Back when the internet was first hitting its stride in the mid-1990’s, every website had to work a little bit harder to get noticed in this new arena. The news sites strived to be the most user friendly, the pornography palaces raced to cover (or uncover) the most ethnicities, and the search engines all tried to stand out as the best source of finding that racially diverse porn page.

At this point in time, Yahoo! began to stand out as the first great search engine. After leaping past WebCrawler, Yahoo was your bare bones search tool that got you around all fifty pages of the internet.

Like the NBA career of Scottie Thurman, nobody remembers these days. That’s because Yahoo has now not-so-subtly executed a hostile takeover of every conceivable internet purpose. All in one sitting, you can not only search for the music of Shaquille O’Neal, but you can also refinance your home, find out how the stars are aligning for a Pisces, and school some poor sucker in a game of canasta. We are only days away from when Yahoo will open not only an auction house, not only a dating service, but a mail order bride auction center.

As I stated, however, the days of being able to browse and then proxy a bid on an Ozarks redhead are sadly still a dream, so the best you can do is go about this “love” business the old-fashioned way. I am, of course, talking about e-based relationships that consist of web cam flashing, superfluous use of emoticons, and more “lol’s” than should be employed by any rational human being.

If you use any of Yahoo’s services such as e-mail, fantasy sports, or my personal favorite, the pet classifieds, then you will be bombarded with more advertisements hocking the dark empire’s other avenues of business. The ads that seem to be pushed hardest, or at least in the most shame-inducing way, are those for the Yahoo personals.

If you are a Yahoo serf like me and the rest of the wired world, you’ll know what I mean. The most abundant of these ads featured a mid-20’s blond named “Erin” accompanied by the “hook ‘em while they’re horny” tagline of Sexy, Stylish, Single.

Erin was not the hottest girl on the internet, nor was she the ugliest, but I couldn’t help but feel that she was probably going to get a lot of responses considering every male with at least third-party access to a computer was going to see her smiling, “SOMEBODY PLEASE DATE ME!” face. And as is so often the case, I was right. It was not all that long after that this picture showed up in a Yahoo advertisement:

Well there you have it. Erin gets paid to have her desperation enter the public domain and she is rewarded with what appears to be a normal guy smooching her forehead. So that’s that, right? Erin found Craig and all is blissful and the next loser at love who gets the Yahoo billboard treatment will experience the same fortune she did.

If that’s the case, you can sign me up right now. Because it wasn’t more than a day or two later that this one popped up during my compulsory Yahoo online time as mandated in the bylaws of the Milky Way Coalition.

Well, well, well! One minute we have Erin pleading at me with her over-sized teeth to bite on her personal ad, the next minute she is cuddling with Craig, and then while Craig is out with the boys, BOOM!* she’s off canoodling with Jay. It’s one thing for Erin to be a two-timing love addict, and it’s one thing for Yahoo to know their spokeswaif possesses this trait, but it’s quite another for them to be broadcasting her affairs, especially when Craig is probably going to kick Jay’s ass after he sees him horsing around with his online girlfriend. One can only assume that if she also gave Jay the "<3" emoticon that Craig would be well within his rights to remove Jay’s ability to court any future woman. We’ll just leave it at that.

*"Boom!" is a registered trademark of Jonathan Madden

But you know what? It doesn’t even stop there. When Craig arrived at Jay’s house with a lead pipe and an empty bottle of Admiral Nelson’s that was destined to meet Jay’s mandible, a funny thing ended up happening. Jay ended up fashioning his fireplace poker as well as his in-case-of-homicidal-emergency ice pick and leaving with Craig to Eric’s house. Why do you ask? Because of this:

Yep, once the blood-thirsty posse arrived at his house, Eric was no match for Craig’s fake shot with the lead pipe followed by the Admiral to the chops. Then when he was done, Jay was able to skewer him like a shish kabob with the poker while creating a few dozen more navels with the ice pick.

And in case you’re wondering what happened to Erin, let’s just say she’s back as a lonely single in the personal ads….


Okay, so that’s not really funny at all, but wait for it. Then Jay and Craig, traumatized by Yahoo and their Personals racket, ended up leaving for Massachusetts and getting married. If NBC’s Prime-Time lineup has conditioned us to anything, it's that any plot that features a loose woman, a group of friends, and at least one token gay guy is the formula for “must-see” comedy. Even Yahoo can’t argue with that, although somebody within the "Yahoo Tarot Reading and Bobsledding" section will probably try.

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One of the honest-to-Bob Nelson services that Yahoo offers is "The Notepad." I can't believe this. On my computer I have two programs, one is called "Notepad" and the other is called "WordPad." I can access these both quickly and easily without having to log onto the internet and navigate to my saved note at

Also, I have in my possession what our grandparents called a "notebook" as well. It is actually a physical device where I can jot down my notes without the need of a computer, internet service, or a technical "For-Dummies" book.

Finally, my body also comes equipped with a device I like to refer to as my "brain." I can access things that need to be recalled without the internet, a computer, or a notebook, and most of the time I don't even need to look up from my book of Sabrina the Teenage Witch mad-libs to access it. But just for fun and to make the poor programmer's work worthwhile, I did leave myself an important message using this feature.