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Tag: Yahoo 360 (page 1 of 2)

Yahoo 360… Again

Two of our Yahoo 360 bloggers have managed to get through on the telephone to Matt Warburton, the Yahoo Community Manager who announced on the Yahoo 360 Team Blog that the service would “transition.” Although they didn’t get more detail from Warburton, the sense I get from the reports of their conversations is that Yahoo really has no idea what direction a blogging or social networking site will take, or even if they will retain the services as part of their suite.

This is not good news for us. It means that Yahoo is committed to shutting down Yahoo 360, but that the company has no plan, as yet, for what it will do next.

Our blogging colleague Mr. E spoke with Warburton, and apparently talked in detail about what went wrong with Yahoo 360. Warburton mentioned the plan for a universal profile, the same thing referred to in the Yahoo Team blog and in Jerry Yang’s blog. Jerry Yang is Yahoo’s CEO. (Instead of blogging on Yahoo 360, he maintains the official Yahoo blog on WordPress.com. How’s that for confidence in and support of one’s own product?) Mr. E pointed out that Yahoo 360 was supposed to have been the universal profile, and hence the name “Yahoo! 360.” Warburton, who only came on board with the company in April, was unaware of this.

Mr. E got information out of Warburton that I felt was significant. He said that there would be a transition to another blogging platform within Yahoo and possibly tools to export a 360 blog to third party providers.

Tools to export blogs to other sites is definitely good news for those of us with a lot of blogs. There are some who have 600 or more blogs. Moving them one by one to another site would be horrific. However, moving the blogs with comments intact is another issue entirely.

Many of us want to be sure to preserve the comments. Lively debate, story lines, and just plain old conversation took place in the comments to our blogs, and we want to preserve that as well. Some of us regularly get in excess of 50 comments on posts. Losing the discussions that take place in the comments is almost worse than losing the blog itself – that’s where things often get heated and interesting.

When our blogging colleague Carl spoke with him, Warburton made it clear that there was no question but that Yahoo 360 was closing. There is apparently no plea, no argument, nothing that can persuade Yahoo not to close 360.

Carl concludes that Yahoo may realize that the manner in which they announced 360’s demise was not handled as well as it might have been. Apparently they are well aware of the displeasure among 360 users. A check of the 1100+ comments to the Yahoo Team Blog clearly indicates cries of outrage, grief, and outright panic by 360 users, so if the team reads the comments they certainly should be aware of it. We, the customers and users of the Yahoo product, the people Yahoo’s advertisers want to reach, are in the dark.

The situation is frustrating. It is difficult. Yahoo has blown it. Yahoo’s disorganization, and yes, its lack of a plan to fulfill the vision outlined in Jerry Yang’s Yodel Anecdotal blog post October 16, affects us all in a negative way. Change is hard enough without the change being to the complete unknown and unknowable.

I’ve been advocating that we stay put, maintain our social network here in Yahoo 360, and wait to see what Yahoo rolls out next. I’m still of half a mind to do that. With every new dribble of information, though, I’m more and more inclined to throw in the towel.

I take that back. If I’m to hitchhike out of here, I need my towel. I’m going to Multiply.com. I don’t need a babelfish to understand the platform, and it offers everything 360 does and even includes some of the features we’ve asked Yahoo to provide.

I’m going to be in both places for the foreseeable future. The foreseeable future isn’t very far away, since Yahoo plans to close 360 by early 2008. Until then, though, I will stay here. I will blog here. I will also be on Multiply and WordPress, and I may get active again on my Blogger.com account, just because I like Google products.

I encourage everyone on my friends list to follow me to Multiply.com. As of today, about a third of you already have. I hope to see the rest soon. I want us to be able to stay together.

Tomorrow, I promise, I won’t post more of this news. Tomorrow, Wench’s Virgin Training School has news of its own to announce….

More About Yahoo 360’s Closure

I was going to tell you about a blog posted October 16 by Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s CEO, but Cherei scooped me in the comments to yesterday’s blog. I’ve highlighted what I think are the relevant portions of Yang’s blog:

There’s been much curiosity and speculation about what’s been happening here at Yahoo! over the past few months. Roughly 100 days into our business review, I’m ready to start sharing some of the framework for where we see the future of Yahoo!.

After I last posted in July, we gathered senior leaders from across the company to develop a vision that we believe is truly different from that of the past. We conducted an intense review of our business, examining everything from our strategy and culture to our competitive position and how the marketplace is evolving. We knew we had to change not only our business, but also how we prioritize and make decisions. We had to shift from a siloed mentality to a more collaborative organization that marches toward a common horizon. We had to determine which businesses to invest in, and which to begin to exit or de-emphasize.

What we ultimately saw was massive untapped potential and the opportunity to achieve things few companies on the planet could accomplish. As audacious as that sounds, we believe it’s entirely within our reach with a lot of hard work and discipline, greater focus, tough decisions, a shift in culture, and faster execution. And what will drive us? Creating incredible experiences for our customers.

Based on our analysis, we’ve made important decisions. We defined a strategy that revolves around making Yahoo! indispensable to an ecosystem of consumers, advertisers, publishers and developers while tapping into three key differentiators: generating and leveraging insights, deploying open platforms, and becoming partner of choice. While these have long distinguished us, we intend to do more with them going forward. We will do so by measuring how much more “relevant” we can become for each member of our ecosystem. We believe centering around “relevance” will become a unifying focus for us and drive increased value in everything we do.

We’re placing our bets in three big multi-year objectives. Let me walk you through them, what they mean, and what kind of actions support them:

  1. Become the starting point for the most consumers: We’re defining “starting point” as being the sites that help you better manage your life and connect you to what matters most to you. Services like our Front Page, My Yahoo!, mail, search, and mobile all fulfill that role, while properties like news, sports, and finance (for example) serve as anchors from those starting points. We’ve made it our mission to provide kick-ass experiences in both of these categories to inspire the most consumers to begin their day with us. It’s critical for us to continue to invest and innovate in these offerings so that we can power and delight these consumers. Recent moves like the new Yahoo! Search, the new Yahoo! Mail, and our acquisitions of Zimbra and BuzzTracker should give you a sense of what we mean. And by tapping into our insights, we think we can significantly increase our relevance (why serve up World Series content to you on our front page when what you’re really interested in is Dancing with the Stars?).
  2. Become the must-buy for advertisers: What’s key here is our transformation from selling inventory on primarily the Yahoo! network to becoming an advertising company that delivers comprehensive, integrated, and targeted solutions on Yahoo! and beyond. Through our acquisitions of RightMedia and BlueLithium, we think we’re on track to becoming the industry’s leading open ad network. We’ll provide advertisers with the benefits of more insights, open competition, and scaleable tools and platforms. We think our momentum is building. Panama’s global rollout is nearly complete, our display business is showing signs of growth, we’ve signed on more great publishingpartners, and we’re encouraged by the traction we’re seeing in our new strategy.
  3. Deliver open, industry-leading platforms that attract the most publishers and developers: We have phenomenal technology platforms and data infrastructure, and it’s time to share. Besides building on open API for critical platforms, we’re looking at many different ways to open Yahoo!. We’re excited about what could happen when a motivated community of publishers and developers starts plugging into our most popular services. Imagine how efficient your Yahoo! Finance experience could be with portfolios integrated from your brokerage. Or how personalized your Yahoo! homepage could be with a cool third-party widget. The possibilities are endless and “open” is all part of a new way of operating at Yahoo!.

Our new decision-making framework also informed what we’d no longer invest in. To start, we’ve de-emphasized our focus on subscription music in favor of ad-supported music, migrated Yahoo! Photos to Flickr, we intend to transition Yahoo! 360 to a more integrated Yahoo! “profile” experience, we’ve closed Yahoo! Podcasts and plan to shut down a number of one-off services, and we’re currently assessing our options for our Kelkoo comparison shopping service in Europe. We’ve identified still more areas and we’ll continue to work through them.

While our recent actions and initiatives provide the breadcrumb trail for Yahoo!’s future direction, you should now have a clearer sense of the new path we’ve charted. We’ve scripted our strategy, sharpened our organization, determined how we’ll prioritize, and zeroed in on our big bets. We’re in the midst of our transformation and seeing some initial progress. There’s hard work ahead, along with a large and growing market opportunity. If we execute as planned, I’m confident we’ll be creating substantial long-term value for our users, advertisers, publishers, and developers – and, of course, for our shareholders.

