Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Pug Bus Site Down but Not Because of Hack

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(From the AP wire)

WEST CHESTER, PA—Widely popular Internet satire site Postcards from the Pug Bus was stuck in an off-line ditch for five-and-a-half hours on Tuesday May 10. Although bloggers and The New York Times website initially reported that Pug Bus was offline because it had been hacked—either by outraged Rolling Stones fans or the Christian Mothers for Decency in Satire—Pug Bus CEO Phil Maggitti, HMFIC, denied those rumors.

“We were the victims of nothing more sinister than premature DNS rejaculation,” laughed Maggitti from the small, curiously appointed den from which he directs his publishing empire.

“We are currently in the process of changing web servers from an old propane-driven model used by the Amish farmer who hosts our site to a new gerbil-driven device pioneered by GereTech. During the initial stages of the rearticulation exchange, one of the nodules at GereTech became twisted. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but their support people were on top of it eventually. Because GereTech had outsourced recently, it took me three or four phone calls before I could make my problem understood, but once that wicket had been unstuck, we were good to go—and my wife and I were pleasantly surprised by the Indian takeway.”

Although Maggitti declined to speculate, satire-industry observers say the outage, which occurred between 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. EDST, might have cost Pug Bus as much as $4.97 in lost Google AdSense revenue.

“That’s chump change,” Maggitti said. “We spend more than that on ice cream cones.”

For all Maggitti’s characteristic nonchalance, most satire insiders claim that the 2:00 to 7:30 p.m. time slot is a crucial one for ratings.

According to Jack Richards, head of Richards, Morgenstern, and Grant Ltd., “By 2:00 p.m. workers on the East Coast have basically lost interest in their jobs for the day, so they’re looking for a little diversion, and people on the West Coast are just killing time between coffee break and lunch. Even for a site like Pug Bus, which has been averaging nearly 2,300 visitors a day for the last six weeks, that’s a bad time to go dark.”

Or to start punctuating in tongues, as some of the pages on the Pug Bus site did. Indeed, that problem may well persist for the next day or two, “until the crepuscular defiguration adjusts itself vis-a-vis the TTP/IC stack vertical alignment,” Maggitti acknowledged. Therefore, Pug Bus visitors who access pages stored on the propane-driven server may see “&” instead of quotation marks, “@” instead of em dashes, and “#” in place of umlauts.

Bloggers, of course, will continue to see conspiracy in those squiggles.

“This site and its writers, particularly Biff Scuzzy and Chip Hilton, have stepped on a lot of egos,” said Thaddeus “Thad” Steingenhausen, arguably the most prolix blogger on the Net. “The piece about Julia Roberts suing her breasts and the one about the Terri Schaivo death watch office pool, were extremely offensive, as Matt Drudge pointed out. You’ve got to think there are a lot of people who have the Pug Bus site in their cross-hairs.”

“Spare me,” sighed Maggitti, taking a long pull from his ever-present Pepsi One. “As Jesse Helms once said, ‘There’s no reason life has to be complicated.’ That’s always been my motto. That and, ‘If it exists, it deserves to be mocked.'”

In related news, stock prices soared on the New York Stock Exchange this morning on the news that service to Postcards from the Pug Bus had been restored.    

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