Dan Brooks, office manager at Harold estate agents Lacrymans & Co, has inadvertently discovered the answer to the Internet by becoming the first person to view every page and click every link.
‘When I first went online in the late nineties there wasn’t much to see and then as the Internet grew I suppose I was just like everyone else,’ Brooks said. ‘I’d surf between a couple of dozen sites during the day then get drunk on Saturday nights and email poems about mince to my mother-in-law or buy fifteen kilograms of midget gems off eBay. It was all perfectly normal.’
However that normality ended six months ago when a serious typing error didn’t lead to a To The Manor Born fansite but a gallery of gerontophile porn and Brooks found himself on a journey to the furthest outreaches of cyberspace.
‘I was just trying to get back to something familiar without using Google or a bookmark,’ Brooks explained. ‘I didn’t carry on just to look at porn. Don’t get me wrong some of it’s tremendous but after a while your mind shuts down. Seen one woman fellate a stallion while a sweaty bloke takes her up the wrong ‘un, seen ’em all. People say porn accounts for the biggest percentage of the Internet but that’s not true, now I’ve seen all of it I know what takes up most of the web and it’s cats.’
Brooks estimates that no less than ninety per cent of the Internet consists of videos of cats or pictures of them superimposed with misspelled captions.
‘I didn’t think it would ever stop. Millions of pictures, tens of millions of badly spelt words. I can has Internetz without kittehs, please? You know how athletes talk about hitting the wall? Well I hit the wall and it was covered in fur and some bastard had renamed it de wallz.’
Just when he thought he would never be able to escape the cats Brook’s marathon trawl of the Internet went in an unexpected direction.
‘I clicked on one more link and the screen went black then the sentence “The answer is still 42” appeared. I didn’t even know that the Internet was a question but then an animated Bill Gates popped up and congratulated me on reaching the end and finding the answer.’
Despite his amazing experience Brooks is unsure about the impact on his life.
‘All I can say is that we’re going to need a bigger Internet. It has an end but I don’t think the constant uploading of cats and Twilight fanfiction ever will. I need to think about all I’ve seen but right now I’m going out into the fresh air and then I’m buying a bloody enormous dog.’