Joe logged in to Protagonize.com and clicked on ''Profile''. Instead of the old photograph of his grandfather looking like a matinee idol in his demob suit he had uploaded, there was a cartoon of Daffy Duck, and his name had changed from ''Joe'' to ''Complete Waste of Space''.
''What is this?'' he asked nobody in particular. Davy peered at the screen.
''No he didn't.'' said Joe. ''He's not shortsighted and he doesn't need to peer. Who's hacked into my account?'' He scrolled down the page.
''It says Complete Waste of Space has written one chapter. Is that you, Joe? You weren't being very kind to yourself, were you? I wouldn't say you're a complete waste.'' Davy said, laughing.
''Thanks a bunch!'' said Joe.
''Can I read it, then?'' asked Davy, clicking on the link.
''Humble Joe.'' he read, then started laughing. ''Ooh ha ha ha ha Joe, this is hilarious.'' He read on, chuckling, interspersed with the odd guffaw.
''What? What's so funny, Davy? And you've never guffawed in your life.''
Davy was holding onto his sides, helpless with mirth.
''Oh, Joe, that's just too funny. I had no idea you were so talented.''
Joe pushed Davy out of the way and started to read the words on the screen.
There was a guy, a humble guy
A stupid rough and tumble guy.
He heaved a sigh and winked his eye
Then started eating humble pie.
''Oh bloody hell.'' said Joe. ''It's a flaming poet. The last thing I needed.'' He turned to Davy. ''I didn't write this... utter tosh.''
''Don't be so humble, Joe. I think it's very good.''
''Well, Davy, that says a lot about your taste, doesn't it?'' He carried on reading.
Now, Joe went out one day in June
A-whistling of a happy tune.
He is a retard, nay... a loon
We hope he will be sectioned soon.
For he's as mad as twenty frogs
His cranium is missing cogs
He's been attacked by rabid dogs
And likes to wear unmatching togs.
''Unbelievable.'' said Joe, but reluctantly read on.
His face is ugly beyond hope.
He's never used a bar of soap.
The people in his life can't cope
With knowing this repugnant dope.
He's feared and hated everywhere.
The trouble is – he doesn't care.
His best friend is a savage bear
And he sports frilly underwear.
He should come out to his friend Dave
Whose lithe young body he does crave.
He's never known how to behave
And what is more – he needs a shave!
There were about thirty more verses, but Joe had had enough. He scrolled to the bottom where the line of five stars was blank and underneath was written ''not yet rated''. He moved the cursor to halfway along the first star, and clicked it.
''That'll teach you.'' he said.
''Hey.'' said Davy. ''That's the only rating under five! Look – forty-one people thought it was brilliant. Why are you rating it so low?''
''Because I didn't bleedin' write it!'' he shouted. ''It's awful. And I can't even edit the friggin' thing!''
''Well, why don't you click that thing there? See? That little red button with the bomb on it? Flag the story... if you're so convinced it wasn't you that wrote it?''
''Good idea, Davy.'' Joe pressed the flag button, and immediately regretted it.