Jerry Yang
CEO and Chief Yahoo

Several 360 users have posted responses in the comments to Yang’s blog, and I want to share them with you.

You really need to take another look at 360 and how passionate its users are about it. Yahoo!360 somehow became “Myspace for grownups,” perhaps without intent, and certainly without a lot of support or communication from the 360 Team. People are leaving 360 *right now* because they’re expecting it to turn into yet another pre-teen thing come January. Look at the over 900 comments on the latest 360 Product blog post, and you’ll see how many people care deeply about this service.

How many users were on 360? Two million? (minus the thousands that have already left) Can Yahoo really afford to alienate that many people? I don’t really believe Yahoo wants to lose those users, but lose them you will if you don’t start communicating in *detail* about the changes that are coming. How many more users would there have been on 360 had the 360 Team been proactive with bug fixes and communication? How wildly popular might it have been had Yahoo been promoting it? (I started a blog on Blogger about a month after 360 first rolled out, because I didn’t know 360 existed at the time.)

Look into how you can make the passion work for you… because right now, it’s working against you.

Comment by Larry KollarOct 18th, 2007 at 4:52 pm

 

I visited some y360 a day back and felt the above emotions. I wrote here about how y360 could be striped down of the media n stuff and be presented as a bloggers delight. Giving emphasis to posts, topics/titles, tags, syndication (rss), privacy set at source (both for blogger and commenter) and all this be interconnected and being attached to profiles. I saw screenshots of mash, their is work to do i am also thinking i might not have all the puzzle bits, its a different story when you draw strategies on a paper board, the dots connect better everyday. Meanwhile i would not worry much, i mean even god removed those dino’s and started fresh, except for those roaches, god. I need to stop this music.

Comment by gag – Oct 18th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

 

I’m one of those passionate 360 users the previous commenter mentioned. I have a friends list of over 150 people, a number of whom have friends lists of similar size. We use the service every day.

Because of the way the 360 “transition” was announced, many people assume that it will degenerate into something like that horrible MASH network Yahoo is now beta testing. Despite those among us who advocate waiting to see what the new social networking/blogging/profile platform will look like, people are jumping the 360 ship in droves. Many are heading to Multiply.com, where we can have the same features we love about 360 as well as the ones we’ve asked Yahoo to provide throughout the multi-year beta testing of Yahoo 360.

The users of Yahoo 360 are adults, not teeny-boppers. They want to blog, they want to network with other adults, and they don’t want to be assaulted by MySpace-type graphics and noise. While we do get silly on occasion, we don’t want to be assaulted by silliness as soon as we log into our social networking site.

I think an integrated profile with a blog, RSS feeds, a good search engine, and customizable modules would be a great way to get people to use the service as their first stop – their home page.

Unfortunately, because of the way it was announced, Yahoo is driving away the people who would have been most loyal.

I would like to suggest some damage control.

*Assure the users of Yahoo 360 once again that their blogs will be preserved in their entirety – that means preserving the comments to the posts as well as the posts themselves.

*Explain HOW the changes will affect current Yahoo users. If you want to keep the user base you already have, they need to know that things will be better. For instance, if Yahoo were to say something along the lines of “The ‘MyYahoo’ page will now include your profile, your blog, links to your favorite sites, and improvements to the RSS newsfeeds already available” people would probably say that the transition will be good, not that the sky is falling.

*Start actually responding to technical problems with action rather than the same, tired form letter. I have written Yahoo multiple times about the same ongoing problem with my 360 page and have never gotten any answer other than the “we’re working on it” email. It just does not take 10 months to fix a software glitch when the feature works fine elsewhere.

*Remember that your advertisers want traffic, and the best way to deliver that traffic is to have happy users of your sites. Customer service is critical. Yahoo’s users are its customers, even if the service provided is free. Respond to their concerns and problems in a positive way. Happy users result in more happy users, because word of mouth works for you. Word of mouth also works against you, and has been working against you for some time because of a lack of responsiveness to customer concerns.

*Yahoo Executives who use non-Yahoo products to make public statements do their own products no favors. The blog here on WordPress.com could be mirrored on Yahoo 360. Doing so would give the Yahoo users more confidence in the product. A big question lately is “Why don’t the Yahoo executives support their own products?” That question is followed closely by “If they don’t believe in their products, why should we?”

I like Yahoo 360 and I want to stay with Yahoo. I have built a strong network of interesting people. Wrecking the platform on which we all stand will disperse us to other places. We don’t want that, and I suspect Yahoo really doesn’t, either.

Please, give us real feedback. The company changes and the changes with Yahoo 360 affect us loyal 360 users in a very real way and on what we feel is a very personal level.

Comment by Anne OrsiOct 18th, 2007 at 6:33 pm

I realize that Yahoo!360 is a free site, and I appreciate that. I came to 360 almost 2 years ago, and have put alot of work into my site. It took me a long time to learn how to do alot of things on there.
Then, came the changes…Yahoo Photos closed down, forcing everyone to choose another venue…Flickr which was supposed to be free…but now I come to find out that nope…it was only free for a bit, and now I will have to shut that down because I cannot afford it.
Then the geniuses decided to create MASH and somehow mess everyone over and rip 360 away from us. You asked our opinion…and then do as you please anyhow even though the majority of users said they wanted 360 to stay. Mash, Facebook, and even MySpace is mostly for kids. I am 48 years old…I have no desire to be on a site that is for kids only! 360 has more adults on it than kids now.
So…go ahead & make your new sites, but keep 360 just like it is!!! Or if you really want to do something with 360…HOW ABOUT FIXING THE BUGS ON IT!!!!! Please?

Comment by Princess Vicki – Oct 18th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

I’ll get over being scooped, Cherei. I hope.

A Letter From Yahoo

I’m going to let you read my mail.

A few days ago, before the most recent blog they posted, I went to the Beta feedback page for Yahoo 360 and sent the team a message.

My message to the Yahoo 360 Team:

Yahoo 360 offers a unique combination of social networking and serious blogging without all the aural and visual assaults of MySpace and its ilk. MASH, on the other hand, is an insufficient substitute. It is lightweight, obviously geared toward kids (they have a deletion link that says “this is fugly”, for Pete’s sake), and doesn’t offer the substance of 360. Both products have their niches, I’m sure. I’m rather fond of Yahoo 360 and would hate to see it be discontinued.

I would like to see Yahoo take 360 seriously. For almost a year I have been trying to get my reviews on my 360 page to reappear. I cannot get my Flickr photostream to display. Yahoo has been completely unresponsive and unhelpful in resolving these problems.

The frequent delays in mail delivery are absurd. If the 360 mailbox won’t work, then simply link it to a regular Yahoo email inbox. Occasionally the wrong blog is displayed on people’s top pages. Quick comments disappear and reappear with alarming capriciousness. The time to load pages is agonizingly slow more often than not.

The fact that 360 has remained “Beta” for two years, and that these recurring problems aren’t being addressed, leads to the inevitable rumors that the service will be discontinued soon. Yahoo is doing itself a disservice by not supporting its own product.

If Yahoo wants to charge for premium services that might allow for Yahoo 360 to improve, it could make the whole thing more profitable. I’d be willing to pay for a more powerful blogging interface, for page counters that allowed me to see who was reading my blogs and not just how many people clicked on my top page, for controls that allowed me to set individual blog entries to private, “friends only” or public, for lists that are longer and more customizable, and for the ability to place links to the blogs of others on 360 on my top page. Unlimited RSS feeds would permit the last to be implemented.

Basically, Yahoo needs to either make a commitment to 360 or shut it down. One way or another, the issues will be resolved.

***

The Team responded shortly after posting its blog two days ago:

Hello Anne,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! 360.

So you’ve heard Yahoo! 360 is closing? Well it’s true. After careful consideration, we have decided to close the Yahoo! 360 sites in early 2008. We always strive to provide you with the best services possible and we’ll be doing that throughout this transition.

