And now, the very first thing I ever had published online. The eclectic comedy website schmuck.com was one of the first websites I ever frequented. It's long gone; in fact, my first contribution appeared in what turned out to be its last edition. I turned in one other piece of writing, titled "I knew Y2K was a hoax," but Schmuck folded before it could see the light of day. I no longer have that piece of writing, though I remember that it wasn't very good even by my lenient late-1990s/early 2000s standards. Still, I was already hooked on the publicity and feedback. Credit or blame this article for everything that's followed since.
I wrote the below piece on a lark and submitted it. Somehow, they took it and ran with it (the note under my byline was theirs, by the way). I didn't even own a computer at the time, so my first experience seeing my name in huge letters and as a link online happened at the public library. I printed the article for posterity (good call), and that is what you're seeing here. I also printed out the link list, because my name was on it. In 1999, that was a big deal.
And no, the first word of the title isn't an allusion to an obscure Cajun subgenre of pop music; it's their typo. Schmucks.