Googling for the CIA

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Mr. President:

Below is a log of yesterday's Web-surfing activities for "freelance writer" Mr. Teddy Wayne, as requested. The log was generated with cooperation from his broadband provider, the CIA's keystroke-detection technology and our mole, posing as the subject's longtime friend, who asked to use his computer to check e-mail but, when the subject was in the bathroom, actually viewed his browser's history. Please note that while the usage is confirmed as the subject's, the actual IP address originates with his elderly next-door neighbor's wireless connection.

10:42-10:50 AM: Subject e-mailed Ms. Veronica Stafford, whom he evidently met at "Tom's party" on Friday night. After several false starts, subject wrote that he thought they made a "real connection, not like a fake party-connection," and eventually invited Ms. Stafford to dinner that night, though he pointed out it was short notice and that she "probably already [had] other plans, but just in case you were free, you know, if you wanted to, or whatever."

10:52 AM: Subject checked e-mail, presumably for Ms. Stafford's reply. Nothing.

10:54-11:37 AM: Subject Googled Ms. Stafford, locating several cached sports articles she wrote for her college newspaper and one image of her in a group shot from a high school trip to Italy. Subject zoomed in to study her with arm around then-boyfriend, and remained there for 11 minutes.

12:06-09 PM: Subject narcissstically Googled self, and ceased when he came across unflattering remark on friend Josh Peterson's blog about his recent "nails-on-a-chalkboard" karaoke rendition of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." (N.B.: Our mole was present at the performance, and confirms that the subject's tone-deaf singing was "excessively painful" and "should be forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.")

12:10 PM: Subject checked e-mail. No new messages.

12:32-1:14 PM: Subject Googled and followed hits for four women, three of whom are confirmed ex-girlfriends, and the last of whom he had a "massive unrequited crush on in high school," according to our dossier. Yes, we keep track of this sort of thing.

1:47-2:29 PM: Subject updated MySpace profile's "Interests: Music" section to reflect his appreciation for former Pavement frontman and possible Taliban-sympathizer Stephen Malkmus (consider lyrics from 2000's "Pink India": "Tension grows in Afghanistan / Carbine bullets could settle the score." The Agency is currently investigating whether Mr. Malkmus's "indie slacker" image is a front for a systematic covert op.). Subject also visited Mr. Peterson's profile and left vengeful comment regarding his need for a more photogenic main picture.

2:30 PM: Subject checked e-mail. Nada.

2:31-2:55 PM: Subject surfed "Torvald's ‘Not Safe for Work' Anna Kournikova Shrine" (website domain confirmed as Mr. Torvald Nordstrøm's of Vigelandsbruk, Norway). After browsing through several JPEG galleries, subject lingered on photo of a sunbathing Ms. Kournikova for six minutes.

2:55-2:58 PM: Subject closed 17 pop-up ads originating from Mr. Nordstrøm's website. Rapidity of closure suggests sense of shame and self-loathing.

3:29-3:37 PM: Subject checked e-mail and received one new message, from "Polonius J. Frootier" with subject line "INSTINTLY GAIN 3-5 MORE INCHES!!!!" Subject deleted message. The FBI tells us they are unable to locate any information on Mr. Frootier.

3:38-3:44 PM: Subject read Wikipedia biography on comedian Milton Berle.

3:45-3:53 PM: Subject retrieved message from Mr. Frootier in Trash folder, clicked on link, read about the product's "elite scientific proof," and, after three minutes of apparent deliberation, placed order.

3:54 PM: Subject checked e-mail again — empty inbox. Obsessive loser.

3:55-4:08 PM: Subject made purchase of You Can Do It, Champ! Don't Be Afraid To Ask Out Gorgeous Women, Fourth Revised Edition by Gerry Andrews. To receive free SuperSaver shipping, subject added to shopping cart The Rules of the Game: Get Laid Tonight! by Bill Randall.

4:09-4:17 PM: Subject reviewed fantasy baseball team, and traded Ichiro Suzuki for Alex Rodriguez. Such a stupid move — with the Yanks' lineup decimated by injuries this year, A-Rod will be lucky to even approach .900 OPS. We almost intervened.

4:18-4:23 PM: Subject illegally downloaded Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True." Al: This particular download raises numerous ambiguities concerning intellectual property; can subject actually be prosecuted?

4:29-5:06 PM: Subject employed "Instant Messaging" technology to electronically converse with alias "CuteCaliBlonde22" (confirmed as Mr. Gerald Combs, retiree, of Lincoln, Nebraska). Perhaps tipped off to our surveillance, correspondents wrote largely in a private code, with such lettered combinations as "ROTFLMAO" and "IMHO," as well as symbols like " ;) " and " @:-) " — which looks suspiciously like a turbaned man. Our symbologists and computers have yet to decipher anything.

5:21-5:22 PM: Subject received e-mail from Ms. Stafford, who wrote that she already had plans for the night and hoped her delayed reply had not inconvenienced him.

5:23-5:25 PM: Subject immediately replied to Ms. Stafford, stating her delay had caused "no problem" and assuring her he had already made alternative plans and "maybe [they] could meet up some other time when both our schedules are more open."

5:26-11:07 PM: Subject revisited Mr. Norgstrøm's website for remainder of night, periodically checking e-mail to reread message from Ms. Stafford.

Subject is regarded as highly suspicious and a threat to national interests. Information on all anti-American Web-surfing activities will be furnished to you immediately, as will updates on subject's relationship with Ms. Stafford, whose dossier will be transferred to subject's "massive unrequited crush" file.

Teddy Wayne lives in New York City and St. Louis. He is working on a novel and a humor collection. Read more of his writing at the following websites:

McSweeney's Internet Tendency

Yankee Pot Roast