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Ray Tomlinson a computer engineer from Cambridge, Massachusetts sent the world’s first electronic mail via ARPANET from one computer to another right next to it. Matching the spontaneousness of Alexander Graham Bell’s first phrase spoken over the telephone (“Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”) Mr. Tomlinson sent the text, “something like QWERTYUIOP.” Little did Mr. Tomlinson know that his colleague, Bert Eriksson stood over his shoulder and delivered the world’s first SMH.


Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first global leader to use electronic mail. As the news of Her Majesty’s foray into advanced technological communication made its way across the globe, Nigerian Prince Jones Dimka devises a plan to share his wealth among the people of the world, hoping to match the popularity of fictitious African neighbor Wakanda.


Computer programmer and introvert Scott Fahlman devises a clever method of sharing an emotion by combining several punctuation marks to create a sideways face either smiling 🙂 or frowning 🙁 Soon after, his wife, Dorris, files for divorce, claiming abuse after receiving  <===3 messages for a week. Fahlman claims it is computer code, but she’s not buying it.


The dulcet greeting of “You’ve Got Mail!” excites AOL users for generations, while veteran British voice-over artist Bertram Hennifeather is flummoxed at why his audition tape of “Terribly sorry to interrupt. There appears to be an electronic post at the ready!” wasn’t selected. He begins typing a scathing electronic communique to his agent, which remains in his Drafts folder to this day.


Philip Kowalsky is the first person to ever crash the internet servers of a major corporation as he sends to his employer’s entire address book of six thousand entries an email containing seventeen long descriptive paragraphs and over 150 high-definition pictures of exotic birds from his recent vacation. To this day, Vicki in Supply still cannot download her emails, and hates all birds, and Phil.


Jeffery Stalwurtz, 61, ingeniously captures the attention of his family by writing an historical account of when his ancestors came to America through Ellis Island, all in the subject line. Only his cousin Murray Stalwurtz, 79, bothered to read the entire 42,874-word entry.


Campaign representatives for Gov. George W. Bush devise a marketing plan to email every registered voter as part of his push to win the upcoming national election in November. Voters in the state of Florida become so enraptured by the personal connection they feel with the Republican candidate that in their frenzied euphoria, they make such mistakes as not engaging the voting mechanism fully resulting in incomplete votes, they vote for Pat Buchanan, and some enthusiastically vote for every candidate. To this day, Florida voters continue to befuddle logic and reason for just about everything.


Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Maurice Bonlehomme produces an inexpensive erectile dysfunction medication and in his excitement, asks his niece Zondra to help him with marketing the new pills. Angry at her boyfriend’s constant sexual advances, Zondra opts to use his image as part of the sales push and Stephan Fleurdeleur becomes the new face of “Cheep V!agr@.”


Dismayed by the lack of customer engagement for their art supply sales, three independent vendors combine their mailing lists and create a profit scheme utilizing the “Unsubscribe” button found at the bottom of each of their emails. The only way out of the unsubscribe vortex is to purchase something worth at least $35.


After 50 years of more than eleven trillion attempts, Prince Dimka of Nigeria ends his campaign to share his wealth with the world, and deletes his Compuserve email address.

*Most of the claims made in this article are made up, creatively altered, or fabricated for your amusement, except Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and that ignorant fuck Philip Kowalsky, whose damn email lost my cousin an important account thanks to pictures of Dickcissels and Hottentot Buttonquails.

Jay Heltzer

Jay Heltzer writes attention-challenged fiction, plays bass trombone, digs sloppy fountain pen sketches, and is in pursuit of the perfect cheeseburger.

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