Monthly Archives: June 2010

Building Code Violations for the Love Shack

Read my newest piece in McSweeney’s, Building Code Violations for the Love Shack.

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The First.

It is the 6th of February, 1966. Lancashire. Matilda rests on the hospital bed, breathing hard. Her husband, John, holds her hand. The doctor tells Matilda that she’s doing well: One more push and the baby will be out. Matilda closes her eyes and grimaces. There is a small, feeble cry.

The doctor stands up, holding the baby. “Mr. Astley, it’s a boy.”

“A boy?” John asks. “We thought it was going to be a girl.” John and Matilda, exhausted, didn’t expect this.

They did not expect this boy, and they have no name ready. John fumbles verbally for a bit, and finally pronounces that the baby’s name is Rick. The Astleys look at Rick for a bit and then, shaking their heads, hand him off to a nurse.

John looks up, to his god, shaking his head as if to say “Okay, you got me. You got me.”

And that is the story of the first rickroll.

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