Early Friday morning, the United States government temporarily terminated Internet access for twenty-four hours in an attempt to gauge the potential effects in case a crisis ever occurs in which they have no other option but to permanently shut it down. During the tumultuous episode, mass riots and the gnashing of teeth were reported across all 50 states.
Dubbed Operation Denying Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2011, the exercise was the brainchild of Senator Joe Lieberman, who, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense, is coordinating legislation to empower the president to deny access to the U.S. Intranet in case of another cyber emergency.
“We cannot forget the atrocious terrorist attack that occurred on January 21, 2008, when over the course of thirty-six hours, Ayman Al-Zawahiri used PapaJohns.com to have 10,000 pizzas delivered to the White House,” Senator Lieberman said at a press conference the following morning. “Not only did it cost taxpayers over $100,000, but we still haven’t been able to properly dispose of all the mounds of pepperoni, sausage, ham, green pepper, onion, and mushroom pizzas scattered about the White House.”
He continued, “If we had been able to shut down the Internet quickly enough, we may have been able to prevent 9,750 of those orders from ever being processed.”
Despite Lieberman’s noble goals, most Americans were unable to cope with the unexpected and unannounced ordeal. Some, like Washington, D.C. native Keith Matthews, a petite, pot-belied hermit, gathered outside Capitol Hill to vent their frustrations. Incidentally, most of the protesters had become so misanthropic from years of Internet abuse that they stood at faraway distances from one another, while quietly holding up signs covered in illegible handwriting.
“Without the Internet, it’s as if I’m without a soul, without friends, and without a purpose to live,” a shy and apprehensive Keith gently murmured to reporters during the protest, while simultaneously yelling at likeminded protesters to keep away. “I’ve dedicated the last ten years of my life to building a comprehensive network of online friends who care deeply about me, but now I’m all alone!”
Sadly, the Americans most traumatized by the Internet shutdown were lonely, young teenage girls, many of whom had developed online relationships with boys whom they had never met, spoken to on the phone, or confirmed were even human (see related piece about Internet-savvy chimps from San Diego Zoo seducing unsuspecting online bystanders).
“I had to go like 100 billion hours without speaking to Clyde, who, by the way, I’m engaged to,” said 14-year-old Rachel O’Donnell, proudly displaying her “most awesomest ever,” cyber-engagement Silly Band. “I was going to get him an engagement band too, but he demanded I send bananas instead.”
Most startling though were all the divorces that resulted from the temporary shutdown. Incoming reports from probate courts all across America reveal that at least thirty-seven million couples filed for divorce during the outage. 95% of them cited a lack of romance as per the inability to play Second Life, while the other 5% complained about being unable to access their online porn collection, which, according to one couple, “made us realize that besides Internet-porn-fueled sex, we have nothing whatsoever in common.”
Thankfully, the operation did at least have one serendipitous side effect. Victor Schultz, an anti-social and somewhat apathetic, high-functioning male who previously only left his home to obtain groceries, finally made an attempt to seek the beauty all around him.
“Not having the Internet at my disposal forced me to go outside and smell the roses, dance in the sunlight, and even kiss a stranger’s baby,” Victor said. “I can’t wait to share this new world with my Internet girlfriend, Koko!”