We realize that you, our 360 consumers, have put a lot of effort into building sites and sharing these with your community. As we work to fully package migration options for your social network on the Yahoo! suite of services, Yahoo! 360 will remain an active vibrant site for your network of friends. We make the following three commitments:

– We will preserve your 360 blog content and community;
– We will put the right mechanisms in place to move your blog content;
– We will give you ample notification before this transition begins in early 2008.

We at Yahoo! remain dedicated to social networking and community building businesses worldwide. You’ll be hearing more details from us soon. In the meantime, more detailed information is available on our 360 Product Page at:

http://blog.360.yahoo.com/product_360

Note: If you have not checked in a while, please update your email information to ensure you receive all communications from Yahoo! 360. To update your email address, click My Account at the top of any Yahoo! 360 page. Verify your password, and click Edit next to Member Information to update your alternate email address(es), if necessary.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! 360.

Regards,

Kyle

Yahoo! 360 Customer Care

For assistance with all Yahoo! services, please visit:

http://help.yahoo.com/

New and Improved Yahoo! Mail – better than ever!

+++++++++++

There is hope. Yahoo may indeed make things better. While we prepare our contingency plans, let’s remember that we may not have to implement Plan B after all.

Life After Yahoo 360: No, I’m Not Going to Cut and Run. Yet.

The Yahoo 360 Team’s blog yesterday said a lot more than it really said. Yahoo is “transitioning” 360 in early 2007 to “a more integrated Yahoo! experience.” On the surface, that sounds like a good idea. But the next sentence says something ambiguous: we “can still use all the features of Yahoo! 360 until this transition takes place in early 2008.”

What does this mean? It means to me that Yahoo 360 will be absorbed into something different. It won’t exist as we know it today. We may or may not be familiar with the new features, and we may or may not like them. The new Yahoo profile/blogging platform may be good, and it may not.

The team’s blog goes on to say that “Yahoo! 360 will transition to a new universal Yahoo! profile that will be closely tied to other relevant services across Yahoo!, and will include improved blogging capabilities.” Improved blogging capabilities are definitely a good thing. I’ve thought for a long time that Yahoo 360 could stand to improve its blogging interface. Most of us compose offline because there’s no way to save drafts of blogs, and the way we have to insert photos is cumbersome at best. A spell check would be nice, too. Yes, improvements to 360’s blogging capabilities is definitely good news.

Yahoo wants to keep us here, and assures us that our blogs, friends lists, and other content will be moved smoothly to the new platform. That’s good, but the question remains: What will that platform be?

Many of us who have looked at MASH were horrified right from the start. I’ve stayed and added and removed modules, but I’m closing my profile down. I’m really disgusted with it. If you haven’t seen it, click the link to my MASH profile and surf around. There are some really silly things going on there. It’s just too juvenile for me. I really don’t want to be associated with the word “fugly” and there’s no way to remove it from the page. It’s puerile. I’m 45, for pete’s sake. I don’t say “fugly.” And I really don’t need another pet. Two huge dogs and two little cats are plenty for me. If Yahoo thought MASH would appeal to the more mature 360 market, they were sadly mistaken in my humble opinion.

Because of the rumors of 360’s demise, and frankly because of its limitations, a number of us have been looking at other blogging and networking sites, hoping to find a place that better fulfills our needs. With the news that 360 is going to be replaced with something different, it only seems prudent.

For a long time I’ve cross-posted my blogs on WordPress.com. I like the blog interface. It has limitations, too, but all in all it’s easy to use and the site itself is easy on the eye. It’s not a social networking site, though, and I miss the comments that get made on my blogs here on Yahoo 360. While it may be a good place to park a backup of my blog, it’s probably not where I will end up permanently.

I’ve also cross-posted on Google’s Blogspot and on Live Spaces. Blogspot is very similar to WordPress, and has the added benefit of being a Google product. Blogspot has no social networking. The networking on Live Spaces is so difficult to do that I gave up, even though I did connect with a 360 friend and another person there. I had a MySpace page but closed it down several months ago. Honestly, the noise and the glitter graphics got to me. It seemed juvenile, although not so much as MASH. MySpace is also cumbersome to use, and full of spam.

I’ve looked at other social networking sites. Hoverspot.com was awful. There were more trolls and troglodytes there than on Yahoo IM. Someone told me about Hot or Not. Talk about a meat market! Facebook has been in the news a lot lately. I’ve connected there with real life friends, college classmates, law school classmates, as well as my teenage nephews. It’s lightweight, though, for the serious blogging I want to do. It has some features I like, but not enough to hold my interest. I’ll probably keep my profile there, but Facebook won’t be my blog home.

As I was reading the comments on the most recent entries of the Yahoo!360 team blog, I kept seeing references to a site called Multiply.com. I went there, and I have been pleased with it so far. I’ve sent everyone on my list an invitation. If you don’t get it, it’s either because I don’t have your email address or it went to your spam box.

Last night I was lying at the edge of this Multiply.com pool and testing the water with my fingers, not sure I want to risk getting off-balance by dipping a toe.

I found that I could upload my photos, which is more than I’ve been able to do on Yahoo 360 for quite some time. I can’t get my Flickr photostream to work here at all, and I’ve even paid for an account. Go figure. Uploading the photos was kind of slow, and belatedly I realized that I was making a new photo album when I intended to add to the one I had already created, but perhaps there is a way to combine albums. I’ll poke around and find out.

There is a place on Multiply.com for reviews. My reviews disappeared from my Yahoo 360 page almost a year ago and repeated complaints to customer service have been politely ignored with the same form letter at least six times. I’ve given up.

There is a place to add music to a profile page. I’m not sure I like that, unless it has a start button that a visitor will have to hit to play the music. I listen to my own music as I surf the Internet and when I’m mellowing to the soulful sounds of Miles Davis I just hate being blasted out of my complacency by Rob Zombie. Don’t get me wrong: Rob Zombie has his place, just not in my listening zone. At least, not for long, and not involuntarily. I don’t even like it when people put imeem music in their blogs unless it’s one I can control myself. Probably my migraines have something to do with that – startlement hurts when my head throbs. So does cacophony.

The migraines probably also have something to do with why I hate glitter graphics, and since html is allowed in guestbook entries here on multiply.com, I’ll undoubtedly see more of them than I like. Some of my headaches are brought on by the same things that induce seizures in epileptics. Windshield wipers, strobe lights, flashing icons, and glitter graphics all fall into that category. Maybe I’ll post a notice begging for a glitter-free zone on my page there. I did that on MySpace, but it was largely ignored.

I like Multiply’s blog interface. I’ve never figured out how to do bullets and numbered lists on the Yahoo 360 blog, so that will be a nice feature. I want to explore the “attachment” feature, too. I’m not sure what it is.

The photo interface on the blog looks to be much easier than Yahoo’s. I can add a photo directly from the web, from my computer, or from a photo album I’ve already put on Multiply.com. I can apparently put the photos wherever I want in my blog, too. I like that.

The polling possibilities have up to ten choices. If we’re voting in a blog contest that’s not enough, but frankly I like contests where everyone just participates. I’ve not got a competitive bone in my body. Really. Ten choices is plenty for most purposes.

It’s possible to import blogs from several blogging services, but unfortunately Yahoo 360 isn’t one of them. The Multiply team’s blog says they are different because they care and they respond. I’ll test their truthfulness by asking them to figure out a way for us to import our 360 blogs before the service shuts us down. The comments to blogs will undoubtedly be lost, but maybe there’s a way to preserve even them. We won’t know until we ask. Maybe if enough of us ask, we’ll actually receive. Wouldn’t that be a nice change?

Speaking of comments, Multiply.com has a nifty feature called “Live Replies.” According to the FAQ section, Live Replies will cause comments to appear in real time, without us having to refresh the page to see them. When we’re having a blog party that will mean that the comments will work like a huge group chat! Speaking as one who has been known to blow up the occasional blog, I can say for sure that that will be a blast!

Another thing about the comments is that they allow replies to specific comments, and the person posting the comment as well as the page owner can delete it. There is a spell check on the comment dialog box, and even after posting a comment the comment can be edited. What a nice feature! I haven’t seen that one anywhere else.

