July 27, 2006

I was wondering...

...what with all the sock-puppet controversy currently a'raging, do all of my imaginary friends count as sock puppets, or do they get to have their own real-person status since none of them agree with me?

Except for Chet the E-Mail Boy, who KNOWS which side his bread is buttered on. Or, you know, where that box of corn flakes comes from.

ANYWAY, if they all are still considered sock puppets, do I actually HAVE to cover my hand with a button-eyed sock while typing defamatory comments about myself, or is that more for dramatic effect in photos?

Do each one of them have to have to be equally unhinged, or can some of them be a bit more sane than others?

Do I have to withhold FICA and Social Security from their checks, or do they fall under the category of independent contractors?

If one of them tries to strangle me, do I report that to the police, or just take that as an expression of its impotent rage, directed at me only because I am a convenient symbol of oppression, and therefore excuse it as regrettable, but inevitable?

If one of my sock puppet/imaginary friends insults another one of my personalities/dopplegangers, are they supposed to fight that out in the comments, or should they take that offline and and merely exchange threatening e-mails with each other?

I tell you--this blogging stuff has REALLY gotten confusing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 27, 2006 09:57 AM

With regard to the employee/independent contractor question -

Do the puppets provide their own socks and buttons?

Are the puppets free to direct their own work, or are they substantially under your authority and direction (in other words, is it your hand in the sock?)

Are you providing any benefits for the puppets, such as occasional washing/drying?

Truly, the answer to the second question will make the determination.

Posted by: Diane at July 27, 2006 11:04 AM

How exactly does one type while wearing a sock puppet? I admit to mostly two fingered typing, and adding a sock puppet would certainly increase the challenge, but it seems like a pointless exercise.

Then again, we are talking about blogging here.

(BTW - I could not for the life of me figure out where to start reading that link. I guess when arguing with nitwits that's just part of the deal.)

Posted by: skinnydan at July 27, 2006 11:16 AM

Hmmm--sounds like if they DO have to have socks, then it would be better for me if they have to go get their own, rather than me provide them.

Man, all this tax stuff and blogging protocol will just DRIVE YOU CRAZY NUTTY MAD!

As for pointlessness--Skinnydan, that is one thing we do have in spades around here.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 27, 2006 11:53 AM

I'm reminded, once again, after trying to sort through this story, why arguing openly on the internet is like winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics.

Its DA! That's what it is!

Posted by: Nate at July 27, 2006 12:02 PM

It's good that LittleA never tried this sock puppet thing. He's much too fine a gentleman to partake in such goings-on.

Oh, and handsome too!

Posted by: NotLittleA at July 27, 2006 12:07 PM

Speaking as a fellow bureaucrat, I would say that since these imaginary friends in all probability work for you alone, they qualify as imaginary employees and not imaginary independent contractors.

However, you would then file imaginary W-2 forms and remit imaginary payroll taxes to imaginary government agencies. Note that this would NOT apply to any employees you may have that would reside and work in reality-based domiciles. Does that help? I would NOT advise remitting imaginary payroll taxes to a real IRS, though.

Posted by: Stan at July 27, 2006 12:08 PM

Yes, LittleA, who has a New York Times best-seller, and whose blog has grown explosively in the last 9 months, and whose blog is read from the floor of the Texas Senate--HE would not stoop to such chicanery. AND, he is as sane as the day is long. And he's not me. At all.

Posted by: NotnotLittleA at July 27, 2006 01:14 PM

Stan, if I hire an imaginary payroll/benefits coordinator to handle all of this mess, will she be able to wear tight fishnet stockings, or will she have to wear a sock, too?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 27, 2006 01:17 PM


The answer to that question would depend on how likely the real Miss Reba would be to find out about this "payroll/benefits coordinator."

Posted by: Stan at July 27, 2006 01:23 PM

Oh, I know my husband--famous author of Possumblog, and owner of several New York Times bestsellers--is merely expressing a sort of boyishly charming ironic humor of the type that attracted me to him in the first place.

Posted by: Miss Reba at July 27, 2006 01:40 PM

Plus he mows the lawn and does the laundry. And drives a RILLLLLY hot car.

Posted by: Miss Reba's Friend at July 27, 2006 02:33 PM

Oh, ladies, please--you're going to make me blush if you don't stop with all of the unsolicited compliments!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 27, 2006 02:44 PM