Talking of computer-assisted, transatlantic sex (what, you hadn't noticed?), consider the strange case of AOL, widely regarded as the biggest concentration of dickheads on the net.
If you're a computer geek who happens to live in Scunthorpe, you should be careful about who you pick as your Internet Service Provider. America OnLine has expanded into the UK market whilst retaining its self-appointed position as the guardian of American public morals. Although they deny that they censor Internet articles, it is rumoured that AOL once closed down a support forum for women with breast cancer because of the wicked use of the word "breast". They have now turned their attention to the fair city of Scunthorpe. People living there who have attempted to register for AOL have discovered that the name of the town is rejected by the server because it's rude. Complaints were to no avail; AOL has decreed that Scunthorpe is rude and has renamed the town Sconthorpe. Anybody who uses the name Scunthorpe in an article will find that their writing is electronically vaporised. Plokta wonders why they didn't just go the whole hog and rename the town Lower Corte.
All of this is reminiscent of a scene in Superman, in which Superman
flies over London with Lois Lane. A Piccadilly Line train is visible in the
foreground. Unfortunately, this meant that it was necessary to retouch every
frame to blank out the destination board; you can't say Cockfosters in a PG
rated movie. And if you do happen to live in Cockfosters, I wouldn't
bother ringing AOL.
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