Today as more of my friends accepted my invitation to Multiply.com, I’ve discovered that I can set email alerts to receive notice about changes to people’s pages, and I can reply to the changes right there in my email. That means if someone comments on my blog or my guestbook, I can see it in my email and post a reply from the email, never having to go to the blog at all. Likewise, if someone posts new pictures or a blog, I can get an instant email and check it out. I’ve enjoyed this today, but it’s been a slow day at work. On a busier day, it might be a distraction.

There’s a networking option for creating groups of users with similar interests and affiliations. That is a good feature of Facebook and MySpace that I can see being put to good use here.

The links module on the top page works like a blogroll. Another thing to ask the Multiply.com team about is adding RSS feeds. Links to feed sites will work to an extent, but I like to see changing headlines. That was something that never really satisfied me about Yahoo 360’s feeds. I haven’t dug around the site enough to know if adding other modules to the profile page is possible.

There’s an interesting messaging system, which seems to be similar to the bulletins MySpace does. The nice thing is that you can see messages posted by the community as a whole, by just your closest contacts, or some midrange between the two. Not being a fan of chain mail, I’m not one to read a lot of bulletins and messages, but occasionally there’s an announcement that we want to make to a larger group – something like “Hey, I want to suggest a blog contest” or something like that. Private messages are also possible.

I know there is more to the site, and I just started exploring it last night. So far, Multiply.com gets a tentative thumbs up. We’ll see if it stays that way.

The Recalcitrant Virgin

I was humming a little tune and adding a bit of water to the bouquet of six dozen pure white roses Tyme Traveler had sent me when the knock came on my office door.

“Come on in!” I called, turning to water the bouquet of six dozen blazing red roses my … ahem … sponsor, Ze Baron had sent me. ( I still haven’t taken delivery of the Partridge Family Bus, so he doesn’t completely own me yet.) I heard the door open and then close, but whoever entered had not said anything. “Yes?” I asked cheerfully, my back still to the door.

When there was still no answer, I turned around, hoping I wasn’t about to get Shanghaied by some angry Samoan father. I was relieved to see Susan, but my relief immediately changed to concern when I saw her trembling and noticed a tear plunging down her cheek.

“Oh, no!” I put the water pitcher down next to the six dozen pristine yellow roses Sir Agincourt had sent me and crossed the room to Susan, giving her a reassuring hug. “What’s is it, dear?” I asked, steering her by the elbow to the fainting couch near the window. She began to sob in earnest and I quickly mixed her a Margarita. “Tell Wenchy what’s wrong,” I encouraged, handing her a delicately embroidered, soft, linen hanky.

Susan’s sobs turned into sniffles as the Margarita began to work its magic and she was able to catch her breath.

“Oh, Wench! I’ve done the most terrible thing a Virgin can do!”

“Now, now, Susie.” I said soothingly. “You were one of the very first students to matriculate here at Wench’s Virgin Training School. You know there’s nothing we can’t fix.”

Inexplicably, she began sobbing again. I patted her shoulder and mixed my student another Margarita. I also went to the phone on my desk and called for Sherry and Silly. If anyone knew what was wrong with Susan, they would.

Sherry arrived first. “Uh-oh. I was afraid this might happen,” she said when she saw the shape Susan was in.

“Clue me in, then,” I requested. I was worried. Susan was inconsolable.

Silly arrived just then and drew up short. “What did that man do to her?” she exclaimed.

“Man?” I cocked an elegantly sculpted eyebrow. “No man has been authorized to have access to Susan.”

Silly’s eyes widened and she slapped her hand over her mouth. Sherry shook her head sadly.

“Susie, may I tell Wench what’s going on?” Sherry asked. Susan cried harder but nodded her permission. I looked at Sherry expectantly. Sherry sighed. “Mind if I have a Margarita? This isn’t going to be easy.”

I nodded and indicated the pitcher of drinks already mixed and waiting. Sherry poured one for me and one for Silly, then gulped one herself. She refilled her glass, sighed again, and began.

“Susan met the Encore Shooter a month or so ago, and the sparks were instantaneous. He’s asked her to move in with him.”

“Move in with him? But she has a home! Her FEMA trailer is gorgeously and tastefully decorated, and her SEALs are so devoted to her they’ve even done spectacular landscaping around it!” I was utterly mystified. Why in the world would Susan want to leave the school and her home? And then his name hit me.

“Wait a minute!” I yelped. “Encore Shooter?”

Sherry and Silly both nodded.

I dashed to my desk and began rifling papers. Aha! There was the letter I wanted!

“Encore Shooter wrote me last week asking if I would consider taking payment for a Virgin in some medium of exchange other than camels or oil wells. I nearly threw it away but kept it for a good laugh. I had no idea he already had a particular Virgin in mind!”

“He has had a particular Virgin in more than just his mind,” muttered Sherry.

“Excuse me?” Susan was sobbing so loudly at this point that I wasn’t sure I had heard Sherry correctly.

“They’ve been seeing each other in secret,” Silly offered hesitantly.

“Seeing each other…?” I was stunned. Dumbstruck.

“Unchaperoned,” confirmed Sherry with a tight nod of her head.

I gasped.

This was disaster. If one Virgin was going over the fence at night, what kind of example would this set for the others? Susan may be one of my favorite and best students, but this matter would have to be dealt with swiftly and firmly. Once again I picked up the telephone on my desk. I dialed the Twisted Wench Daiquiri Lounge. When Mad Diane LeDeux answered, I simply said, “We have a Situation. Please come to my office immediately.” The line went dead in my ear, but I knew Mad Diane was on her way.

“We obviously need to get this man here so we can discuss a price,” I said decisively to Sherry and Silly. “Do either of you know how to reach him quickly?”

To my chagrin, Susan actually was able to cry harder and louder. I rolled my eyes. Susan’s reaction to my question could only mean one thing. “Silly, go to Susan’s FEMA trailer. Have any men who are there, including her SEALs, come here to my office at once. And find Basser, too.” Silly ran to obey, the colorful silken veils of her harem outfit flapping behind her.

I turned my attention to the still-sobbing Susan. “Susan, pull yourself together. I’m going to deal with this situation, and it isn’t the end of the world. Have another drink.” I handed her a freshly topped-off Margarita. She gulped it and hiccuped.

Sherry sat beside her on the fainting couch and patted her had reassuringly. “Sus, I told you Wench wouldn’t get mad if you just told her the truth.” Sherry scolded her friend gently, and offered her a hanky that wasn’t nearly as sodden as the crumpled mess Susan was holding. Susan blew her nose loudly.

While Susan calmed herself I mixed another pitcher of Margaritas. Dealing with this situation was going to take much fortitude, and tequila is chock full of fortitude. Sherry and Susan murmured together quietly.

I settled myself comfortably on the divan across from them, drink in hand, and addressed Susan, who was still hiccuping but calm. “So tell me how it happened,” I commanded.

She glanced at Sherry for support and took a deep breath. “We actually met before the Virgin Training School opened. Just once, and in a crowd. There was nothing compromising about it at all. But then one day when Silly and I were shopping in the open-air market, I bumped into him again. Bumping into him was what did it. That physical contact….” A dreamy look came into her eyes.

“Obviously that one instance of physical contact isn’t what has you so upset,” I pointed out.

“Well, no. He asked for my phone number. Silly warned me not to do it, but I gave it to him. And he called. We met for dinner, and for a picnic, and more.” The dreamy look was back. “He’s so handsome, and so kind, and so funny, and so wonderful…”

I could tell that the adjectives would just keep coming ad nauseum, so I was relieved when Silly returned with Basser and Susan’s two assigned SEALs. A nice looking, tragically American man was with them, too. The SEALs appeared to have him in custody.

I stood and extended my hand for a kiss. “Encore Shooter, I presume?” He looked flustered, but knew what to do. Susan had either briefed him well or this man was indeed a true gentleman. I suspected the latter based on how quickly he seemed to assess the situation in my office.

“Mistress Wench, I have taken shameful advantage of Susan and I want nothing more than to make things right,” he said.

I was impressed. With his first words he had assumed responsibility and was offering compensation for the damage he had done.

“I’m listening,” I said evenly.

