens to be - who else? - the author of this blog) squeezes in some time to take questions on Netiquette. And no, that's not the new boutique in Times Square.
Note: The following article is almost entirely a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, events, or places are purely coincidential and satirical.
MSN-okkies: Hello, so you think you know MSN?
Caller One: Hello. I'm having a conversation with this friend whom I have not seen in a long time, but we don't seem to have much to talk about after exchanging greetings and news. What should I say?
MSN-okkies: If the last sentence was from him, say "oic", "ok", or "haha". Then WAIT for 5 minutes before switching your status to Away. All replies from him in the meanwhile should be ignored. This way, it'll seem as though you left your computer to go into sleep mode while you went elsewhere. Totally acceptable.
Caller One: But what if he keeps asking me "Hey, r u there?" and Nudging me?
MSN-okkies: Sign out. It'll seem like your mom accidentally turned off the computer while cleaning up. Happens all the time.
Caller One: Oh wow, that's neat. I'll try that next time. Thanks a lot, MSN...ok...kies? They actually let you come on air with that sort of name?
MSN-okkies: There is no they. I am the they.
MSN-okkies: Hello, so you think you know MSN?
Caller Two: There's this girl I want to chat with, but her status is at Away. Would it be appropriate to just say hi?
MSN-okkies: (stifles laughter) Of course not. She's definitely not at her computer - her status wouldn't be Away otherwise, would she?
Caller Two: But what is she doing with her MSN on if she's not at the computer?
MSN-okkies: Downloading songs. And, uh, transferring them through MSN.
Caller Two: All the time?!
MSN-okkies: So she has a slower dial-up connection. You got a problem with that?
Caller Two: Umm...I guess not. But sometimes I see her status change to "Busy" instead. What's up with that?
MSN-okkies: Duh...what do you think? She must be so busy with something else that requires her undivided attention that she actually bothered to turn on her MSN and take the trouble to change her tag to "Busy". Yups, that's got to be it.
Caller Two: (sighs) Guess I'll never have her, then.
MSN-okkies: Ew. Go change your MSN nick to "I love you forever and ever, will you pls be my girlfren" or something. And get a life while you're at it.
MSN-okkies: Okay, now all the weirdos are coming in. Hello, so you think you know MSN?
Caller Three: Uh, yeah, hi. So, there's this friend of mine who, like, keeps sending me huge files of lame stuff everytime I meet him online. I don't like refusing him - you know? - but it's really slowing down my com and all. What's a guy gotta do?
MSN-okkies: Sounds pretty easy to me. You accept his file, count to ten, and click "Cancel". Sure, the dude's gonna be all "Hey, what happened?". And you can say "Aw man, problem with the connection. Send again." He'll try once more, and this time you count till TWENTY before cancelling. Repeat process, counting up to a different number each time until it's safe enough to say "gtg". Should be fun enough to put you off whatever you're busy with at the moment.
Caller Three: But won't he, like, get suspicious and all?
MSN-okkies: Nobody can ever be justifiably suspicious of the opposite party on MSN. Remember that, naive one, and all shall be well with your future conversations.
Caller Three: Will try to. Thanks, Mr. MSN...uh, uh...
MSN-okkies: It's a play of words using MSN and Mokkies. Go read up on a word called intelligence, for crying out loud.
MSN-okkies: Hello, so you think...
Caller Four: Some idiot's put my name in his MSN nick, followed by "I love you forever and ever, will you pls be my girlfren". It's really, really, embarrassing. Please get him to stop.
MSN-okkies: Yeeps...doesn't seem to be a pretty case, missy. You tried talking to him?
Caller Four: No way I'm talking to that creep! Should I block him?
MSN-okkies: I would advise against that. MSN Block Checkers are floating around everywhere these days. Then you might have to switch to ICR or something.
Caller Four: You mean ICQ.
MSN-okkies: Yeah, whatever. All right, tell you what...create a new e-mail account that sounds as much as possible like it came from the actual MSN company. Send him an email with that account detailing - in corporate language and all, of course - how he has been "reported for violating privacy rights of other users via means of defamation, harassment etc as detailed in Guideline 13 of the Registration Rules And Regulations", making his "continued usage of the current account an offense punishable by federal and international law." Should he disregard the email, take it to the next level by creating an MSN Messenger account with the new email and adding him into your contact list. Chat up with him while imposing as an MSN high-up staff the best you can. That should scare the living daylights out of him.
Caller Four: Wow, thanks! You really are a great help!
MSN-okkies: Why, you make me blush. Have a nice day.
MSN-okkies: My, my, look at the time. We'll take one last caller before going off air. Hello, so you think you know MSN?
Caller Five: Uhh...hi, it's me again. You know, the one who was being ignored by the girl.
MSN-okkies: (chokes on laughter) Oh yeah, I remember you. So how did it go?
Caller Five: Not so good. I changed my MSN nick, and she's still On The Phone. It's been six hours already. Should I call her?
MSN-okkies: She's on the phone, doink.
Caller Five: Then maybe I should send her an SMS. She'll reply me after she finishes her call, right?
MSN-okkies: Of course she will. Keep it short and sweet too...just ask "where r u". Everyone loves receiving and replying to messages like that. And while you're at it, ask "r u there" through MSN, followed by a Nudge.
Caller Five: And if all else fails?
MSN-okkies: Nudge repeatedly. Remember - nothing, and I mean nothing, in this world is more powerful than the Nudge. Except for Winks, maybe.
Caller Five: Okay, I sure will try that. Hey, I received a new email from MSN Anti Stalkers! Cool.
MSN-okkies: Goodbye, sucka.
MSN-okkies: (sniggers) It's a complicated world out there, and someone's gotta provide us with comic relief. Boy oh boy, do I smell a money-spinning franchise coming up. That's a wrap, people, hope you enjoyed the show and took it more seriously than I did. ;)