Right, ‘m9’ was fun but seriously let’s stop now

This is the most important thing you’ll ever read m10

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I’ll never forget the first day I saw it.

It was a bleak afternoon, mid June. The sun beating against my window did little to distract me from the mundanity of my existence and my thick-set ennui.

I sipped my coffee (black), and returned to my computer and the dissertation I knew I was not going to write, snubbing my cigarette upon a nearby plinth and absent-mindedly petting the family cat.

Black, naturally

Glancing to the top of the screen, I noticed a small (1) next to the “facebook” tab. Intrigued, hoping beyond hope it would break me from my lethargic cocoon, I clicked. I was not disappointed.

The message was from an old acquaintance.

“Yo m9, how’s it goin?”


I don’t know if you’ve ever laughed so hard you’ve felt like you were going to throw up – I certainly hadn’t. At least, not until that day. For that moment, I was content, whole, happy. I had no want for anything else in the world. For that moment, nothing else mattered.

After a full 5 minutes languishing in an ecstasy greater than any orgasm I was forced to shut my laptop, lest I glance at the message again and be relaunched into my hysterics. Shaking slightly, I took a deep breath and attempted to comprehend what I’d just read.

We, the post-MTV generation, are well aquatinted with the internet-borne replacement of suffixes with phonetically similar numbers. Nowadays I barely bat an eye at the l8’s and gr8’s of the world, once thought to be so comical, now simply commonplace – tacky, even, a joke that has worn itself to the bone, the kind that only amuse our cybernetically-immature parents.

God mum stop now

Understand then my adulation at this clever manipulation of the form, one which at once circumvented an overused medium and flattered me into thinking I was worth more than simply a “m8”. I was elated and inspired, my faith in human creativity restored. I reopened my laptop and replied:

“Hahaha, I see what you did there [tongue sticking out face]” and truer words were never typed. I had seen what he had done there, and I had laughed. How I had laughed.

My mind returned  to my friend’s (surely now more than a mere acquaintance) witticism throughout the day, concocting different permutations of the joke. I listed a few:

“gr9” – great, but better

“h9” – hate, but stronger

“5ever/eva” – Forever, but even longer

“3get it” – Forget it, but less severe

“4dom” – Freedom, for use in all these social-media inspired revolutions we’re getting at the moment.

“E5” – Essex, but the shit parts.

Later that day, I had to message a family friend about his part-time lamp-repair business. I started with a simple “hey”.

It’s an important trade

“Hey m9, what can I do for you?” was the reply

I chuckled – perhaps this family friend had, by freak coincidence, arrived at the same joke as my friend earlier that day. Perhaps the family had underestimated him, and judged him unfairly for his career choices. He clearly had a sense of humour. I continued the conversation, mildly amused.

Later still, as I prepared to go to bed, I received a message from a work colleague.

“Think you could cover my shift tomorrow m9?”

I am afraid to say that, this time, I did not laugh. Nor did I laugh the next time. Nor the time after that.

Perhaps it was the fact that a joke is only actually funny the first couple of times you hear it. Perhaps.