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With our backlogs unclogged and our active subscriptions soaring above the
two thousand mark, it's obviously time to ask of you two things.  Well
three things really, but you won't know the third until further down, and
if you scroll now you'll spoil the second thing, which isn't supposed to be
spoiled before we even TELL you the first thing!  Humph.  First, we want
more minions: please alert everyone around you that JINX is back and
allegedly better than ever!  Have them eagerly read to the bottom and
subscribe today.  Remember: forwarding warnings about fake viruses is BAD,
forwarding Jinx is GOOD!  Secondly, you need to read the following sentence:


Now, go back and count the number of times "F" appears in the sentence.
We're quite serious, as usual.  Please remember your answer as you'll be
asked for it in a moment.  While you're wondering if we are truly insane,
here's an example of a typical Virus Warning that's forwarded by hooligans
much like yourselves.

VIRUS ALERT! ------------------------------------------------>

There is a computer virus that is being sent across the
Internet. If you receive an email message with the subject
line "Free Money," DO NOT read the message.  DELETE it
immediately, UNPLUG your computer, then BURN IT to ASHES in a
government-approved toxic waste disposal INCINERATOR.

Once a computer is infected, it will be TOO LATE.  Your
computer will begin to emit a vile ODOR.  Then it will secrete
a foul, milky DISCHARGE.  Verily, it shall SCREECH with the
tortured, monitor-shattering SCREAM of 1,000 hell-scorched
souls, drawing unwanted attention to your cubicle from
co-workers and supervisors alike.  After violently ripping
itself from the wall, your computer will punch through your
office window as it STREAKS into the night, HOWLING like a
BANSHEE.  Once free, it will spend the rest of its days

Some filthy, disgusting miscreant ... some no-good, low-down,
good-for-nothing DIRTY SNAKE, in twisted pursuit of her own
sadistic dreams, is sending this virus across the Net via an
email entitled "Free Money."  What is so terrifying about this
virus is that you do not even to have to open the email for it
to activate.  In fact, you do not even need to RECEIVE the
email.  You do not even need to OWN a COMPUTER.  "Free Money"
can infect even minor HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES.

How it does this with straight ASCII code is, frankly, a
matter of some debate ... but BELIEVE YOU US, if this weren't
a SERIOUS situation, we wouldn't be discussing it in ALL CAPS.
So for the LOVE OF GOD, forward this email to all those you
claim to care about, all those you purport to love. Don't do
it later! Do it NOW! Now! Now! NOW! NOW! NOW!

(end alert)


Average number of days a West German goes without washing his underwear: 6
This is also the number of Fs in the test we gave you earlier.  You likely
counted 3, since the human brain tends to see the F in "OF" as a "V" (?!).
Rarely will anyone find more!  Now that we've impressed you with our eerie
understanding of the human mind, you must give your complete attention to:


DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING, a process that uses the idle cycles of your computer
(moments when it's is doing utterly nothing) along with thousands of others
to create what is literally "the fastest computer on earth".  No joke, and
you may have already heard of our trendier cousin, SETI@Home.  This entity
is faster and much quieter than SETI -- sort of the stealth fighter of
distributed technologies -- and can accomplish amazing feats here on earth,
ones that even the flashiest supercomputers could never hope to finish in
our lifetime.  Medical Cures, Optical Data, and Mathematic Theory are all
possibilities at  The current project is RC5, a "nearly
unbreakable code" that would take the world's fastest supercomputer decades
to unravel. is on track to breaking it within the next
five years.  What's the point?  Firstly, to prove it can be done.
Secondly, to win actual real money.  Thirdly, to help JINX!

Ah ha: little did you know that Jinx spearheads a group of people working
on RC5, known as "Team West".  This team represents those who are proud to
live in these western lands... those who, like myself, consider West to be,
well, best.  We are currently in mysterious rivalry with a team called
"East" (hailing from Russia of all places), and they are completely
trouncing us.  The cold war it's not, but it *is* a race.  People, we need
your help!

The RC5 Client, a tiny bit of background software, runs transparently on
your system and does not compromise privacy.  It only sends code attempts
when you're online, otherwise it works quietly while you're away from the

Besides, if your computer cracks the code for our team (hey, it's better
than lottery odds), you get $1000 and global acclaim!

Sign up today --

And the spirit of the west will live forever.  For you see, Jinx has always
been one with the forest, living just beyond the final edge of
civilisation.   We're so remote, camping seems metropolitan, and the
following genuine comments seem, um... well, look.

+ + +

These are real comments left on Forest Service registration sheets and
comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

"Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."

"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to
reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to

"Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are
more likely to chase animals."

"All the mile markers are missing this year."

"Found a smouldering cigarette left by a horse."

"Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go

"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the
wilderness to rid the area of these pests."

"Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."

"Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful
views without having to hike to them."

"The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please
eradicate these annoying animals."

"Need more signs to keep area pristine."

"A McDonalds would be nice at the trailhead."

"The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."

"Too many rocks in the mountains."

and lastly...

"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a
way I can get reimbursed? Please call."

= - = -

A stolen bag of pickles.  Doesn't that just say it all?

Anyhoo.  We at Jinx were mortified to learn that the last issue's "Cleaner
Who Polished Off Patients" was, in fact, a long-time resident of Urban
Legend.  In an effort to restore our high reputation of journalistic
integrity, we offer you -- our trusting readers -- this absolutely true
story about a cockroach who broke ribs.

+ % + % +

An Israeli woman's fight with a stubborn cockroach put her husband in the
hospital with burns, a broken pelvis and broken ribs, the Jerusalem Post
newspaper reported recently.

The woman, frightened by the insect when she found it in their living room,
stepped on it, threw it in a toilet and sprayed it with a full can of
insecticide when it refused to die.

Her husband came home from work, went to the toilet and lit a cigarette.
When he tossed the cigarette butt into the bowl, the insecticide fumes
ignited, "seriously burning his sensitive parts," the Post wrote.

When paramedics were called to the home in Tel Aviv, they laughed so hard
upon learning the circumstances that they lost hold of the stretcher,
dropping it down the stairs and breaking the disgruntled man's pelvis and
ribs.  The man later requested anonymity.  I wonder why...?

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