From his pocket the man produced a small box. He opened it. Inside was a gorgeous diamond ring. In spite of myself I let out a breath of awe. I am not easily awed by jewelry since I own some of the most sought-after jewels in the world. Nevertheless, the sparkle and brilliance of the stones, enhanced by a setting that would put Cartier to shame, amazed even me. I was about to reach for it when he turned and presented the ring to Susan.

“My darling Susan,” he said, falling to one knee, “I had intended to give you this ring in a different place and at a different time. I hope you know that it is the first of many rings to come. Will you be mine?”

Susan began crying all over again and fell into her swain’s arms. The SEALs started toward Encore Shooter but I waved them back. Basser and I exchanged a knowing look. Susan and her friend might be in a little trouble, but so were the SEALs, who had allowed a Virgin to be unchaperoned with a man. Their dereliction of duty seemed to have cost us one of our most valuable Virgins.

“Basser, I think your SEALs also have some explaining to do.”

Basser nodded. “Yep. They do. Boys, how’d you come to let a man into Susie’s FEMA trailer? I mean, Homeland Security is gonna come down on us like the Fred Murrah Building for this! What if he’d been a terrorist? What if he is a terrorist?” I could see that Basser was about to get really wound up, and I really wanted answers. I interrupted.

“Gentlemen, the reason we allow SEALs here at Wench’s Virgin Training School is to prevent men from entering the campus and stealing away our Virgins. It seems that a man has entered campus and a Virgin is about to leave with him. The Virgin in question was your responsibility. Please explain.”

Both SEALs turned a bit pinkish. The younger one hung his head. The older one cleared his throat. Just then, though, Mad Diane LeDeux arrived. The Flogger of Recalcitrant Virgins had made excellent time coming from the Twisted Wench Daiquiri Lounge.

“Diane, thank you for coming so quickly. I’m afraid we have an rather unusual disciplinary problem on our hands.”

Mad Diane grinned. She fondled the flogger she always carried in a special tool belt attached to her corset.

Yes, Susan has been allowed to leave with her man. I hear she has painted his living room “Buffalo” or some such color. The SEALs are unlikely to allow any more men on the premises just because they aren’t leading camels. Basser has made the SEAL training more rigorous, and fortunately we have escaped closer inspections by Homeland Security as a result.

Mad Diane had a wonderful time wielding her flogger on those four upturned bums. I couldn’t just allow Susan to leave with no punishment, after all, and her noble consort volunteered to undergo the same treatment when he saw how the punishment was administered.

Diane was rather rough with the SEALs, but it’s my understanding she took them back with her to the Twisted Wench Daiquiri Lounge after the experience, where they were each issued a Hot Bottom Wench in a standing position.


Angry Samoans

I was working on the Virgin Training School’s books just before the corporate tax deadline last Thursday. The accountant needed some details clarified. The enormous amounts won and lost by Spy and Silly on their trip to Monte Carlo last December included odd expenditures, and to avoid questions during an audit, the accountant wanted me to be sure.

I was burning the midnight oil when the phone rang. Absently I picked it up. “Hello?”

“Wench? Hey. It’s Tyme. How’s business?”

“Tyme! You’ve been out a long while!”

“Yeah, and I’ve had a good run this trip. Listen, my ship has 300 island girls on board, minus the 35 Ze Baron traded for that are consigned for delivery to him. All the rest are headed to your virgin school.”

“Trainees! Yay!” Looking at my bottom line for last year and paying the inevitable taxes made me eager for new Virgins to train and distribute among our Eastern brethren. I mentally tabulated the value of 265 virgins times 6 camels apiece. I liked that bottom line!

The Tyme Traveler’s voice crackled over the line again, interrupting my calculations. “So where do you want them?” he asked me.

“Park them in the empty FEMA trailers.” Somehow the Virgin Training School ended up with all the temporary homes that never got delivered New Orleans after Katrina. They made excellent dorm rooms for our trainees. “How far out are you?”

“Just a couple of hours.” Tyme sounded a little strained. He was tired, maybe.

“Should I fire up the hot tub for you and your crew?” I asked. A good supplier like Tyme needs to be treated right.

“Wish we could stay, but after we unload the cargo we have to skidaddle.”

“What’s the rush?”

There was a pause. Then Tyme apparently decided to come clean. “Well, their fathers are following in dugout canoes, and they are good paddlers.”

“What are you talking about? Why are their fathers coming?” Then it dawned on me. “Tyme, you didn’t exactly take these island girls over their families’ objections, did you?” My mind was racing. How many SEALs were on campus right now? What kind of defenses did the school have from angry fathers of reluctant Virgins?

“They’re in canoes? It’ll take them weeks to get here by birch bark. Their daughters will be freshly revirginated and sold to the highest Arab bidder before then. We can look innocent among our herds of dromedaries.” My confidence was returning after the initial shock.

“They aren’t traveling by birch bark canoe,” Tyme replied hesitantly. “Palm tree, outriggers…. big Samoan dudes…”

“Oh, hell. Well, if they have to cross the Pacific we have even more time,” I said confidently.

“Truth is, they’re about a day out and are closing on me, and I’m under full canvas.”

I yelped. “You’re leading them straight here?”

The silence on the other end of the phone was deafening. Obviously Tyme expected me to come up with some sort of plan. Fortunately I had one.

“It’ll be ok. I’ll have some of the Western Virgins intercept them and try out the moves from the Pop-Up Kama Sutra. Those big Samoans will forget all about their daughters. I’ll warn the Virgins not to mention your name.”

Tyme sighed in relief. “I knew I could count on you, Wenchie. By the way, my crew needs some diversion. They looking at each other kinda weird.”

I laughed. The crew of the Wandering Wench looks kind of weird regardless of their length of time at sea. “Not a problem. Now, the Samoans won’t recognize the crew, will they? If we clean them up, I mean. We can put them in the hot tubs first then assign Virgins to each one.”

“I don’t know,” Tyme mused.

“We’ll give them all shaves and dye their hair as needed.”

“Hmmm. Blond Africans. It might work.”

“Yeah. The Samoans will mistake them for Maoris.”

“Maoris? You mean Morris? The cat?”

“No, not the cat. Maoris. Like Australian aborigines. From New Zealand. They sometimes have blond hair.”

“I don’t really want to dye my hair.”

“OK, so we can put your crew in African tribal dress and remind them to speak with Cameroon accents.”

“Oh, I like Cameroons. Especially the ones with coconut and caramel.”

“Tyme, those are MACaroons, not CAMeroons.”

“Hey, you got rum?” It was an abrupt change of subject, but knowing Tyme he was trying to cover his mistake. Or he was thirsty. You never can tell about these pirates.

“Of course we have rum! I’m a wench, aren’t I?”

“Good.”

“So back to the problem of the angry Samoans. We can have your guys put on civil war uniforms and say they are reenactors. Or, we can put your crew in NFL jerseys and tell them to act like fraternity boys. The Samoans will think they’re football players.”

“No, lots of Samoans play in San Diego. They’ll figure it out. And I hope you’ve got a LOT of rum if you want to make it look convincing.”

“Other than that I’m all out of ideas, unless your crew want to don harem dress and go through Virgin training themselves. If they do then the Navy SEALs are duty bound and sworn to protect them.”

“Navy SEALs look at each other weird too, have you not noticed? That’s why I left the teams.”

“Well, yes, but they are Special Forces. Of course they’re weird.”

“No, Wench, you don’t understand. They have names like Melvin, Bruce and Chewey. THAT kind of weird is what I mean.”

“Oh. I see.” I didn’t, but it was dawning on me that Tyme and his crew weren’t going to stick around for 300 angry Samoan fathers to attempt to reclaim their Virgin daughters. Tyme confirmed my suspicions with his next words.

“I think I’m gonna get new load.”

“Oh?”

“Yep. Need to get load of sheep and sail for Wyoming.”

“Yeah, I hear there’s quite the market for sheep there. We have no sheep. But soon we will have plenty of camels. I guess those boys in Wyoming aren’t tall enough for camels, though, are they?”

“Hmmm. I don’t know. Can camels be stump trained? I don’t think them dudettes will know the difference…. what is that smell? Damn! Wheew!”

