"So," I said to my boyfriend over dinner, "have you noticed something? I don't get any negative comments on my blog anymore. I don't get as many Likes but I don't get as much negativity."
"Yeah," he said. "I’ve noticed."
"I think I've, like, reached a new stage in my writing, where people just, like, aren't as interested in me – or fascinated by me – but they aren't as incensed, either. Because I've reached this new, kind of like, you know – way of writing. I think I'm kind of like in a flow. I think it's because I'm very happy at the moment – like, personally. And happy people are kind of boring, aren't they? So my blogs are kind of boring but flowy. And so people aren't as attracted to them – but they're not disgusted by them, either. Because I'm, you know, flowing."
My boyfriend nodded supportively.
"Plus, also," I added cheerfully, "I have also got actually, literally, actually a bit better at writing."
"Yeah," he said.
"Do you think so, too? I think so, too," I said. "I'm at this new stage in my life. I'm just flowing. I'm skiing my way through life like I'm James fucking Bond in a Colgate advert. But I'm a bit boring. Because I'm so happy. And the readers. They've, like, totally picked up on this."
"Definitely," he said. "Although, erm, you did have a negative comment on last week's."
I put down my slice of pizza and looked at him. I chewed and swallowed and stared at him sternly.
"What?" I said.
"Yeah," he said.
"No, I didn't," I said.
"You did," he said.
"I didn't," I said.
"It came a bit later," he said. "They didn't write it straightaway. They waited a few days."
"What did they say?" I asked.
"Oh, you know," he said airily. "The usual stuff. About how consistently terrible you are."
I got down from the table and padded my way to my boyfriend's office and switched on his laptop. My boyfriend followed me, carrying his pizza through on a plate. I went to the Exberliner website and checked out my rather unpunctual negative comment. It was from a dude calling himself “Dirk Dark”.
"'Even for a column as consistently terrible as Amok Mama's,'" I read aloud, "'this is some seriously weak and pointless shit.'" I looked up.
"Do you think it's a German?" I asked. "Dirk is a German name."
"No, it's an American, innit," said my boyfriend. "All the people who hate you are American. And Americans always say ‘some shit’. And 'this'. I think Americans say 'this' more than British people."
"Yeah, they say 'this' too much, don't they? But not everyone who hates me is American. There are some Germans who hate me, too. And one of the pro-rape boys was British," I said.
"Yeah, but everyone hated you about the rape thing," said my boyfriend. "But otherwise, all the people who hate you are American. And that's okay," he said soothingly. "You hate them, too."
"I just don't know why they expect more of me," I said sadly. "I don't know why, even though, as he says, my blog is consistently terrible, I still manage to disappoint them. I mean, haven't they got it now? Haven't they had long enough to get used to the unbearably hideous shittiness levels, to the inadequacy of the inadequate blog writing that I am, to quote Dirk Dark, consistently dishing up? I really feel like I should just write them all a letter and say 'HELLO. You are right. My blog is consistently terrible. PLEASE stop checking. I'm just not going to get that much better. This is it, now. This is basically it. This is what it is. I'm not trying to piss you off. Stop reading them. Just read the old ones you hated coz the new ones aren't gonna be any different.'"
"Yeah," said my boyfriend. "You probably should."
"'P.S. You are cunts.'"
"You should probably leave the P.S. bit out if you want to get famous. You don't want to be, like, a Kanye West type person. You want to be Charlie Brooker mixed with Caitlin Moran. They'd never call someone a cunt just because they said they couldn't write."
"Yeah," I said miserably. "But that's because they're really good writers." I sighed forlornly. "They really flow, don't they? And it's not just because they're boring and happy either. It's because they're so clever. The ink just fairly flows off their pens. Their brains explode with electricity. They just flow. They flow all over the place. I don't flow. I wished I flowed."
"You do flow a little bit, you know. You really are fairly flowy," my boyfriend said. "I bet this Dirk Dark hates Charlie Brooker, too. He's probably totally conservative. He probably likes..."
"How I Met Your Mother," I said.
"Yep," said my boyfriend. "He's probably the kind of person who likes How I Met Your Mother."
"As if I'm gonna listen to his opinion on anything," I said.
"Exactly," said my boyfriend.
"Dirk Dark," I said, sulkily. "Dick Dark, more like."
"Exactly," said my boyfriend. "But you better not write that in your blog, coz you might be famous one day and then it'll be dead embarrassing for you. Come back to the dinner table, now, Jacinta. I want to finish off my pizza."