Hippo City

James Eric Prichard

The other day someone told me that she had just discovered YouTube earlier that week. It took me a few minutes to realize that she wasn’t joking, and after I collected myself, my mind began to wander during the rest of my conversation with her.YouTube has changed my life. Whether I’m uploading montages set to Linkin Park of myself working out, or steering the discussion on someone else’s video toward the fact that 9/11 was an inside job, the Web site has not only brought me hours of entertainment, but has also made me a better person. But, I thought, what if there is something out there like YouTube that I don’t know about? What if a similar epochal source of enrichment has hit the scene, unbeknownst to me? This thought frightens me. And it might not be just another YouTube that eludes me. What if there’s another Omazing Grace (YouTube it), or my favorite band is yet to be discovered? We need to find these hidden treasures!

But what would these treasures look like? They would be similar to that which we already appreciate, or else we would not appreciate them upon discovery. They would not, however, be identical to the things that we already like, because if they were we would not need to find them. They must improve in some aspect upon the already known. In order to find these treasures we need to know what they look like, and we will do that by positing the existence of beings that are based on things we love but are made more awesome in our imaginations.

For example, I like the Web comic Achewood; it’s funny and has cute little animals. This comic would be better if instead of little animals it had hippos, and if it were called Ericwood. When I have the chance I will Google “Ericwood” to make sure that it doesn’t already exist and I have been missing out on it. I will also Google “a Web comic about hippos” just in case the name is something rad that I haven’t thought about.

I also enjoy the online magazine “Slate”; it has intelligent yet unpretentious articles and does not hesitate to educate its readers. It would be better if it had a more fair and balanced point of view, and not so many articles about sex. Remind me to look up “Conservaslate” sometime so that I can abandon “Slate” like I did the liberal Wikipedia.

I really like to chill out to classic hip-hop albums such as “Fear of a Black Planet,” but it’s hard for me to identify with the artists because they don’t share my values, and they’re black. There may be a white rapper from suburban Minnesota who performs covers of Public Enemy with the cuss-words censored. I don’t exactly know how I would find this rapper’s CDs, but there’s no harm in trying.

Another thing that I enjoy is my own column. I always turn to it first, and usually reread it four or five times over the course of the week. I posit the existence of a column that’s approximately two full pages in length. The picture of me extends to my naked torso. It’s also a hologram and I’m holding a rifle in it. The column is written by Future Me and I’ll give out winning lottery numbers in it. Another nice part about this undiscovered column is that I get paid for writing it.

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