“That smell? Oh. Camel dung. It isn’t as bad as swine, but it is a bit stronger than your average sheep. You must be close.”

“Pulling around the bend now.”

“Camels can be stump trained.”

“Are you sure?”

“Actually, most of them come to us already stump trained. Their Arab owners have no women, either.”

“Oh. Right. I forgot.”

“And I’ve done my research, too. I mean, I am a business woman. I’m going to know my products.”

“Yeah? I want to see your dissertation on stump training dromedaries.”

“I didn’t get my Ph.D. in Stump Training! I have a camel-master for that job.”

“Hold on. I got my tongue stuck in a shot glass.”

“Yeah, I thought your voice sounded a little strange. I hate when that happens.

“Most distressful. The thing won’t come loose.”

“You didn’t have to lick it dry, you know. You could have poured yourself another shot and gotten the additional booze that way.”

“Well, I figured it was safer this way. I got it stuck in the keg earlier.”

“Are you running short on alcohol? Do I need to make a run to the distillery before you and your crew get here? I can call the guys in the hills who have their own stills for the signature labels if you prefer.”

“Hell, yes! At midnight I’m another year older.”

“We’ll have to get a cake, then! I assume rum cake is your favorite? I’m not sure which of the girls will be selected to jump out of your cake for you. There is always such competition for that honor. They like it when they get icing on themselves. Someone has to lick it off, of course.”

“Pick me, dammit, ’cause I can lick my own eyebrows.”

“Woo-hoo! The Virgins will be squealing for a chance to get at you!”

“Um, can’t you get in the cake, Wenchie?”

“Awww. Well, I have to supervise the celebrations, as well as make sure the SEALs are on the alert for wandering and invading Samoans.”

“I think the SEALs will be looking for whoever dropped the soap. They’ve been on your island too long, and no recreation.”

These particular SEALSs have been retrained without such activities necessary. We have Virgins everywhere.”

“See? I am right.”

“No, no. They guard the Virgins, and the Virgins use them in training, so their activities are all heterosexual. Well, except for the orgies, of course, when anything goes.”

“Ogres are such ugly creatures. Where do you keep them? I suppose you have those gnomes, too.”

“No, no, not ogres. Orgies. It’s a different thing entirely. And we use midgets, not gnomes. Unless they choose to dress up like gnomes, of course.”

“Midgets? Those really fast li’l race cars? I rode in one of them once. Got sick.”

“Um, well, not exactly. Think Munchikins without the big lollipops.”

“Owww!”

Tyme? You ok?”

“No, the shot glass is dangling off my tongue, and I just bonked myself on the forehead with it!” He wasn’t that articulate, but those are the words I deciphered from his odd manner of speaking with a shot glass stuck to his tongue.

“You really must have that tongue bronzed when you die. It will be an inspiration to Virgins everywhere.”

“So are midgets Munchikins by proxy? Kinda like Dillinger, coroner whacked his 12 inches clean off.”

“That must’ve hurt. Munchikins by proxy are those sick little fuckers that are just short.”

“It’s in a jar at the Smithsonian.”

“I thought that was Rasputin’s that was whacked off and put into a jar.”

“No, no. His is in the Kremlin. It hit Gorbachev in the noggin, hence the big bruise on his head. … uh-oh.”

“What?”

“Do you hear that…? That be the drummer for the 7 1/2 boatloads of Samoans. Their lead canoe.”

“They’ve caught up with you! What shall we do?”

“Hide me under your skirt. I’m telling the crew it’s every man for himself.”

“Ummm…”

“I will latch on to you, like a leech. I swear.”

“We could whip out Dillinger’s or Rasputin’s former parts and tell them that the Samoans we cut it off some guy, and that he works here and he’s really pissed off…”

“A eunuch?”

“Yeah. We can tell them we have some really bitchy eunuchs. Like, they get PMS and everything.”

Tyme didn’t answer. He had left his ship and was headed for my ample skirts. The Samoans are rounding the bend now, and the Navy SEALs are all on other duties.

Who will save us now?

Panty Raid!

They just won’t leave Wench’s Virgin Training School alone, will they? If it’s not the likes of every Mohammed, Achmed, Hakim, and Hadji, then it’s the Dirk Diglers and other Giant Cocks of the world.

That’s right. Dirk Digler. I said it.

Dirk was hanging out at the Virgin Training School last Tuesday night with Judge Hanna M. High, who was showing him what she had learned in her revirginification classes, when suddenly Guy, High Priest of Meatloaf, wheeled up in his Whale accompanied by a crew of revelers in RVs, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and various other vehicles.

Now, we all know that Guy is the Spiritual Advisor to the Virgin Training School. Naturally the Virgins welcome him with open … ahem… arms when he comes. So when the guys tumbled out of all of those vehicles intent on a raid, why, we Virgins hardly knew what to do.

It was not just any raid, my friends. It was a panty raid the likes of which have not been seen since most of us were in college, if even then.

I have it on good authority that Ted scored no less than a dozen thongs in different styles and colors. Doug, being somewhat less discriminating, absconded with everything from bikinis to one very large pair of white cotton granny panties. Guy himself had two hands full of silky underthings when he burst into the room where the Judge was demonstrating her moves to FBI Agent Dirk Digler, a former Navy SEAL who had been recruited to help with special training.

When he saw Dirk and the judge working on certain techniques from the Pop-Up Kama Sutra, well, Guy went a little crazy. He grunted and screamed wordlessly and headed for Dirk, who in self defense placed a feather pillow between himself and the monster that Guy had become. Guy attacked and feathers flew everywhere.

Agent Digler was so disconcerted he felt he had to do something. Fearing bad press, he pretended to arrest Judge High. It was the only thing that calmed Guy down. Guy finally quit yelling wordlessly, and Steve and Ralph led him away after speaking to him in strong words of one syllable or less. Apparently, Guy was in no shape to listen to reason although he took commands from the fellows quite well.

Somehow the whole debacle was reported in the news as being a scandal. The article claimed that Judge High was arrested in a bribery scandal and that there was a great deal of money in the room with her.

Folks, the money that was found in the room was part of the props for the lap dance the judge had been demonstrating for Dirk. When she tried to explain that to the High Priest of Meatloaf he would have none of it. He threw money of his own at the judge and yelled wordlessly, “Nnnnnuhhhh! Uuuunnnnnhhhh!”

Poor Judge High has been forced to resign from office. Because I represent Sherry’s daughter Katie in the Giant Cock Baby Chick controversy, the Giant Cock’s lawyer, Ze Baron, demanded that Judge High be removed from the case and the proceedings be put on hold. It’s not as though the Virgins and the Baby Chicks are related interests, even. Humpf.

Thankfully, though, a new judge has finally been appointed. Judge Bugeyes Billy, known affectionately among many of us as OhBilly, has graciously agreed to preside over the case. He has assured Ze Baron that he will remove himself at the last impropriety, so the case is in good judicial hands indeed.

Judge Bugeyes Billy has ordered all of the parties to Dr. Emma’s page on Wednesday, March 14, for DNA testing. Dr. Emma told Ze Baron it would take several days for the results to be known, so we will sit with bated breath awaiting the outcome of the paternity testing. Those poor, fatherless baby chicks are being tended by their foster grandfather, Len, while Sherry and Katie are in New York on urgent business.

We fervently hope that this tawdry paternity matter can be adequately addressed in the very near future. Those chicks are becoming expensive for my client to maintain. Sadly, there is talk that some of the chicks will have to be sent elsewhere to live because they are becoming too large for their pen.

It’s those Giant Cock genes.

Prostitutes or Virgins?

I am distressed to report that I have to reevaluate the whole Virgin thing.

I have recently been directed back to the series Blogging the Bible, and a rather upsetting thing was brought to my attention in the entry on the Book of Hosea. According to David Plotz, the author of the series, God’s first instruction to the prophet Hosea is to go forth and marry a prostitute.

WHAT? I got whiplash on that one. A whore? God told his prophet to marry a WHORE? You gotta be kidding me.

