Every day I go on the internet to look at things that make me pissed off—it’s a calling! Rarely, though, do I see anything that inspires as much full-body disgust as this sick, profane little missive I saw on Sunday. Behold:
This is more than just a terrible post. It’s the end of an era: “69” is officially not funny anymore. I know what you’re thinking: What about when it’s part of someone’s home address? Or the age a historical figure was when they died? Or the answer to a math problem?
I know. It’s over. I’m so sorry.
The demise of 69 is partially thanks to guys like Elon Musk, a man who caters to the lowest common meme-ominator to paper over the fact that he’s an asinine “ideas” tech guy at best and someone who deserves the nickname “Apartheid Clyde” at worst. He is precisely the kind of person 69 belongs to now, the gleaming figurehead of a legion of crypto fanboys and Gen Xers whose dating app age range settings happen to dip down into the early 20s. 69 is “cheugy” for the Rick and Morty set.
But really, Musk is more a symptom of the bigger issue at hand: oversaturation. Pointing out the number 69 and responding “nice” no longer means participating in a cheeky in-joke. According to Google trends, searches for “69” peaked in November 2018. Because everyone gets it, pointing out the number is no longer a little virtual wink to those in the know—it’s a slap in the face.
Don’t believe me? Is this funny to you?
Not a good one in sight.
Let me be perfectly clear: anyone who knows me knows that I do not have a problem with vulgar, internetty humor. I have been moved to tears by a well-deployed BOFA. My favorite sketch from the new season of I Think You Should Leave was the one about the "adult" ghost tour, which hinges on a tearful Tim Robinson asking his furious tour guide, “Do any of these fuckers ever blast out of the wall and have like, a huge cumshot?” When it comes to jokes, the only thing I’m squeamish about is poverty of the imagination.
69 had a commendable run—a nice one, even. Against all odds, the joke even eclipsed the sex act it references (69ing is like, sooooo mid-2000s). But it’s time to admit that it belongs on the same big farm upstate where the I Can Haz Cheezburger cat plays poker with Vine stars and deep-fried 9/11 conspiracy memes. The best thing you can do to preserve a funny joke in the amber of memory is to stop telling it all the time.