The upside of having funny e-buddies is that you're never really at a loss for a way to kill time. You can look out the window, notice something, bring it up and then wind up riffing off each other for half an hour, mutually brainstorming, eventually wandering all over the place. If some day I really wind up hurting for new content, I could probably publish something new, every day, for a month just from the weird creative exchanges with one friend.
The downside to these exchanges, obviously, is that they're chatlogs, and chatlogs are sort of stupid and uninteresting for people who didn't participate. Sometimes, though, when they're good, all that's good about them goes to waste. You can't realistically repurpose the humor for a long piece, and you can't really make the chatlog itself something artful. Eventually you just have to have the gall, like I do, to say fuck it.
With noted McArdle-slayer Mr. Awesome, I often don't even bother to keep up. Any joke I might tell will only get in the way. He has an endgame in mind; my jumping in will screw it up. That happened again today, in this delicious, succelent chatlog, after I started making fun of an indecipherably stupid tea party placard about dogs and healthcare:
MR. AWESOME: we need an interstate exchange for dogs
MR. AWESOME: or dog derivatives
MR. AWESOME: people can hedge the risks associated with dogs by bundling dogs into insured packages of security-rated dog derivatives
ME: throw Wall St. a bone
MR. AWESOME: it would be really sad though when they start foreclosing people's dogs
MR. AWESOME: all the dogs sitting empty and idle, no one willing to buy them
MR. AWESOME: imagine the marketing push to get poor people to buy dogs they can't afford on the assumption they can offer such large, predatory loan schemes
MR. AWESOME: and the price of dogs will always rise so you can just shuttle poor people in and out of the dog's vicinity
MR. AWESOME: huge blocks of dogs chained to posts
MR. AWESOME: spraypainted with tiny little desperate appeals to obama for help
MR. AWESOME: CNBC blowhards will be like "I DON'T PAY TAXES SO I CAN SUBSIDIZE IRRESPONSIBLE DOGGING"
MR. AWESOME: CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG WAS THE UNATTAINABLE DREAM OF A NATION
MR. AWESOME: WE ACTED IN GOOD FAITH
MR. AWESOME: BUT NOW WE ARE AT
MR. AWESOME: PEAK DOG
MR. AWESOME: THOSE WASHINGTON FAT CATS WERE DOGS PLAYING POKER
MR. AWESOME: WITH OUR FUTURE
MR. AWESOME: THE CRASH WAS INEVITABLE, AND THE GOOD TIMES LASTED OVER 100 DOG YEARS
MR. AWESOME: i think i've got about all i'm going to get from that
MR. AWESOME: i ever tell you about my plan to kidnap robert reich and carry him around on a basket strapped to my shoulder?
The Robert Reich thing went on for a while, too, and was pretty funny, but eventually an insufficiently entertaining eggheaded discussion broke out.