Then Plotz reminds me that there are lots of prostitutes in the Bible.Tons of them. Gobs. Plotz says, “There’s scarcely an unmarried woman in the Bible … who isn’t a prostitute, or treated like one! There’s Tamar, who turns a trick with her father-in-law Judah. The Moabite women, who whore themselves to the Israelites. The Midianite harlot who’s murdered by Phineas. Jacob’s daughter Dinah, whose loose behavior sparks mass slaughter. No wonder they call prostitution the oldest profession—it’s the only profession that biblical women seem to have.”

Crap.

Where are the Virgins? I thought the men of the Lands of the Bible were into Virgins! What’s the point of the Virgin Training School if we aren’t going to be trading camels for our Virgins? I thought I had an entrepreneurial opportunity here!

I mean, I guess I should have realized something was up when the last time I blogged about the Virgin Training School Neither Habib Aktar nor Hachbar Vinmook showed up. Habib has found his Virgins and evidently returned to Cleveland or wherever, and Hachbar must still be in the Land of Bigfoot and Unicorns. Neither of them show up to hang out with me any longer.

I’m desolate.

Lonely.

~~Sniffle~~

I have gotten all revirginated. I have studied the Pop-Up Kama Sutra and I have practiced the positions with my anatomically correct Virgin Barbie and Camel-Rider Ken dolls. I have danced the Dance of the Seven Veils until the silk chiffon has fallen to pieces from over-use. I have listened carefully to the critique of my assigned Navy SEALs. I have diligently practiced getting the 69th comment on the blogs of as many friends as possible (without making it look obvious, of course).

Where have I gone wrong?

Are you guys interested in buying my Virgins or not?

And where the heck are Hachbar and Habib?

Wench’s Virgin Training School – Again

I am thrilled to report that Wench’s Virgin Training School is quite popular. Enrollment numbers are quite encouraging and the Camel Endowment is quite large. Ahem.

Please allow me to make a full report to our Trustees, Students and Sponsors.

In just three months of operation, the school has enrolled 19 female revirgination candidates. They are, in order of enrollment, KimberKat, Cyndi, Lisa, Silly, Sue, Sherry, Shira, Catherine,Blue, DWMeowMix, SweetP, Selinda, Gypsy Firecracker, Lia, Susan, Jen, Cherish, Bobbie-Lynn, and Melissa.

We are still waiting for 7 more students: Free, Juls, Red Carol, Tricia, Superbitch, JeniT, and Nancy . You may remember that these potential virgins were contacted by either Habib Aktar or Hachbar Vinmook (and maybe by both) to be members of their harems. Their admissions applications have been approved but they have not yet picked up their copies of Virgins for Dummies or the Pop-Up Kama Sutra, nor have they appeared for class. If anyone knows where these truants are, please have them report to me immediately.

We have a Winter Dance coming up soon. We couldn’t have a Christmas Dance because…well, Hachbar and Habib don’t exactly celebrate Christmas. We need volunteers to decorate the gym with the appropriate tissue garlands, incense burners, and silk rugs. One exciting feature of the Winter Dance will be the BookChick, Cyndi’s exhibition performance of the Dance of the Seven Veils. She is our Dance Instructor, and classes in both “Advanced Seven Veils” and “Belly Dancing 101″ are being offered in the spring term. (“Seven Veils” will only be available with Instructor permission based upon an audition, as “Belly Dancing 101″ is a prerequisite for it.)

We’re going to have a fundraiser and sell chocolate bars and gift wrap. It is necessary for the school to raise enough money to repurchase Ohio. Our dear friend and champion, OhBilly, traded Ohio for the honor and virtue of one of our students when Habib had her on the run. Also, Basser has passed me a letter from the National Security Advisor that if we do not reinstate Ohio soon, Habib may be considered a terrorist for having caused Ohio to secede from the Union involuntarily. We have to buy back Ohio, and that may take a little doing. Texas was also traded for one of our students, but apparently the government doesn’t much care about that.

We have a special ed student, proving the accepting and inclusive nature of Wench’s Virgin Training School. Sherry’s 504 plan is in place, and Mad Diane LeDeux,, who is our Flogger of Recalcitrant Virgins, handles special education instruction at Wench’s Virgin Training School. Unfortunately, Mad Diane has had to wield her whip a few times. We are sad to report that we do have disciplinary issues with some students. Shira is in the habit of sleeping behind her veil and Silly keeps showing up for class naked. For some reason Mad Diane is particularly enthusiastic about Silly’s floggings.

In a related matter, Blue has asked about cuff and stick training. It has been determined that this class shall be an elective for advanced students, except for those who Mad Diane believes need the extra discipline. Mad Diane will be the class’s instructor, of course.

Hachbar has become quite a benefactor for Wench’s Virgin Training School. I am pleased to report that he compensated me with much livestock and health insurance. Because of his generosity, I am able to concentrate on the school full time.

Hachbar also wants to sponsor a new building on the campus of Wench’s Virgin Training School. He has directed that all virgins shall use their feminine wiles to lure contractors to build the new school. This will indeed be a test of our revirgination program because of course, the contractors will not be allowed to touch the virgins. Hachbar has decreed that the penalty for touching virgins is death by camel humpy. What Hachbar doesn’t know won’t hurt him, though. If virgins get touched, all they have to do is go back to Virgins for Dummies, Lesson 1, and start the revirgination program all over again.

Habib has not been seen around the school very much. Hachbar informs us that Habib had a delicate operation called an “addadictomy.” I thought all that facial hair was proof certain that Habib already had a Y-chromosome, but Hachbar insists that Habib was missing from many of the opening festivities of the school because of that surgical procedure. Habib hotly denies this, and we can certainly understand why he might be a bit embarrassed about it. One simply does not discuss one’s elective cosmetic or prosthetic surgeries in polite company.

Shortly after Wench’s Virgin Training School opened, we received a dire warning from Basser.It seems that US intelligence operatives somehow got the idea that our school is an Arab Training Camp! According to Basser, Homeland Security was tipped off by an undercover inside informant. Homeland Security has now put the country on Yellow Alert because of this misinformation. Navy SEALs stealthily infiltrated the bushes behind the school and began monitoring us. When they saw Silly was naked, they even began filming!

Homeland Security was disturbed primarily by the fact that because so many women were attending revirginification classes, men could get drunk in bars with no worries about a phone calls demanding they come home. For some reason Homeland Security considers this a national threat beyond even Bill Gates running for president.

The government is now closely watching the school’s banks accounts, activities of students and instructors that occur outside the school, our cable TV bills (searching for naughty pay-per-views, I suppose), breast exam results, and so forth. Under the Patriot Act, the government has access to everyone who deals with us and our virgins. Despite my best legal wrangling with the government’s dark-suited men with their dark glasses and their dark SUVs with the dark-tinted windows, the Patriot Act allows them to violate our rights anytime they want by claiming it is in the best interest of the government. They have specifically asked that our gynecologists check us for Arab intrusion and that our hair stylists check us for fleas. As headmistress of Wench’s Virgin Training School, I find this highly insulting.

What’s even more insulting is the intimation that the government thinks that there are spitters here at our school. Basser said that the SEALs objected to the camels, which stink and spit, and advised me that Navy Men do not like spitters. I was quick to inform Basser that so far as I am aware, the camels are the only spitters at this school, and the Navy men just need to stop playing with the camels. The lip gloss gets in their fur and makes it difficult for Lou’s crew of camel jockeys to groom.
The problem was rectified very quickly, though, when we got use of the FEMA trailers still languishing at Hope, Arkansas (just a few miles down the road from where I live). David (that adorable green puppy!) Reminded us that the trailers were sitting there empty and unused, and naturally we had a great use for them while awaiting our expansion. Each virgin is now assigned a FEMA trailer when she arrives at school, and the Navy SEALs have graciously agreed to leave the bushes and stealth mode behind and take rotating shifts guarding our virgins! There are two SEALs to a virgin on each shift. This has been a great reassurance to Homeland Security and the safety of our virgins is guaranteed.

Before Silly gets too worried (I know she’s thinking about this), let me assure everyone that there is plenty of lip gloss. Our budget has ample funds set aside to purchase lip gloss in 55-gallon drums, and one drum will be placed in each FEMA trailer.

