Love story turns into a tragedy for cyber Romeo
Beware the perils of the Internet. Lately, there's been a lot of innocent cyber-material washing up on hostile shores.
This week was particularly bad on the unwanted attention front.
Just ask the 'Alaskan Assassin'.
He arrived in Hong Kong on Monday.
His real name is Christian Kolden and he's an 18-year-old cadet with the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
Seven weeks ago he sent a love letter to a girl in his class.
By now it's probably got more readers than Shakespeare.
It all started on September 27 when young Christian sat down in front of his computer and composed a love letter that opened with 'What's up dreamuffin?'.
Declared the Alaskan Assassin 'I am going to move in for the kill'.
Then our young Romeo set out to dazzle the object of his affections with these words: 'If your love was a grain of sand, my love would be a universe of beaches.' 'I know that I am not that good in math, but I know the equation of love. It equals you plus me.' 'You complete me. You had me at hello the first time me and you met.' Let's give credit where credit's due - dodgy grammar aside, those last two lines were pretty good.
So credit is due to whoever wrote the film Jerry McGuire.
That's where the Assassin got them.
The love message invites its object out for burgers, before asking: 'Are you tired girl cause you have been running through my head all day'.
Aw. Sort of sweet in a cheesy, awful way.
But the object of the author's affections obviously isn't as tender-hearted as Lai See.
Laura responded by firing off a round of contemptuous e-mails to her peers, holding up the love letter as a fine example of how not to get a date.
Her classmates were so tickled they passed his message along, with their own comments attached, to the rest of the squadron.
Those recipients added their two cents worth and sent it off to friends at other academies.
And so began the Alaskan Assassin's world tour.
From the academies, it made its way through the US Navy, then on to the Pentagon, through various US Air Force bases overseas, then to the Australian Defence Force.
There it veered into the civilian population, entering the nation's universities before hopping the water to New Zealand.
Through Kiwi classrooms and law firm corridors it passed.
Then it was off to London, where it ping-ponged through the investment banks in the City.
Last week it drifted through the cyber space separating Britain from Hong Kong and settled at last in Lai See's mailbox.
We glanced at the top of the message, decided it might be worth a read, clicked 'print' . . . and a forest was culled.
Fifty-five pages of paper spewed from the printer, a chronical of the Alaskan Assassin's transcontinental cyber-journey.
Scattered between the blocks of international e-mail addresses were the comments he'd attracted along the way.
Here are a few samples: This guy could become the Chief of Staff and still would be known as the Alaskan Assassin.
This guy is awesome. I hope I meet him some day! He will never date again.
If every one of these people forwarded this mail on then the Alaskan Assassin is more famous than the Pope.
This guy's got more moves than U-haul, more game than Parker brothers, and he's better with words than Merriam Webster. Somewhere in the distance, the Alaskan Assassin stalks his prey.
A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a danish. (We have no idea what that means, but we gave it first prize in the Bizarre Non-sequiturs category) Subject: The Alaskan Assassin.
You know what I reckon he's thinking? 'Bugger'.
Poor Assassin. At least he's not the only Internet victim.
American bartender Steve Sackman is being sued by pornographers over his Web site for dog-lovers.
It's called Playdog.com, and features pictures of canine creatures wearing nothing but their fur.
With an editor named 'Spot Hephner' and a Playdog of the Month, the Web site's inspiration is obvious.
This month's playdog is Daisy (turn-ons: drooling and sleeping; turn-offs: cats who don't have a sense of humour. Other turn-offs: Cats that do have a sense of humour).
'While there is dog nudity,' the site warns, it is 'appropriate for viewers of all ages'.
'If you're looking for dirty pictures, you're barking up the wrong tree.' The site is not recommended for cats.
Mr Sackman launched Playdog hoping to attract subscribers to a print magazine for dog-owners that he plans to begin.
But a moron looked at the dog site and got all confused. He contacted Playboy to ask if the two were connected.
And so it was that Playboy's legal department began writing to Mr Sackman, filled with righteous copyright rage.
The bewildered dog man told The New York Times he couldn't believe the porn kings were serious.
'It's a completely different market,' he was quoted as saying. 'The only similarity is the word 'play'. I have dogs, they have women.' But Playboy is standing firm.
They don't want their good name going to the dogs.