I'll never forget when I first met Tink. I was in Fargo for the annual Scrap Metal and Ketamine Fancier's Gala Ball, and after the midget wrestling but before the dancing llama show I wound up at this dive on the edge of town called LuLu's Titty Emporium. There was an assortment of riff-raff there, the usual marginal sorts one sees in such places, but even among the colorful pervs and junkies and future suicides, one character stood out. Off in the corner next to the restrooms was this odd-looking cat drinking appletinis and cackling to himself while running up a phenomenal score on Donkey Kong, and I remember thinking "Maybe this guy knows where to get some PCP." Turns out he did, and later that evening we wound up in an alley behind the Dollar General store, kicking the shit out of a crippled Armenian and laughing that weird angel dust laugh, the one that sounds like waaah-waah-wah-wh-~~~~*. The rest, as they say, is history.
As you may have guessed, I'm exaggerating slightly. There was no dancing llama show, and it was cocaine, not PCP.
I first met Tinkerertink69 - or Bob Smith as he's known to his inner circle - in Open Salon almost three years ago. I'd joined in October of '08, had published a post that got one comment (from Bill Beck, actually, and bless him for that) then went weeks and weeks without getting another on anything I wrote. As is usually the case with new people here, my blog was going unnoticed because I didn't know anybody, but I did manage to make one good friend, Natalie Not Pedantic (I wouldn't have stuck around if not for Natalie's friendship, so if you want to blame someone for my presence here, blame her). She and I sometimes chatted via IM and browsed OS together, pointing out interesting posts to each other and generally exploring this surrealistic zoo of writers and artists and ravers and lunatics we'd fallen into. We read Verbal Remedy and Freaky Troll and Catamitebastard and other famous OSers and we loved their blogs, but we also searched out offbeat posts by people no one had ever heard of, or in other words, people like us. One evening she said "There's this guy you have to check out, he writes some of the strangest and funniest stuff I've ever seen." I clicked on the link she sent and read Some advice that I should take myself --
"(The stuff you'll probably read and not follow cause you're a rebel that way, but don't come crying to me when the stalker lady from Chatalot.com throws a dead rabbit on your door step with a note reading 'Unlike this rabbit, my love will never die....')
To which I replied:
After that I was hooked. Tink's first post had done pretty well compared to mine (twelve comments and eleven rates!), but not many people were reading his blog yet, so it was fun to go over there and laugh with him and Nat and one or two other people even though - or possibly because - he wasn't one of the OS stars. All that changed eventually, of course. The Great Flame Wars of Winter '09 came along, and as a result I was defenestrated by the OS community for a time while Tink went on to win First Prize in the semi-annual Open Salon Hottest Princess Leia Look-alike Contest.
No, that's not an extremely poor example of Photoshopping; Tink's head really looks like that.
Then came the open call soliciting haikus about Kerry as a fruitbat with STDs. Tink's entry was voted best by a jury of people with avatars showing one of their eyeballs close up:
durian's foul bloom
editor's groin untended
competing for stench
As you can see, Tinky was finding his writing chops, so it was beginning to become an Event when he got home from work around 3AM, whacked off to Internet porn for a while, then posted something really weird.
Sadly, there was a seamier side to Tink's rise to glitterati status. Late in 2009 news broke that he'd knocked up Drew-Silla, a naive yet bitchy OSer with a penchant for men who cluck like a chicken while holding their balls.
To avoid a scandal, Joan Walsh had Drew hustled off to a convent in Vermont, from where she continues to blog while learning free-style origami and raising her bastard child. In the wake of this sordid imbroglio, and after an intervention staged by Grif and Dr. Amy, Tink checked into the Betty Ford Clinic, where, following several lobotomies and a lot of macaroni-on-construction-paper art, he managed to kick his addiction to expired NyQuil.
Humbler now, but still unbowed and bursting with talent, Tink staged a triumphant come-back to the Open Salon stage with his poignant and critically acclaimed blog post titled WHY YOU SHOULDN'T FRIEND INVETERATE MASTURBATORS ON FACEBOOK! Since then he's gone on to even greater heights of glory, but, well, you know the rest of the story...
Thanks for all the fun, Tink, and thanks also to Nat and Zuma and JK and Voicegal and Dustbowldiva and Cartouche and Deven and B1 and O'Stephanie and Lonnie Lazar and Julie and Stellaa and Padraig and Bees Tone and High Lonesome and Catamite and AKA and Trudge and Sirenita and CCC and Ariana and Cappy and all the other people from the old days and the people who've left and the people who've joined since and are still joining, except for the spammers, I hate the fucking spammers. It's difficult to imagine nowadays, but there was once a time, in the long, long ago, in the Gone-Before Days, when OS didn't have spam. "But surely that is a myth, there can never have been a time without spammers!"
RIP raman11kumar, the only spambot I loved like a brother.
My old avatar from back in the day.
And Bleue - ten days and counting...