Initially we got wonderful financial advice from that scion of numbers, the Spy Man himself. Thanks to his input, we have established the prices we will charge for our virgins. A virgin in training will go for 6 camels (2 humps preferred), a 12 cup coffee maker, The Idiot’s Guide to Disarming Bombs, and a gift certificate from “BURQAS R US.” A graduate will cost 12 camels, 10 horses, a year’s supply of Glade room deodorizers, a Brookstone electric shaver with the body hair attachment, and an oil well producing at least 500,000 barrels a day.

Of course, Hachbar’s explanation of the livestock exchange rates was very helpful in establishing the virgin prices:

 

1 camel = 2 horses
1 horse = 2 sheep or goats
1 goat = 1 sheep
pig = worthless

 

I am sad to report, however, that Spy turned out to be a, well, an embezzler. I know, I know. It’s hard to believe. But shortly after publication of the last blog about the school, he bought an Aston Martin with school funds and headed to the casino in Monte Carlo. He assured me it was to increase our holdings and for marketing purposes, and he even took Silly with him, ostensibly for some undercover work. He left a note, which was found after his departure, that he had purchased a Walther PPK gun with Silencer for $650 and an $1,800 Hugo Boss Tuxedo. He wiped out the remaining funds in out bank account, leaving us with only 23 cents.

He abandoned the Aston Martin in Monte Carlo, apparently, because he took the company Lear jet back to the school. He dodged in and out under cover of darkness, I am sorry to say, and left another note. Our bank account was overdrawn by $150,000, and still he had the temerity to demand reimbursements for mini bar charges of $1,452; a cash advance at the Monte Carlo Casino of $72,000, and entertainment expenses of $33,400! And this was despite the fact that he had won $500,000 playing baccarat! I tell you, the NERVE of some people!

What’s worse is that he swiped money from the school’s coffers and wired it to the bank account of the Young Republicans. They called and thanked me, or I might never have known. I nearly died of embarrassment. Of all the organizations in all the world, he had to choose the Young Republicans! He is now officially known as ”Spy Non Grata,” if his name must be spoken at all. Please use his name sparingly in my presence as it makes my blood boil.

For every bad egg like Spy Non Grata, though, there is a good egg. Feudalserfer, my beloved friend and now my partner, has established the Satellite Academy. That’s right, Wench’s Virgin Training School has launched into space and a campus is now located on the moon! Legal aliens only may apply, though. We don’t want gate crashers.

A huge party in the Feud’s blog celebrated the grand opening in glorious style.

And speaking of blog parties, Billy’s Dusty Springfield Blog, the official 69 training ground for Virgins, has not seen a 69 since Christmas Eve. Ladies, if you want to be considered experts in 69, you had better get busy! I’m just sayin’….

The last official count, on December 12 at 7 a.m. Central Standard Time was:

 

  • Melissa in the lead with10, with #’s 369, 869, 1169, 1769, 1969, 2169, 2369, 2569, 2769, and 2869.
  • SweetP demonstrated her prowess with 7 glorious 69s. She stole #’s 269, 1069, 1269, 1369, 1469, 2069 and 2669.
  • Silly, the original 69er of the training blog, elegantly stealthed in for 5, #’s 69, 1569, 1669, 1869 and 2469.
  • I scored twice with #’s 169 and 769.
  • Susan captured #469 in a dazzling display of 69 activity.
  • Natalie showed that she is definitely not afraid to get her hands dirty with her procurement of #669.
  • Cherish showed great stamina and a truly adventurous nature in her grabbing of the only 69 worthy of being read the same either backward or forward. #969
  • And Sue bombarded the blog in an effort to grab 2269.


Billy, honey, can we get a current count?

Oh, and you don’t mind the Virgins using you to practice their 69 technique, now do you?

Disclaimer: Please note that all prices and exchange rates either expressed or implied are subject to change without notice. The Wench of Aramink reserves sole discretion in the adjustment, revocation, and/or evaluation of said prices and exchange rates. All sales are final; no refunds and no exchanges. Internet sales are subject to all applicable regional, national, and international laws and taxes. Paypal is accepted. Virgins may be traded on eBay. All transactions void where prohibited.

Further Developments for Wench’s Virgin Training School

Classes are forming and virgin trainees are lining up at the gates of Wench’s Virgin Training School!
I, Anne, Wench of Aramink, wish to extend a hale and hearty welcome to all of my students!

Please let me introduce you to the faculty:

SweetP, the undisputed Queen of 69, shall be teaching a class in – what else – 69! Retaining one’s virginity during 69s is of paramount importance for our virgins. SweetP’s qualifications are impeccable, seeing as how she got not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE 69’s on OhBilly’s Dusty Springfield blog! This woman is GOOD! We are so pleased to have her aboard! Her Teaching Assistant is none other than Melissa, who got three 69’s on the same blog.

CFBookChick, is chairman of our dance department. Her exhibition performance of the Dance of the Seven Veils is, of course, the industry standard. Belly dancing, pole dancing, and lap dancing are electives, but each virgin must reach mastery in at least one of these dance areas.

Mad Diane LeDeux, who is our Flogger of Recalcitrant Virgins, handles “special education” instruction at Wench’s Virgin Training School. Already Mad Diane has had to wield her whip a few times. We are sad to report that we do have disciplinary issues with some students. Shira is in the habit of sleeping behind her veil and Silly, keeps showing up for class naked. For some reason Mad Diane is particularly enthusiastic about Silly’s floggings.

Guy, High Priest of Meatloaf and proud owner of the famous Giant Cock, is in charge of Virgin Spiritual Studies. He definitely keeps our spirits high!

Ross D has generously offered his supervisory services for a laboratory practicum for aspiring virgins. The exact details of what will happen in these labs has not yet been revealed.

Queenie Beaudine will be in charge of Virgin Etiquette and Interpersonal Relations. Queenie comes to us quite experienced in the ways of behavior, having put up with her evil twin Cussy’s behavior since before birth. Students may have to bring dictionaries to class, though, because sometimes Queenie uses big words that are difficult to understand, even in context.

And now, a description of the facilities:

Despite Homeland Security’s accusations that the school is an Arab Training Camp, our Navy SEALs are quite devoted to us. Our SEALs, supervised by Basser, provide round-the-clock security in the bushes around the school, inside the FEMA trailers and on the way to and from classes. They make training films of our students and helpfully watch them over and over again to provide us with constructive criticism of our techniques. They even offer free breast exams to our Virgins. I believe that without exception the SEALs are one of the most popular and beloved aspects of Wench’s Virgin Training School!

Everyone is aware that the FEMA trailers left over from the Katrina SNAFU are at our disposal, thanks to David’s high-level government contacts in Hope, Arkansas. Each virgin has been assigned to a FEMA trailer and two of Basser’s Navy SEALs are with her at all times. The SEALs work in shifts, so each virgin actually has six SEALs for her pleasurable protection. These six SEALs are in addition to the numerous SEALs who keep the perimeter of the school secure and who are engaged in conducting breast exams at any given time.

The camels are being kept in a corral and I have plans to ask Lou, who has some experience with large beasts of burden, to be camelmaster. Lou, what do you say? Surely the transition from horses to camels won’t be too much of a challenge, will it?

Spy has offered his services in the realm of financial advice. Since Hachbar Vinmook posted the livestock exchange rate his accounting duties have been made considerably easier. Habib Aktar returned from his stay in the hospital (for the addadictomy) with a huge wad of cash in his pants – boy, was HE happy to see us! – which of course enriched us further. We have some problems with some of our assets, though, because it seems that both Ohio and Texas were at different points traded for virgins. Finding a place large enough to store two entire states has presented us with some difficulties, but I’m sure Spy has things worked out on the accounting side.

And, of course, the Curriculum:

There have been some modifications to the curriculum, and there are likely to be more as we obtain the services of new instructors in different disciplines. There are two required texts. The first text is “Virgins for Dummies.” As soon as that text has been completed, each Virgin begins intensive study of “The Pop-Up Kama Sutra.”

Certification of Revirginification is issued when the Virgin demonstrates mastery of all areas of study and passes her Orals.

Because this school is such a novel enterprise, all suggestions for the curriculum will be considered. Please advise the administration of any ideas you have.

Thank you for your support,

Anne, Wench of Aramink

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